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Waratahs paying hefty penalty as veteran second-rower becomes main offender


Georgina Robinson

Following orders ... the Waratahs Dean Mumm.

Following orders ... the Waratahs Dean Mumm. Photo: Steve Christo

HALF a season is a long time in rugby, just ask Dean Mumm.

The most-capped second-rower in Waratahs' history started the year outside his squad's leadership group, became its pin-up boy with a passionate performance against the Sharks, signed with English club Exeter and then endured calls for his benching. All before Anzac Day.

And now the 28-year-old is topping all the wrong statistical indicators, proving Super Rugby's most prolific conceder of penalties and the Waratahs are turning the ball over to the opposition more than any team in the competition when he's involved.

The irony is that Mumm is following his coaches' instructions. They've asked for more aggression from him this season, but the penalty count, 24 going into round 11, suggests he's over-delivering.

''One of the things that [coach Michael Foley] has been keen for him to do is bring more impact to his game,'' Waratahs defensive coach Greg Mumm, Dean's brother, said.

''And I think probably both of these areas are areas where he's probably just trying a little too hard and as a result he is giving a few penalties away and [has] turned a few balls over that he may not have done in previous seasons, but he's just trying to bring a bit of impact to his game.''

And while he may be far and away the side's worst offender as far as hard numbers go, the Waratahs coaches have been zeroing in on why the third quarter of many games has seen the entire XV falter.

''Our penalties are obviously something we started to assess more and more recently off the back of probably finding that that key moment where we've lost control of games has coincided with us giving an increased number of penalties away,'' Greg said.

''One of the big things we try and do … is put as much pressure on the opposition as we can at [the] set-piece and looking at Dean's numbers, whilst they're not stats that you'd want to be topping, a lot of those are coming through set-piece stuff.''

The scrutiny seems to be paying off. The Waratahs conceded just four penalties against the Crusaders last week, down from 11 against the Rebels and 14 against the Force.

''We try to coach these guys right to the limit of the law and giving one or two away there, whereas Dean's probably pushing a little bit too hard,'' Greg said.

''We're starting to focus on bringing that mindset that we can keep things under pressure without maybe taking that one step too far and giving away those penalties that guys like Dean have been giving.''

Meanwhile, Melbourne Rebels back row Jarrod Saffy has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a bulging disc in his neck.

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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
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
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NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs FRA 0 06:00MilS
IRE 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
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AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Rugby World Cup 2015
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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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