Terrific Tane's 'no-fear' mentality that guided Waratahs to shock Crusaders upset

Sat, Mar 2, 2024, 10:43 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Tane Edmed breaks through to set up Harry Wilson for the Waratahs

NSW Waratahs flyhalf Tane Edmed is letting his Rugby do the talking after a match-winning stint against the Crusaders put him firmly on Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt's radar.

Schmidt was in the stands in Melbourne as Edmed engineered the 37-24 win over the defending champions the Crusaders.

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The flyhalf had 17 points and set up a pair of tries in the win in one of his best performances in the sky blue jersey.

Edmed's direct style of running troubled the Crusaders and new flyhalf Taha Kemara.

He led the team for carries (12) and his charge on the half-time siren proved key as he split a pair of forwards before finding Harry Wilson for a crucial try with the Crusaders down to 14.

It was a reaction to a disappointing night at Suncorp last weekend, admits Edmed, where he made just the lone carry in the 40-22 defeat

"It was definitely a mentality to go in with that no fear mentality and just play footy because last week I really wasn't happy with my performance," he told Rugby.com.au.

"I was sitting back and watching the game pass me so I definitely wanted to get my hands on the ball and just back my skills I've developed over a long time playing Rugby.

"...We pinpointed how they like to defend and it wasn't an obvious focus but it was just how they came up high in defence which forces you back in field. I wasn't willing to throw a stupid pass so it was just tuck and carry."

His pose was also critical in closing out the game as the 23-year-old's growth was clear to see.

He remained poised over overhitting a kick to Mark Nawaqanitawase for a certain try, executing minutes later for Triston Reilly to cross on his Waratahs debut.

This continued in defence, beating Sevu Reece in a foot race to stop a runaway try in the final quarter that would've potentially sparked the Crusaders' comeback.

"Tane is such a dedicated, devoted athlete that you're just willing him to do well because he puts so much effort into it and particularly his position is such a controlling and difficult position," coach Darren Coleman said after the game.

"For him to have a great night, it was awesome."

With Carter Gordon and Ben Donaldson's battle dominating Friday's Rebels-Force clash, Edmed's starring hand was a reminder of his class, knowing wins over powerhouses like the Crusaders will naturally drive discussions for higher honours.

"It's something that comes with winning and putting in good team performances because as a five-eighth if the team is doing well and winning then you're going well,"

"My focus is purely to perform well for my state and the Waratahs every week and then that will be a bonus but everyone wants to be wearing that gold ten jersey.

"I feel like that comes as a bonus when you're team is going well."

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