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Rocky's hard place: Dennis to get start for Tahs ahead of Elsom

Date

Georgina Robinson

Getting down to it … Waratahs breakaway Rocky Elsom looks over the team's scrum at training yesterday. The NSW side will travel to Canberra to face the Brumbies, who lead the Australian conference.

Getting down to it … Waratahs breakaway Rocky Elsom looks over the team's scrum at training yesterday. The NSW side will travel to Canberra to face the Brumbies, who lead the Australian conference. Photo: Steve Christo

THE Waratahs will back the recent form of breakaway Dave Dennis and start him in favour of Rocky Elsom in this weekend's do-or-die clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

Dennis has been a stand-out in the blindside breakaway position for the Waratahs in the absence of Elsom and looks set to retain the starting No.6 jersey for another week despite his captain's progression in recent weeks.

He is also the Waratahs' back-up line-out caller and will be needed when replacement second-rower Sitaleki Timani is named today to start at lock in place of Dean Mumm, who usually calls the set piece combinations.

Stand-out ... Dave Dennis has been in solid in the blindside breakaway position for the Waratahs.

Stand-out ... Dave Dennis has been in solid in the blindside breakaway position for the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

Mumm has played every game this season and will be the first forward rested in a mid-season rotation flagged by coach Michael Foley at the weekend.

Timani, a former Brumby who did not play a game for the province in 2010, worked his way to a starting spot at the Waratahs last season and scored the match-winning try for his new club in round six last year.

Defensive coach Greg Mumm said yesterday having both Timani and Elsom available gave the Waratahs flexibility in the second and back rows.

''Obviously Dave Dennis can [also] be looked at in [the lock] position at different points in the game,'' Mumm said. ''One of the things in our mind is Sita's impact on last year against the Brumbies and obviously the history he's got there, so we're just looking at those combinations and seeing how they work out and giving us the best chance of putting combinations together [that can] get the result this weekend.''

Elsom's history with the Brumbies is less an influence on his selection than his match-conditioning and Dennis's role as line-out caller.

''I think Rocky's feeling better and better and he's having more impact at training as well, considering he's been out for a while it's a combination of his fitness and his timing,'' Mumm said.

''So I think Rocky's probably at a stage where he's capable of playing more minutes in a game, we're just conscious of the talent we've got there as well, and making sure that we put Rocky back at the best time when it's going to have the best impact on the team.''

Elsom, who stayed back to train a few minutes longer with Dean Mumm and the other forwards yesterday, said he was happy with the selection ''mix'' Foley had settled on during the past few games.

''I think it's fine the way we're going, obviously we didn't get the win on the weekend but there was a lot of good things in the game and the team is [doing] the job pretty well,'' he said.

Both Mumm and Elsom said the Waratahs were preparing for this season's Brumbies, who are leading the Australian conference and are vastly different to the squads of the past few years.

''I think that [their] rugby program wasn't what it should have been the last couple of years at the Brumbies and they seem to have corrected that,'' Elsom said.

''I think they play field position pretty well and if there's one thing they do do, that is that they play to their strengths and I think you've always got to be cautious of a team that's performing well and all on exactly the same page.''

Mumm praised the mobility of Brumbies' locks Scott Fardy, Leon Power and Sam Carter, who have all been paired up in the second row at some stage this season.

''Sam Carter is a big guy, [he] can move around the field very well for his size and then when you look at guys like [lock and breakaway] Peter Kimlin, Fardy as well as Power … what it does is give them an ability to play a really quick, fast game around the corner,'' he said.

''Particularly in the last two games you've seen them score some tries by moving the ball quickly the same way and the forward pack they've got allows them to do that.''

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Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
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SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
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CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25 vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23 vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20 vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10 vs CRU 52 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16 vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20 vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15 vs CHT 24 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9 vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
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HIG 30 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
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SHA 10 vs BUL 17 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
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BRU 31 vs HIG 18 Report Stats
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CRU 29 vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs REB 16 Report Stats
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LIO 34 vs CHT 29 Report Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48 vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10 vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29 vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16 vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25 vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35 vs LIO 33 Report Stats
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58 vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42 vs BLU 22 Report Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 32 vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18 vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28 vs HIG 23 Report Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 23 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46 vs REB 29 Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
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STO 31 vs REB 15 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HUR 17:35Trafalgar Park
BRU vs BUL 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA vs REB 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
HIG vs CHF 17:35Rugby Park
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STO vs CHT 01:05DHL Newlands
LIO vs WAR 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 17:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 15:30AAMI
BLU vs CRU 17:35EP
RED vs CHF 19:40SS
CHT vs WAR 23:00FSS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO vs LIO 01:05DHL Newlands
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 17:35EP
REB vs FOR 19:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU vs CRU 15:30GIO Stadium
CHF vs HUR 17:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR vs RED 19:40AS
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BUL vs CHT 01:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs STO 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
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Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
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Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
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Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 09:00
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Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
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Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 13 12 1 0 143 57
Waratahs 13 9 4 0 50 41
Stormers 13 9 4 0 42 38
Chiefs 13 9 4 0 87 44
Brumbies 13 7 6 0 102 38
Lions 14 8 6 0 -27 36
Highlanders 13 9 4 0 89 43
Bulls 13 7 6 0 29 35
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