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Canes blow away Tahs


Georgina Robinson


Drew Mitchell of the Waratahs makes a break.

Drew Mitchell of the Waratahs makes a break. Photo: Getty Images

MICHAEL FOLEY will face fresh scrutiny following the Waratahs’ sixth straight loss in front of a dwindling home crowd in Sydney last night. The Waratahs failed once more to learn the crucial lessons from their nine previous losses this season and allowed the Hurricanes to walk all over them, four tries to none, in a joyless 21-point loss filled with opportunities but precious few points.


It was their 10th loss in 14 rounds and gave the past week’s admissions of failure and plaintive appeals for home-town support – sincere as they were – a hollow quality.

Sarel Pretorius of the Waratahs struggled in the slippery conditions.

Sarel Pretorius of the Waratahs struggled in the slippery conditions. Photo: Getty Images

No one thought it would be this bad. As challenged as the squad was early on in the season, with the loss through injury of so much experience and Test-hardened talent, there have been 10 games now since the Waratahs’ self-described breakthrough win over the Sharks at Allianz Stadium at the end of March.

That’s 10 opportunities to consolidate and improve on elements of a winning formula, 10 opportunities for combinations to click and 10 opportunities to get on the right side of those one-, three- and seven-point margins that have plagued them.

Foley said it was clear the squad needed ‘‘to change a few things’’ before the final two games of the season in a month. But he appealed for his own players as well as outside observers to take a medium-term view on his side’s success or otherwise.

Berrick Barnes of the Waratahs passes as he is tackled.

Berrick Barnes of the Waratahs passes as he is tackled. Photo: Getty Images

 ‘‘I think it’s important for the players to keep focused and to keep fighting,’’ Foley said.

‘‘It’s a very, very disappointing season for everyone but out of that you can learn things and I think a team exists and has a life outside of one season and that’s a very, very important thing [to recognise] for us to be able to shed the baggage and to grow from here on in.’’

The Waratahs need to work out exactly what is going wrong. Foley said he believed the pressure of mounting losses and public scrutiny might have affected the squad but both he and captain Benn Robinson said it was hard to pinpoint the cause of last night’s failure.

 ‘‘It’s hard to discern at times whether we’re making the errors on the back of the pressure coming into the games, the pressure that’s built in the game or is it just a skill issue,’’ Foley said. ‘‘I think in many instances it’s not just a skill issue but it’s probably a mentality issue and I think we can work on those things, as we can with skill. It’s just harder to identify those things because they don’t necessarily present as obviously.’’

This was an embarrassing, wet, error-ridden display in which the Waratahs maul – so often a point of pride this season – was continually driven metres back.

The points went the Waratahs’ way early on, with three successful penalty goals to five-eighth Berrick Barnes keeping the home side within four points of the Hurricanes at the break. A try to Hurricanes winger Julian Savea with seven minutes to go was the only first-half five-pointer.

While the Hurricanes piled on three second-half tries, the Waratahs settled for a single penalty goal. The ball was slippery in both sides’ hands but only the Hurricanes overcame that challenge. It became a familiar, agonising pattern for the Tahs. Gain metres, lose possession. On contact or, so often, off slippery hands.

The Waratahs’ pride, talked up all week, was muddied, bruised and flattened into the ground with tries to replacement hooker Motu Matu’u, captain Conrad Smith and Chris Eaton, his bonus-point fourth try right on the bell pouring salt into a gaping wound.

HURRICANES 33 (Chris Eaton, Motu Matu'u, Julian Savea, Conrad Smith tries Beauden Barrett 2 cons 3 pens) bt NSW WARATAHS 12 (Berrick Barnes 4 pens) at Allianz Stadium. Referee: Bryce Lawrence. Crowd: 13,372.


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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
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IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
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SAM 33vs SCO 36 Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Stats
ENG 53vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
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WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
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South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
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USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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