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Bungles and brain snaps cost dearly, says Gaffney

Date

Greg Growden

Protected needed ... Berrick Barnes.

Protected needed ... Berrick Barnes. Photo: Getty Images

ALAN GAFFNEY'S many years coaching in Australia, Ireland and Britain have taught him that teams crucify themselves if they mess up their attacking opportunities.

That's why for the NSW backs coach, the loss to the Brumbies in Canberra last Saturday night was so excruciating.

Attacking bungles and silly options, particularly in the opening 25 minutes, ruined any hope of the Waratahs taking a substantial lead and then applying the pressure on the Brumbies. Instead, a defensive lapse before half-time gave the Brumbies momentum and the Waratahs eventually suffered a substantial 17-point loss.

Gaffney hopes the Waratahs learnt from that experience and become more judicious in their attacking philosophy - otherwise they have no hope of making the finals.

''We can't go through a game playing with gay abandon,'' Gaffney said yesterday. ''We do want to get the ball wide and be expansive. There are times to do that but also times not to do that. The other night, there were times where we just threw the ball away.

''There was some really good rugby in those first 20 minutes but we did throw the ball away four times in their 22 metres - ridiculously, at times. That was never what we intended to do. We were instead supposed to be patient and play.''

The former Ireland backs coach argued it was time for five-eighth Berrick Barnes to be given better protection from his teammates, prompting the promotion of Daniel Halangahu off the bench and Adam Ashley-Cooper to stand beside him at inside centre for most of the set moves. It won't surprise if Halangahu and Ashley-Cooper flit between No.12 and No.15, depending on whether the team is attacking or defending. But for most of the match against the Bulls, Ashley-Cooper will be Barnes's right-hand man.

Gaffney believed Barnes in Canberra ''played well but wasn't given a lot of support''.

''He definitely got us beyond the advantage line on a lot of occasions but, unfortunately, we didn't take advantage of that,'' Gaffney said.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
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TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
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ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
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IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
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WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
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SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
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ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
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SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
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ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
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ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
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SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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