JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Time for Tahs to shake off Crusaders curse

Happier days … Scenes from the Waratahs last victory over the Crusaders in 2004. Mat Rogers, above, scored 28 ...

Happier days … Scenes from the Waratahs last victory over the Crusaders in 2004. Mat Rogers, above, scored 28 points in the match. Photo: Getty Images

THERE'S no point asking most of the Waratahs what is the key to beating the Crusaders, because they haven't got a clue. And there is good reason why Richie McCaw is back for Sunday afternoon's match, even though it is via the bench, because the All Blacks skipper is a master at inflicting pain on them.

Only three members of the 22-man Waratahs squad playing the Crusaders at Allianz Stadium can boast victory over the most successful Super Rugby province - and two of those did it with a different side. And for many Waratahs players, their experience against the Crusaders has been hideous.

The Waratahs' last victory against the Crusaders was eight years ago when, in Ewen McKenzie's first match as NSW coach, they won in Christchurch 43-19, with fullback Mat Rogers a standout with a 28-point haul. Since then, the Waratahs have experienced nine straight losses, which includes two finals appearances in Christchurch, and three Sydney matches. The only Sydney wins were in 1997, 2001 and 2003.

On his way ... Lote Tuqiri storms through a tackle.

On his way ... Lote Tuqiri storms through a tackle. Photo: Getty Images

For the senior playing group, trying to come up with excuses after a Canterbury encounter has become repetitious. According to Sunday's program, Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has played the Crusaders seven times for seven losses.

No.8 Wycliff Palu is no wins from six, which probably prompted him to raise his eyebrows this week when told that McCaw was scheduled to return after a long break due to a foot injury. After shaking his head, Palu said: ''We always seem to get the Crusaders when everyone is back on deck.''

Waratahs prop Benn Robinson is in the same category as Palu with nothing to show from six Crusaders games, while centre Tom Carter and second-rower Dean Mumm have suffered five straight defeats. Then there is Daniel Halangahu, likely to play off the bench, who is nought from four.

Former glory ... Chris Whittaker on the run.

Former glory ... Chris Whittaker on the run. Photo: Getty Images

Not even Berrick Barnes, who moved from Queensland to the Waratahs in 2010, has had any joy - as the Reds could not beat the Crusaders between 2000 and 2009.

At least Rocky Elsom, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Sarel Pretorius can stand tall. Elsom was in the last Waratahs winning line-up, Ashley-Cooper enjoyed three victories with the Brumbies, and Pretorius was a member of the Cheetahs team that defeated the Crusaders in Bloemfontein last year.

For the record, the last Waratahs line-up to beat the Crusaders was: Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, Ben Jacobs, Nathan Grey, Milton Thaiday, Tim Donnelly, Chris Whitaker, David Lyons, Phil Waugh, Elsom, Dan Vickerman, Justin Harrison, Al Baxter, Brendan Cannon and Matt Dunning.

Maybe the Waratahs can take some faith from what Whitaker said straight after their 2004 triumph.

''It was good to bury some demons out there,'' he said on the field. After all, at the same Christchurch venue two years earlier, they suffered their biggest Super Rugby loss - 96-19.

Sunday is another chance to bury Waratahs demons.

6 comments so far

  • I wouldn't back the Waratahs to bury demons against the NSW Blind Under 9's team.

    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 1:50PM
    • @Franky. No demons to bury. They've won 3 from 5 against those guys.

      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 4:34PM
      • @Franky & @Mike - Waratahs only won because the Stadium staff wouldn't let the Under 9's guide dogs into the stadium.

        Ideas Man
        Date and time
        April 27, 2012, 4:44PM
        • Franky & Mike
          You are both a bit harsh. They would have beaten the Under 9's on those other 2 occasions if the defensive coach hadn't forgotten to bring the oranges for half time.

          Date and time
          April 27, 2012, 11:54PM
          • We would have won all those games if Mum hadn't taken me to the wrong ground

            Baki Liner
            Date and time
            April 28, 2012, 7:59AM
            • We would have won all the games if the Waratahs didnt bring Mumm to the games

              Date and time
              April 29, 2012, 10:31AM

              Make a comment

              You are logged in as [Logout]

              All information entered below may be published.

              Error: Please enter your screen name.

              Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

              Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

              Error: Please enter your comment.

              Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

              Post to

              You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

              Thank you

              Your comment has been submitted for approval.

              Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

              Related Coverage

              Standings: Super Rugby ladder

              Latest standings in Super Rugby.

              Adam Ashley-Cooper. Fixtures: Week 11 match reports and week 12 matches

              Teams, officials, stats, TV times, odds expert tips

              Brumbies eager to atone for Rea spray

              Their loss to the Johannesburg Lions last year triggered the biggest spray in ACT Brumbies history but now Jake White's side will get a chance to show how far it has come in the past 12 months.

              Reds gunning for depleted Blues

              Queensland aims to pile on the pain for the Blues' injury-depleted forward pack with tackle jackals Liam Gill and Beau Robinson to wreak havoc at Eden Park tonight.

              Barnes shakes off week of misery to face daunting Crusaders

              THE Waratahs have again delayed naming their run-on side to take on the Crusaders today, but Berrick Barnes will play after overcoming a week disrupted by illness.

              Related Coverage

              HuffPost Australia

              Rugby World Cup 2015

              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
              Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
              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
              Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
              SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
              ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
              AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
              SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
              Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
              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
              Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
              SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
              AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
              ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
              ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
              Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
              ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
              FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
              USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
              View All Fixtures
              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
              Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
              SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
              Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
              ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
              Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
              SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
              Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
              NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
              View All Fixtures
              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
              View all
              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
              View all
              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
              View all
              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
              View all

              Follow Us on Facebook

              Featured advertisers