Staniforth's simple formula for Waratahs to combat Sharks

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tackle, tackle, tackle.

That’s the simple formula for the Waratahs pack when they take on a big-boded Sharks outfit this weekend, according to lock Tom Staniforth.

The Waratahs showed they could sustain their physicality against the Rebels last weekend and Staniforth said they wouldn’t let their perceived lack of size get in the way at Parramatta.

“You just tackle them,” he said.

“They run at you and you try and put them down. In terms of everything, technical, tactical, it's all the same - they're just bigger bodies and just got to tackle them - there's not much to it.”

The Sharks will be a tricky prospect for the Waratahs, coming to Australia off two consecutive losses, one to the Jaguares and one to the Reds.

Super Rugby’s South African conference has proven arguably the most unpredictable this season and Staniforth said they couldn’t take the Durban side lightly at all.

“There's no two ways about it - they're going to try and run over us and we're going to do our best to stop them.

“In terms of that conference it's always difficult to judge because they have to do so much travel whether you play them at home, you've just got to take them as they come and if you underestimate them that's when they'll burn you.”

The Waratahs’ flashy backs have fired few shots this season and many of NSW’s wins have been built on the hungry mentality Staniforth pointed to.

The second rower said it was a goal of the forwards to really put their stamp on games each week.

“I think as a pack we really want to stand up and take on the game,” he said.

“Our backs are awesome as everyone knows but unless we're giving them that clean ball what are they going to do?

“So, we have to provide that platform and then just sit back and watch them do their stuff.”

The progress of rookie loosehead Harry Johnson-Holmes has been a bright spot for the Waratahs after preseason criticism of their pack and Staniforth backed the 22-year-old to step up again.

“It'll be a challenge for him but as he's done all year, he'll front up and take it on,” Staniforth said.

“I'm really excited to watch him play and he's doing really well.

“He's a young prop doing really, really well up front.

“He's 22 and for his second year (in Super Rugby), first year really starting, I think it's pretty impressive.”

The Waratahs take on the Sharks at BankWest Stadium on Saturday April 27, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Kayo and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.