Waratahs eye redemption
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:43
Waratahs captain Dave Dennis expects a tough encounter against the Cheetahs in Sydney on Friday.
The Bloemfontein side recorded a rare victory on New Zealand last week, upsetting the Highlanders 36-19 in Invercargill, while the Waratahs slumped to a 6-35 loss to the Brumbies.
Dennis said the team took a hard look at themselves and feel Friday’s encounter presents an opportunity to right the wrongs of last weekend.
“With the Cheetahs game on Friday night, it’s a short turnaround and it was important that Sunday and Monday were used as recovery days. We spent a large amount of Monday afternoon looking at our performance.
“We all took a few hard truths from the review of the game and the boys were eager to get back on the field and prepare for what will be another tough challenge as we host the Bloemfontein side in two days’ time,” he said.
“The Cheetahs have shown that they are not afraid to throw the ball around and play some wide attacking rugby, and they’re coming off a solid win in New Zealand last week.
“This game will provide the perfect opportunity for our team to bounce back from last week’s performance and prove to our home fans our commitment to playing the style of rugby that we are capable of.”
Dennis added that the return of players like Berrick Barnes will galvanise the Waratahs, who have won just one of their first three matches.
"There have been some changes in the team for this week which will allow Peter Betham and Berrick Barnes to pull on the jersey for the first time this season and Paddy Ryan, John Ulugia, Pat McCutcheon and Lachie Turner to make their first starts,” he said.
With the Waratahs back at home this weekend after the trip to Canberra, Dennis said it’s important to re-establish Allianz Stadium as a fortress.
“Friday night’s match is the first of a three-game home stretch for us and will give our fans a chance to see us play against Super teams from each of the three conferences, with the Cheetahs, Blues and Western Force all making the journey to Allianz Stadium this month,” said Dennis.
“The last two are both Sunday afternoon matches, a proven favourite with our fans. This week’s match will also double as Ladies Day and allow all women who enjoy a night out at the rugby to come along and mingle with friends and help raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Australia.
“I look forward to leading the boys out on Friday and working hard towards recording our second win of the year.”
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