'Tahs need tighter ball control: Hickey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Tahs need tighter ball control: Hickey

By Adrian Warren 16/02/2009 07:44:31 PM Comments (0)

NSW Waratahs coach Chris Hickey will demand a much tighter performance from his side in Friday's Super rugby clash against the Chiefs as they seek to capitalise on the good start and a run of home games.

The Sydney-based franchise started their campaign with a bonus point 26-22 victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington and plays eight of their next nine games in Australia, seven of them in Sydney.

While the Waratahs defended heroically against the Hurricanes, Hickey stressed his side couldn't afford to repeat the mistakes which placed them under so much pressure.

"We probably didn't kick as well as we should have in the second half and we turned over some ball at the breakdown," Hickey said.

"We had a few handling errors, there was a fair few free kicks and when you add that all up it all accumulates into a significant amount of possession we gave back to the Hurricanes.

"If we are loose with our kicking game or we turn ball over at the breakdown, then they (the Chiefs) are the sort of side that are very good at playing off that unstructured possession."

The speedy Chiefs suffered a narrow loss in their season opener against the Crusaders and Hickey was wary of the flair and counter-attacking abilities of the New Zealand side.

"They've got four or five strike players that can hurt you from any part of the field and they are a very good side at capitalising on opposition errors, so we are certainly going to have to be a lot tighter against the Chiefs on Friday night."

The Chiefs fixture is the first of three successive Friday night games for the Waratahs, who then host the Highlanders and Reds.

They will remain in Australia for five of the six following weeks with a round seven tussle with the Blues their only overseas engagement until the start of May.

"Coming back to three home games over the next three Friday nights and other games in Australia after that, getting that five point win (over the Hurricanes) just gives us an opportunity that we don't want to waste this Friday."

Hickey said he was looking at probably naming an unchanged team on Tuesday, though he wanted to look at Wycliff Palu train before deciding whether the Wallabies backrower would start or again come off the bench.

NSW finalised their roster for this year, by signing former Queensland and Western Force forward Luke Doherty to a one-year contract.

Hickey said the 27-year-old forward, who has played in both Japan and Italy since leaving the Force, could play in either the second row or at blindside flanker.

"There's a few other blokes overseas that I thought would get a gig before me, but I'm very grateful and very honoured to be given the opportunity," Doherty said.

Hickey said NSW had now ruled out signing a foreign player for this season.

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