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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
Following the final home game of the season against Argentinian side the Jaguares, we caught up with Assistant Coach Chris Malone for this week’s edition of the Daikin Cooldown.
How did the Jaguares get the better of us on Saturday?
We missed the jump in the sense that we put ourselves under pressure straight away and conceded points early. Again, we left ourselves a mountain to climb – not insurmountable, but when things aren’t going your way and you get stuck in a hole it takes a fair bit of resolve to dig yourself out. Nonetheless, dig ourselves out we must and we are determined to do that.
Bernard Foley was a standout performer and ultimately became the first Aussie to notch up 100 Super Rugby points in four consecutive seasons. What did you make of him in round 16?
The reality was we wanted to play through the Jaguares and both of Bernard’s tries came by playing flat to the line and asking questions of the defense. He’s a great player and he’s working his backside off like everyone else is to try and get the results that not only we, but all of our loyal supporters want. It’s a huge achievement for him to make that 100-point mark four years straight.
What do you think we did well against the Argentinians?
We were pretty good around our restarts in terms of them kicking to us and vice-versa. Ned Hanigan recovered and contested several kicks while Rob Horne showed great determination in that respect. We created a fair bit of opportunity and that’s what’s frustrating when it comes to the review. We see that we create a lot of opportunity for ourselves which we failed to capitalize on, which certainly makes life hard for us. We need to get better at our decision making on both sides of the ball and be able to take advantage of the positions are hard work takes us to.
When you look at the Western Force, what do you see in terms of their performance?
I see them playing with a lot of passion. They had a good game on the weekend just been against the Rebels; it was abrasive, it was attritional, it wasn’t a walk over of any sorts against Melbourne. They’re very direct in terms of the way they play, they run hard and they will try to take us on through the middle which is an area we need to get better at.
In order to secure an away win, what must we do differently to last weekend?
We’ve got to trust our systems and we’ve got to be consistent in the execution of the core parts of the game such as our ball carries, cleanouts, tackles, high ball contests, kick chases just to name a few. We need to be first to strike, and not be reactive like we were against the Jaguares. The Argentinians turned up physically and they beat us to the punch.
The NSW Waratahs will play their final match of 2017 against the Western Force at nib Stadium, Perth. Kick off at 7:45pm AEST. You can watch the action live on Fox Sports!
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All the results and standings following the weekend's rugby fixtures in NSW schools - stay tuned for updates.