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.

Waratahs keep Crusaders hanging as photo-op flops

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Credit to Michael Cheika and the Waratahs

A magnificent occasion for Australian rugby when the Waratahs take on the Crusaders in Sydney's first Super Rugby grand final.

PT0M0S 620 349

If the Crusaders had been clutching at straws for extra motivation before Saturday's Super Rugby final, the Waratahs handed them a big stick on Friday. 

As ticket sales surged past the magic 55,000 mark, breaking a five-year-old competition crowd record, NSW captain Michael Hooper was an hour late for a joint-captains photo opportunity at ANZ Stadium, leaving his counterpart Kieran Read to pose trophy-less for the assembled media and leave after 20 minutes. 

Hooper had led his team in a captain's run at Allianz Stadium on the other side of town at 10.30am. After a longer than usual session, the NSW No.7 showered and jumped in a car to head out to Olympic Park. 

Where's Michael? ... Kieran Read at ANZ Stadium on Friday.

Where's Michael? ... Kieran Read at ANZ Stadium on Friday. Photo: Brendan Esposito

But by the time he arrived – more than hour after the scheduled start time of 12.15pm according to witnesses – Read had been ushered away to the team's traditional pre-game lunch elsewhere. 

"It couldn’t be helped," a Waratahs spokesman said. "It was just unfortunate we were late and unfortunate the Crusaders couldn’t wait. It was just one of those things. We eventually got the shot [photograph]." 

Both sides played down the significance of the bungled photo opportunity, which is required under the regulations of tournament organiser SANZAR.

On his lonesome ... Michael Hooper with the Super Rugby trophy.

On his lonesome ... Michael Hooper with the Super Rugby trophy. Photo: Brendan Esposito

But there are few things as important as respect in rugby, both real and perceived. If Read was looking for the key ingredient to his pre-match wind-up, his younger counterpart may have inadvertently handed it to him. 

Meanwhile, Waratahs inside centre Kurtley Beale did not complete Friday's captain's run, leaving the pitch to treat a sore shoulder. He returned towards the end of the session but returned to the sideline after a short run. 

The Waratahs were confident there were no big issues with the problem joint, on which he had surgery at the end of last year, and coach Michael Cheika made no changes to the balance of his bench, sticking with a forward-heavy 6-2 split.

Returning winger Peter Betham has taken Taqele Naiyaravoro's bench spot alongside replacement halfback Brendan McKibbin. 

Cheika indicated his side had plenty of their own motivation, drawing on a perception the Waratahs forwards were the minor premiers' "soft underbelly". 

"I think they think we're a little bit soft," he said. 

"All we can do is go out there and try to prove that wrong at the end of the day ... [but] even if we do it doesn't necessarily mean winning, either.

"That's part of a battle that's going to go on over the 80 minutes, tactically, physically, mentally."

Hooper said the Waratahs knew their dream run up the ladder this year did not mean points would be handed to them on Saturday. 

"Obviously against a good Crusaders outfit, things aren't going to happen easily," he said.

"They're not going to give you ways to score tries, ways to put points on the board. You've got to be able to make opportunities, make them have errors, put your good players in good positions against maybe worse defenders ... That's something that we'll have to take into the game."

6 comments so far

  • Hooper will learn. As with time and a lot more experience in the captaincy role, he will see that these kind of things don't go down well with the next up opposition. Hooper, through what he has shown so far, has the ability to go all the way, and possibly make the Wallaby captaincy his own

    Date and time
    August 02, 2014, 10:28AM
    • @ Muzzo

      I'm more concerned that this 'photo date' (how sweet) saw both participants dressed so poorly, lookin' so poorly and timed it ever so poorly.
      I mean, really.... look at Read will you, he's wearing cream daks, hasn't shaved (my mum says don't trust a man with a beard) and looks like he's just been busted by HIS mum for drinking the last of the milk in the fridge.... 'did not !'
      On the other hand, there's Hooper.... if ever there was a definitive look for those poor, old, 'trailor-trash' types then.... he's absolutely nailed it.
      It's not PC, I know, but who gives a rats, eh ?

      Underdogs, trailor-trash, looks and come latelies.... lovin' it.

      C'arn da Tahs.... we don't wear thongs on dates !

      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      August 02, 2014, 12:42PM
  • Talk about storm in a coffee mug. While it's never good to be late for a photo shoot, both Captains are underandably incredibly busy this close to the final. I doubt very much if Kieran Read even considers it as extra motivation. Nice try by the reporter though.

    Blinky Bill
    Bellingen NSW
    Date and time
    August 02, 2014, 12:40PM
    • Can he wear shoes and a reasonable pair of pants in future? Not a great look all around and a bit arrogant if you ask me.

      Date and time
      August 02, 2014, 2:04PM
      • Georgina I think you are over psychoanalyzing this. The Crusaders don't need any motivation to win. It could have been a simple mistake on Hopper's part , the traffic in Sydney can be horrific as anyone living here can tell you. If I was a cynic however I could say it was a cynical effort from The Tahs to leave the opposition waiting and waiting in some obscure venture to get the upper hand, I am superior so you can wait type.On the hand it could have been a simple case of running late, very late.What I don't understand though is if Hooper left training at 10.15 and had a shower, even if a long long shower , why did it take him till 1.15 to arrive, that equates to 3 hours, it was not being held in Newcastle or Nowra.

        Date and time
        August 02, 2014, 3:28PM
        • Hey Chook.... Way back in my day, we were lucky to wear shoes, as all the money went out on your "toggs",including the boots if you were lucky. Looking forward to kick off. As you know I will be backing the team from Te Wai Pounamu. The Mainland of New Zealand. Go the Red & Blacks. P.S. I think the boat has arrived, that is carrying all the "razor blades", so Kieran should be right. lol. Cheers buddy.

          Date and time
          August 02, 2014, 6:13PM

          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

          Rugby World Cup 2015

          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
          View All Fixtures
          Round 2
          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
          View All Fixtures
          Rugby World Cup 2015
          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
          View all
          Rugby World Cup 2015
          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
          View all
          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
          View all
          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
          Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
          View all

          Follow Us on Facebook

          HuffPost Australia

          Featured advertisers