Rugby Union 4 years ago

Preview: Waratahs vs. Brumbies

  • Preview: Waratahs vs. Brumbies

The Waratahs welcome the Brumbies to Sydney this Saturday as both teams look to claim the final spot in the Super Rugby grand final. At the start of the season, most NSW fans would have been quite happy with a semi-final appearance, but the way in which the season has unfolded means that anything other than victory on Saturday will be considered failure. The Tahs have the very rare opportunity to host a grand final in Sydney and it's something that they can't throw away. 

With both teams in good form, we want to take a quick look at what we can expect.

1. A close game: The Waratahs haven't lost a home game all season so I can't see them getting flogged and the Brumbies won't roll over either. The margin should be within 8 points and my pick is Waratahs by 5. 

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2. Power Rugby: The Brumbies are going to try and power through the Waratah's defensive line with their giant backs Henry Speight and Tevita Kuridrani providing the required muscle to do so. Expect the Tahs to try and make an early statement with a lightning quick defensive line. 

3. Chess: Both teams have the ability to score quickly, but with so much on the line I wouldn't be surprised if there is an early sounding out period from both teams. Larkham and Cheika are two strong tactical coaches who won't show their hand too quickly.

4. Cheating: The Brumbies like to cheat around the breakdown, by slowing the play and constantly infringing. Any Brumbies fan who is reading this may fake indignation but deep down they know it's true. In the two previous clashes this year a Brumbies player was sent off for doing this, hopefully referee Jaco Peyper is on their case early otherwise it could have a huge impact. 

5. Razzle Dazzle: Big game players step up in big games, expect a moment of brilliance or two from Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale and Matt Toomua.

6. Forward Pressure: Set pieces could define this game, the Waratah's lineout was poor two weeks ago in Queensland, they need to have fixed it over the last 14 days otherwise the Brumbies will make them pay for it. 

7. Atmosphere: It's looking like Allianz Stadium will be close to capacity, while this doesn't sound ridiculous it's still a massive increase on usual crowd figures. The crowd will look to have an impact on the travelling Brumbies. 

8. Impact Players: This game is so close to call based off the starting teams, and as such the team which gets better contributions from their bench could easily win. Players like Will Skelton will be massive (literally) to the Tahs chances of winning. 

All in all this game looks like it's going to be a cracker. Our tip, Waratahs 25 - Brumbies 20. 

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