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Another painful display has fans looking elsewhere

Date

The Waratahs' sixth straight loss raises some serious questions, writes Greg Growden.

Second-rate rabble ... the Waratahs.

Second-rate rabble ... the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

It doesn't get any more depressing than this. Amid threats of coaching changes, player walkouts if the hierarchy make alterations and a head office that struggles to come up with answers, the Waratahs organisation last night confirmed it is a second-rate rabble.

For a province with the most player numbers and resources, a record sixth straight loss is the most damning of statistics, and emphasises the Waratahs, on and off the field, have completely lost their way. Major personnel changes are required all over the organisation because, judging from their substandard play and an abysmal 13,373 crowd figure last night, they have lost the heartland. The Waratahs brand is on the line.

After about 10 minutes, the brave few who went to the ground must have wondered why they bothered. Before the ball became a soaking mess, the Waratahs had several reasonable chances to do something positive, being well-positioned in midfield where they could have deliberately attacked the gain line with purpose. But instead, you guessed it, they belted it down the other end of the field, or tried a chip kick.

Four times in the opening minutes they tried it, and four times it went nowhere. Soon most of the crowd realised it would be far wiser if they just headed home, because there was not much heat or nourishment being generated out in the middle.

The Waratahs also cannot say luck went against them. In the first half, the Hurricanes had at least three or four chances after breaking the Waratahs defence, only for the final pass to slip through the grasp of one of the visitors. The Waratahs were saved time and again, so it was no surprise the first try went to the Hurricanes when their wily winger Julian Savea snuck in the corner after several wide attacking manoeuvres, where some of the best passes were produced by their forwards.

And what hope has any team got when it endlessly loses the ball in the opposition quarter. Sure the ball was saturated, but it was still embarrassing how often a Waratah would lose it, often when an opponent was nowhere near him. All around there were exasperated looks and moments of disbelief. Still, nothing new for this flawed organisation.

For some time it has been desperate at Waratahland – both on and off the field. The NSW marketing gurus are trying to lure the punters in by enticing them in with a two-ticket deal, which included last night and then allowing them to watch a rugby league match next weekend involving the Roosters and the Broncos. Rugby league? Is this a joke?

This campaign may be a public service to stop more people being affected by the Waratahs disease, because enticing them to a league game is not a bad way to lure punters away from your code – especially if they discover it is far more exciting.

Countless Waratahs players, officials and fans from past eras – who recall the intense battles to keep the marauding mungos at bay after luring rah-rah's best talent for years on end – would be fainting in the streets just at the thought. They certainly weren't at the ground last night.

And who could blame them for staying away. This wasn't the night to expect much entertainment. Instead it turned into a tedious slapstick comedy routine. Endless thrills and spills.

It wasn't all gloom though. Thankfully, the Waratahs won't be sighted for a month because of the June Tests followed by a bye.

Considering the agony and frustration NSW fans have had to endure all year, you won't see too many Sydneysiders in tears over the next few weeks, or publicly complaining of Waratahs withdrawal pangs. More a feeling of overwhelming relief.

85 comments so far

  • "an abysmal 13,373 crowd" hardly, I would have thought more like a 3000 should have turned up. If Sydney FC had lost 6 in a row thats how many would rolled up. Looks like rugby fans are a glutton for punishment or there a lots of free tickets.

    Commenter
    Ted Bullpit
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    June 03, 2012, 7:37AM
    • As a reds fan who was there through the dark days, just know that when things do turn, it makes it very, very sweet. Hang in there. No-one likes to lose ... players, coaches, officials, fans.

      Commenter
      Reds Fan
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      June 03, 2012, 5:35PM
  • On behalf of second rate rabble i take offence at being associated with the Waratahs effort last night. That wasn't even close to second rate or third rate for that matter. There was no effort by the players except for a few and it must be stated yet again thet Berrick Barnes is possibly the worst player in the team...as for the threat of a player walkout? - would you like some help packing your bags???

    Commenter
    Les
    Date and time
    June 03, 2012, 7:40AM
    • I could not agree more Les. The vainglorious BB is your complete show pony with more excuses than Craig Thompson for his erratic form.
      Think about it: The Waratahs buy BB and in their mindless profligacy shed Ben Mowen who now leads the Brumbies to the top of the Australian Conference.
      Gazza

      Commenter
      Gazza
      Date and time
      June 03, 2012, 8:44AM
    • That's how the Brumbies were last year, no ticker, no will to win just turn up, get rolled over and collect an inflated pay check or in Rocky Elsom's case, don't even turn up in fact ask for it to be mailed to him in Sydney cause he didn't even bother supporting his team mates. Jake W has taken a team of young guys, keen to play at the top level, hungry to win and eager to carve out a reputation. The difference between them and the Tahs is that these guys try!

      Commenter
      Filbee
      Date and time
      June 03, 2012, 9:34AM
    • Well I have to say I'm glad I didn't trudge out to the SFS to watch that dribble. The only upside I can take from this is I chose the Canes in the office tipping comp! Thanks Tah-Tahs!

      Commenter
      Daggett
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 03, 2012, 10:44AM
    • you are the least devoted supporter ive ever met SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

      Commenter
      Wallabies 7
      Date and time
      June 03, 2012, 10:51AM
  • You have to try and stay awake through a whole game of yawnion and only get 1 ticket to a real game!!!!!!!!
    Should be at least 2.

    Commenter
    Benny69
    Location
    CUBland
    Date and time
    June 03, 2012, 7:47AM
    • To all you people running down the Waratahs, don't come back, we don't want you. As Red's fan said, no one likes to lose.The 'Tahs were outclassed the other night but don't come out with this not trying rubbish. They were beaten by a very good team. IF the Waratahs get back to their winning ways in the future, Les,Daggett, Gazza and others of the same pathetic ilk, stay away, you're not the type of person we need.Thanks for your comments Red's Fan

      Commenter
      Old Hickory
      Location
      Maroubra
      Date and time
      June 04, 2012, 6:25PM
    • First prize was a ticket to a league game.... second prize was two tickets....

      Commenter
      bear54
      Location
      The Outback
      Date and time
      June 05, 2012, 7:40AM

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