Super 12 seasons hinge on interstate battle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Super 12 seasons hinge on interstate battle

By Melissa Woods and Adrian Warren 13/04/2003 06:37:11 PM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies have a lot more than interstate pride at stake when they clash in Canberra on Good Friday, with their Super 12 seasons hinging on the result.

And the Reds, whose shock 41-20 win over the Stormers in Cape Town was rated by coach Andrew Slack as possibly the greatest performance by a Queensland side, continue to cling to a remote chance of making the final four.

Following the Waratahs' 42-26 loss to the Hurricanes, NSW must crack its first-ever Super 12 win in Canberra, and then after a bye beat the Highlanders (away) and Chiefs (home) to keep play-off hopes alive.

Two points behind NSW in sixth position following this weekend's bye, a victory for the Brumbies, who face the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Crusaders in the run home, is just as crucial.

NSW coach Bob Dwyer tried to put a positive spin on his side's loss to the second-placed Hurricanes, who stormed to a 24-5 halftime lead, scoring four tries.

"The Hurricanes outplayed us, particularly their forwards. Still, I'm pleased how my blokes fought back and never gave in," Dwyer said.

From his calculations the Waratahs required at least 10 points to make the semi-finals.

"We've got three games to get 10 points so however we get them I don't mind, as long as we get them.

"It's not life or death (to beat ACT) but it's nevertheless very important."

NSW's cause was not helped by winger Nathan Blacklock continuing his media campaign for a release from the Waratahs so he can return to rugby league.

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