Waratahs look ahead despite “ridiculous” odds

Nyk Carnsew and Darren Walton |

Hugh Sinclair says the Waratahs haven’t given up hope of making the finals.
Hugh Sinclair says the Waratahs haven’t given up hope of making the finals.

Considering it’s “ridiculous” to think they can still make the finals, the NSW Waratahs are intent on moving on from Darren Coleman’s mid-week axing.

Despite their diabolical Super Rugby Pacific season, the last-placed Waratahs can still mathematically scrape into the playoffs with back-to-back bonus-point wins over Moana Pasifika in Auckland and the Queensland Reds at home next week.

But the eighth-placed Fijian Drua, sitting nine competition points ahead of the Waratahs with two rounds remaining, would also need to lose to both the Highlanders and Melbourne Rebels, without collecting a bonus point, for that most unlikely scenario to eventuate.

“Eight out of 12 in the finals still seems a bit ridiculous but we do have a chance,” lock Hugh Sinclair said on Friday.

“Footy moves pretty quick and you’ve just got to get on with what’s happening in these next two weeks, which are pretty crucial.”

Coleman took the team to the quarter-finals in 2022 and 2023, but with the team struggling this season while battling an injury crisis, Waratahs boss Paul Doorn announced the coach’s sacking on Monday.

“He’s a quality human being. He’s got a family and kids and what-not and it makes it very human when they’re losing their job,” Sinclair said.

The loss of players due to injury is “hard to explain” but has been an opportunity for benched players such as Tane Edmed and Will Harrison to prove themselves, assistant coach Chris Whitaker said.

“They’ve done a fantastic job. They’ve been in for a week and they’ve got a lot to learn within a week,” he said.

Whitaker is also leaving the team at the end of the season.

“It’s really important we finish the season on a high for ‘DC’ and then for the other players that are leaving,” he said.

“There’s some quality players and humans that are leaving the organisation as well, not just on the coaching front.”

AAP