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Canes blow away Tahs

Date

Georgina Robinson

WARATAHS 12 HURRICANES 33

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.

MATCH STATS

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 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
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