Cheika backs Bulls-beaters

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:18
Large tahs unchanged

Waratahs head coach Michael Chieka has named an unchanged side to face the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

Waratahs head coach Michael Chieka has named an unchanged side to face the Blues in Auckland on Friday.
Cheika has kept the faith with the same starting line-up that did the job in their 19-12 win over the Bulls in Sydney last week.
After notching up an important away against the Stormers in South Africa three weeks ago, Cheika's charges are now looking to add a second away victory to their record. 
Although the Waratahs won the last competitive encounter against the Blues (as well as February’s pre-season trial), it has been five years since their last away win, a narrow 27-22 Phil Waugh-led victory at Eden Park back in March 2009.  
The only other two contests to be played in Auckland since then both came in 2011, when the Blues recorded back to back wins, with the latter (a 26-13 Super Rugby qualifying final result) ending the Waratahs’ finals hopes.  
This Friday’s crucial ANZAC Day encounter will see the Waratahs field an all-Wallaby front row, with Benn Robinson at loosehead prop, Sekope Kepu at tighthead prop and Tatafu Polota Nau at hooker.
Playing his best rugby of the season, Will Skelton retains his position at lock alongside the resilient Kane Douglas, who’ll earn his 66th Waratahs cap.
Crowd favourite Jacques Potgieter will start at blindside flank.  On the openside is last week’s Man of the Match, Michael Hooper, and captain Dave Dennis is at the back of the pack at eighthman.
Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley continue their run of starting every game this season in the scrumhalf and flyhalf positions, with the latter needing just 17 points to become the Waratahs’ eighth most prolific Super Rugby points-scorer. 
Recovering from an injured ankle, Kurtley Beale will start at inside centre with Adam Ashley Cooper, who is chasing seven points to rack up for 100 Super Rugby points, at number 13.
The back three will see wingers Rob Horne and Cam Crawford combined with fullback Israel Folau, who needs just one more try to equal the Waratahs’ record for most individual Super Rugby tries in a season. 
There is a change on the replacements bench however, as Cheika has named a nine-man bench to travel to Auckland, with one player still to be omitted to form the matchday 23.
Veteran Wycliff Palu returns to the matchday 23 via the bench after missing the last two games.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Pat McCutcheon, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Matt Carraro, 24 Stephen Hoiles.
Date: Friday, April 24
Venue: Eden Park Auckland
Kick-off: 17.35 (05.35 GMT; 15.35 AEST)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
There are currently no matches being played
Sat, 24 March 2018
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Scarlets v La Rochelle 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 31 March 2018
Blues v Sharks 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Waratahs 08h45 Canberra
Sat, 24 March 2018
Hurricanes v Highlanders 29 | 12
Sunwolves v Chiefs 10 | 61
Fri, 23 March 2018
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 18 | 20
Dragons v Cheetahs 17 | 29
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 68 | 7
Connacht v Edinburgh 22 | 29
Rebels v Sharks 46 | 14
Crusaders v Bulls 34 | 14
Mon, 19 March 2018
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 23 | 30
Wits v NWU-Pukke 31 | 35
Shimlas v NMMU-Madibaz 28 | 22
UP-Tuks v UJ 30 | 30
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 5 4 0 1 20
Reds 4 3 0 1 12
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 3 0 2 15
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 14
Chiefs 4 3 0 1 13
Highlanders 4 3 0 1 13
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 5 1 1 3 9
Bulls 5 1 0 4 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4