Waratahs wary of Brumbies set piece

After a turbulent week at Daceyville with the club parting ways with former coach Rob Penney, the NSW Waratahs week doesn’t get any easier facing the reigning Super Rugby AU champions at the SCG this Friday night.

Former assistant coaches Chris Whitaker and Jason Gilmore have been named interim co-coaches for the remainder of the Super Rugby season and have had to hit the ground running preparing the team with a shortened week.

Chris Whitaker was impressed with his players and how they have handled the transition so far. 

“Considering what’s happened, the boys have been really focused on preparing for the Brumbies.

“It’s a big game and a short turnaround, the boys have applied themselves really well” Whitaker said.

The Brumbies set piece has been a cornerstone of their success over the past few years and the coaching staff know exactly what to expect from the champions.

“The one thing about the Brumbies is that they know how they play, they’ve got a really good set piece, really good maul and they use that to their advantage” Whitaker said.

“They’ve scored more tries off their scrums and lineouts than any team in the comp. They’re going to be a tough team to play, because you can’t give them any opportunities in your end.”

Stopping the rolling maul is a daunting task for any side and prop Harry Johnson-Holmes hinted at how the Waratahs will approach the Brumbies formidable weapon this Friday.

“We just have to be more aggressive with our approach to it, the last couple of weeks we’ve worked really hard on our technique.

“We just need to bring a lot more energy and get more proactive in setting those mauls backwards rather than containing them first and letting them build momentum.

“So, for us we just have to keep fighting, find those weaknesses and try to exploit them” Johnson-Holmes said.

The NSW Waratahs face the Brumbies in Community Rugby Round at the Sydney Cricket Ground this Friday and are encouraging fans to wear their club jerseys.