Waratahs bolstered for SA trip

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:28
Large pat mccutcheon

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika stuck to his winning formula in naming his 27-man squad for the team's two-match tour of South Africa.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika stuck to his winning formula in naming his 27-man squad for the team's two-match tour of South Africa.

Cheik not only retained all the players from Friday's emphatyic 32-8 drubbing of the Rebels - which saw the Weary Dunlop Shield return to Sydney - but he added Pat McCutcheon, Jonno Lance, Tala Gray and Cam Crawford to the tour party that wil take on the Sharks and Stormers.

Utility back Lance and loose forward Pat McCutcheon have both been close to making an appearance in 2014.

They've been named in the 25-man squad for the last two weeks, only to be omitted from the squad in the lead up to kick-off.

Gray was set to make a play in the season opener before a rib injury curtailed his chances, while outside back Cam Crawford has now fully recovered from shoulder surgery.

Crawford, a 100kg wing who crossed for eight tries in seven games to notch the highest tries to games ratio in the 2013 Super Rugby season, is eager to pick up where he left off last season.

Big and powerful, back row forward Gray was signed by Cheika from French Top 14 side Biarritz to provide depth in the back row and will get his chance in the republic.

Preparing for the battle of the breakdown against their South African rivals, the coach has included seven back row forwards in the 15-strong forward contingent - with skipper Dave Dennis and Jacques Potgieter also set to cover the lock position.

In the backs, Lance will provide cover for Bernard Foley at flyhalf and Israel Folau at fullback, while Crawford will cover for the outside backs.

Cheika praised his side for overcoming a determined Rebels team with some bruising physicality, which opened the door for the pulsating attacking display in the second stanza.

"This idea that we'll come out, dart around and score some tries - that's fantasyland. In footy you've got wear your opposition down as well, and take your opportunities when they come," Cheika said.

"Our physicality was good and that told me that the players were on, they want to get stuck in. Even though it's not perfect, we're into the game physically and we're knocking on the door."

Captain Dave Dennis echoed the sentiments of his coach, attributing the bonus point win to a dominant performance up front.

"I thought at half time if we kept at it we'd open them up. We thought we were on the edge of scoring some points. There was a feeling there at the break that the physicality we showed in the first half was wearing them down," Dennis said.

The Tahs fly to South Africa on Saturday, where they'll take on the Sharks in Durban next Saturday (March 29), before travelling to Cape Town's Newlands to face the Stormers (Saturday, April 5).

They then return to Australia via Perth, where they meet the Western Force on Saturday, April 12, before finally returning home to host the Bulls in a big round 10 Easter Saturday clash in Sydney.

Waratahs squad: Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota Nau, Paddy Ryan, Will Skelton, Kane Douglas, Jacques Potgieter, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (captain), Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Peter Betham, Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Alofa Alofa, Israel Folau, Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Benn Robinson, Wycliff Palu, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Rob Horne, Matt Carraro, Pat McCutcheon, Tala Gray, Jonno Lance, Cam Crawford.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19