Waugh racks up a ton for Waratahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waugh racks up a ton for Waratahs

By Darren Walton 22/05/2008 05:03:15 PM Comments (0)

Phil Waugh, NSW's very own Captain Courageous, will join one of rugby's most exclusive clubs when he leads the Waratahs in their Super 14 semi-final clash with the Sharks at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

Waugh, still only 28, will join former captains and teammates Matt Burke and Chris Whitaker and fellow back-rower David Lyons - who brought up his century earlier this season - as the only four players to have made 100 appearances for the Waratahs.

The dynamic flanker made his state debut in 1999 and, after missing most of 2007 with an ankle injury, will crack the ton in NSW's most important match of 2008 thus far.

Waugh said it seemed like only yesterday that he and Lyons both made their Super rugby debuts against the Stormers in Cape Town eight years ago.

"So, yeah, it's certainly nice to run out in Sydney for my 100th," he said.

Typically, though, the inspirational Waugh said Saturday night was not about celebrating his milestone but all about ensuring the Waratahs won and qualified for only their second Super final.

Coach Ewen McKenzie labelled Waugh's rare achievement "terrific".

"It's a very difficult task to play so many games, particularly for a guy who plays the hard rugby he does on the ball," McKenzie said.

Like his no-nonsense skipper, though, the pragmatic coach said the Waratahs wouldn't be getting bogged down in Waugh's milestone.

The Waratahs' 2008 mantra has always been "all for one and one for all".

"I'm not going to walk in there and say 'let's do it for Phil'," said McKenzie, who may well be presiding over his last game in charge of the Tahs in Saturday's sudden-death encounter.

"We're not that sort of team. We don't do it for anyone. We just do it for the group.

"I've never asked the team to play for any individuals. People understand what he's given to the team. It's unsaid.

"I think we even saw it last year when he didn't play. We missed him. So everyone understands the contribution he makes.

"He wouldn't want it that way. We won't do it. We'll be doing it for the team and we'll be doing it for our fans.

"Our focus is on the method of winning, what's going to work on the day, and we're not going to get involved in any sort of emotional discussions.

"Our motivation will be about getting the technical part of the game right, managing the psychology of the game and hopefully rewarding our fans."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news