"We don’t have enough numbers': Waratahs' brutal injury toll revealed

Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 5:20 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Chiefs and Rebels travelled to Leichhardt Oval to close out round four.

For most winless teams, a season-ending game is something to relish as they look to forget a winless season.

However, for the Waratahs, there's another more pressing reason why they are eager to finish the year: they barely have enough players to continue.

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The Waratahs casualty ward continues to grow as the tolls of a tough season shows, with up to 20 players battling injuries.

Jake Gordon (knee), Dave Porecki (calf) and Darcy Breen (neck) picked up knocks during their thumping defeat to the Highlanders.

The injuries leave Gordon and Porecki racing the clock to be fit for a potential Wallabies call-up in July.

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This has been coupled with the loss of Angus Bell (illness), Harry Johnson-Holmes (neck) and Tetetra Faulkner (back) before the game.

Whilst the toll starts to mount, Whittaker was proud of the effort they are putting in despite conceding they will have to raid Shute Shield to fill their side for this week.

“We couldn’t keep going. We don’t have enough numbers,” Whittaker said bluntly on Tuesday. “As you’ve seen, we’ve pulled in Vuni (Vunipola Fifita) for Easts as we had three Wallabies props pull out on the Wednesday and we had a few more on the weekend as well.

“We’re down on troops, once again it’s a good opportunity but you can’t pat the guys on the back enough. Even in the last minute, there’s no chance we’re in the game but we still had a try to score points.

“There’s still plenty of positives in the group, unfortunately, we’re just running low on players.”

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With Saturday's game against the Chiefs looming as their final shot to get a win on the board, Whittaker admitted talk of wins and losses have flown out of the window for the club.

Rather, the Waratahs are focused on producing a performance to be proud of as they try and build for 2022.

“I think we’ve stopped talking about wins and losses, we’ve stopped taking about them here, it’s all about performing and putting in a better effort than last week,” he conceded.

“We’re not stupid. We know the situation we’re in but it’s all about putting a team on the field and playing the best we can.”

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