Cheika wields a heavy axe

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:15
Large wycliff palu

Veteran No.8 Wycliff Palu will return to the starting line-up as the Waratahs bid to end their erratic form in recent weeks.

Veteran No.8 Wycliff Palu will return to the starting line-up as the Waratahs bid to end their erratic form in recent weeks.

The Waratahs are at home to the New Zealand conference-leading Hurricanes in Sydney on Saturday.

After the disappointment of last weekend's loss to the Blues in Auckland, the Waratahs are determined to keep their 100 percent Allianz Stadium 2014 record alive and record their first win over the Canes since 2010.

"We are aiming for consistency every week and will be looking to fix up our handling errors and our commitment to detail in finishing off the chances we make," said assistant coach Nathan Grey.  

Palu is one of three new faces and five positional changes made to the starting XV by coach Michael Cheika for the clash against a Hurricanes team that sits two points and three places above the Tahs on the competition ladder.

He is joined in the run-on side by wing Matt Carraro, favoured over Cam Crawford, and Paddy Ryan, who takes over from Sekope Kepu.

It's three weeks since Palu has started a game. The veteran No.8 missed out on the Stormers, Force and Bulls games before making his return off the bench last week against the Blues at Eden Park.

Flank and vice-captain Michael Hooper says his inclusion can't be over-estimated.

"First of all, it's great motivation having Cliff back, it will be nice to have the big man back," said Hooper.

"His physicality and the opposition knowing he's in the team is a good to have."

Looking to end a two-game losing streak to the Canes, Palu's inclusion forces skipper Dave Dennis to blindside flank, with Hooper remaining at openside.

Jacques Potgieter will move to lock to partner Kane Douglas, with Will Skelton coming off the bench.

Up front, Sekope Kepu has made way for Paddy Ryan at tighthead, Benn Robinson is on the openside, with Tatafu Polota Nau playing hooker.

There's just one change to the backline with Matt Carraro, who spent five seasons in Europe before returning to the Waratahs in 2014, replaces Cam Crawford on the wing for his first starting role of the season.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Jacques Potgieter, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Tolu Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Sekope Kepu, Will Skelton, Pat McCutcheon, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Jono Lance, Cam Crawford, Alofa Alofa.

Date: Saturday, May 3
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.40 GMT; 21.40 NZ time)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia) , Michael Hogan (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4