Time for the Tahs to muscle up: Waugh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Time for the Tahs to muscle up: Waugh

By Darren Walton 07/03/2009 04:26:23 PM Comments (0)

NSW captain Phil Waugh says the Waratahs need to muscle up if they want to go anywhere in this year's Super 14 competition.

Waugh remains less than satisfied despite the Waratahs sitting pretty atop the table after extending their unbeaten start to the tournament on Friday night with a hard-fought 15-11 victory over Queensland at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Tahs' fearless leader was filthy at his side's appalling lack of respect for the ball after repeatedly turning over possession during the bruising derby.

"It's a team thing. I don't think it's backs versus forwards - we're putting ourselves in good positions and then some of the forwards are getting stripped of the ball as well," Waugh said. "It's not just the backs.

"We're certainly creating enough pressure, but you're not going to score tries off one or two phases every time. You've got to accumulate pressure and accumulate phases and then you'll score points.

"At the moment, we're making inroads and then we're getting stripped of the ball a lot pretty simply.

"Whether we've got to do more work in the gym or something, I don't know, but we've got to be a lot stronger than we are now in the tackle."

Admitting he was "happy to take those four points and move on", coach Chris Hickey said the Waratahs had a "a lot of areas" to work on ahead of Friday night's showdown with the Brumbies in Canberra.

"Phil hit it on the head," Hickey said.

"We have to have patience to try and work through a number of phases instead of trying to score straight away.

"We've got a good set piece and we work hard to get possession. Once we get possession, we've got to value it and make sure that we hang on to it and not just turning it over easily, particularly trying to force passes that perhaps aren't on."

Waugh, though, was not overly concerned, saying he never expected the Waratahs to hit their straps before rounds six or seven.

"We're probably a fair way away yet," he said.

"We're under no illusions that we're playing the greatest football at the moment. In saying that, we're four from four.

"And, again, (our) defence (was strong). We let in 11 points. What was it last week? Sixteen points and I think 17 the week before that.

"So we've got positives in defence. It's just about holding onto the ball. It's not hard.

"Real simple things are letting us down at the moment. If you look at our scrum and lineout, it's pretty good.

"But once we get away from that, we're a little bit shady."

Wycliff Palu may miss the Brumbies match after suffering a suspected broken hand on Friday night.

The destructive No.8 will have an x-ray on Sunday.

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