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Bungles and brain snaps cost dearly, says Gaffney


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.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
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