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By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit
Welcome to the second Daikin Cool Down where we caught up with Assistant Coach Chris Malone.
The team are still in South Africa where they are preparing to take on the Sharks in Durban this weekend. Round two last weekend saw the Tahs go down to hosts the Lions in Johannesburg. Chris shares his thoughts on the games and what we can expect from round three this weekend.
It was a disappointing loss for the Tahs against the Lions - what has the team taken away from that game?
The team is obviously disappointed in the fact we didn’t come away with more from that game. The big take away for us is you can’t afford to have so much trouble not being able to get out of your own end and allowing teams that want to rumble through the forwards, you can’t give them that much field positions and line outs in your own half. We have to be better at ensuring we play the game in the right parts of the field.
Does the altitude in Johannesburg contribute to how the team prepares for games against the Lions?
The reality about altitude is that it takes some time to adjust, it feels like it’s hard to get your breath some times. But teams have to do it all the time. Johannesburg has a great stadium and there is plenty that was good about what we did. It doesn’t become a factor, it’s still rugby and we need to do what we’re going to say we’re going to do and that’s what we want to rectify this weekend.
There were last minute injuries from key players Phipps and Skelton, as well as Foley being out, how much did that impact the Tahs in round two?
Those three guys are international footballers, so obviously not having them in your team takes away from the strength of our side.
However, it also gives those guys behind them that have been training the opportunity to step into the team. We’ve got the squad to ensure we have success over the course of the season and we’re going to back those guys every day of the week.
The team now heads to Durban - what are you expecting from the Sharks?
We know the Sharks will offer up what they are traditionally known for. They are playing at home for the first time this year and we know they are going to be physical and we will want to put in a good performance.
The concentration for us is really on the Waratahs and how we want to play and make sure we rectify the problems we had last week. We are looking forward to getting the chance to play here in another great stadium and make sure we put in a performance everyone is proud of.
Can we expect to see any changes for the Tahs, tactics and team line up, heading into round three?
Different teams provide different opportunities. One thing for certain it will be a different game to what we saw last week.
We would hope that everyone here is fit and available for selection. So hopefully we have Nick Phipps and Will Skelton back in contention which can only be good for our team.
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The New South Wales Rugby Union is mourning the loss of former Waratah and Wallaby backrower Denis O’Callaghan, who passed away earlier this week.