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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
Following the Tah’s defeat to a strong Hurricanes outfit in Wellington, we spoke to Assistant Coach Cam Blades to get his take on the match in this round’s version of The Daikin Cooldown.
1. The team started off slow on Friday night, what changed in the second forty minutes to nearly spur on a comeback?
Obviously being 21-0 down after 11 minutes is not the ideal start, but I think in the second half our game management was a lot better. We were a lot more direct at the Canes, and we got our kicking game right and really put ourselves in contention in the later stages of the game to nearly snatch ourselves a come-from-behind victory.
2. It seems like attempting comebacks has become a regular occurrence for the Tahs, do you think this aspect of our game is letting us down?
It’s been a concern for the last couple of weeks in that we’ve let a couple of sides get a bit of a lead on us and it’s an area of our game that we are going to have a deep look at this week during the bye.
3. Andrew Kellaway scored a good try off the back of a solid scrum, how are you rating our set piece at the moment?
In general, our set piece has been good over the past couple of weeks. I was pretty disappointed with some of the scrums in key moments during Friday night’s match. Losing those scrums was not beneficial to the outcome and as a team we don’t want to struggle for consistency.
Last week we were up against a very good forward pack in the Crusaders, and I thought we matched them nicely. Against the Canes in the lineouts I thought we were good on both sides of the ball and in scrums we had a few poor ones in key moments.
4. What did we take away from the Round 7 clash against the Hurricanes?
I think what we take away from it is when we play well and get our game management right, we are a dangerous team. Keeping in mind the Canes are one of the benchmarks of the competition and also last year’s premiers, it shows how we get hurt by sides with such strike power so we’ve got to work hard on getting our strategy and execution right around our plays and skill areas – we are a good team when we are on.
5. What is the tactic heading into the bye week in terms of training?
It’s a bit of a mixed week this week – the Wallabies have a couple of days in camp and the rest of the squad are taking the first few days of the week off to regenerate and recuperate. Depending on individual workloads in terms of Super Rugby game time, some will return to Shute Shield this weekend and some of the guys with higher minutes will just have a rest. We will train solidly at the back end of this week and return to a regular training week in the lead up to the Kings game.
6. After the bye we return home to play the Kings, what can we expect from the Port Elizabeth outfit?
Based on what we saw with the Western Force on Sunday afternoon, we are looking forward to a pretty exciting, up-tempo game. They’ve got the capacity to score points and are very solid around set piece and the physical aspects of the game, but I think there’s also opportunities for us to really build on our game and put in a solid performance against the Kings.
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Northern Suburbs will be out to defend their 2016 premiership title while the Warringah Rats will be determined to secure their first victory since 2005 in Saturday’s Shute Shield Grand Final to be played at North Sydney Oval.