The Daikin Cooldown: NSW Waratahs vs Sunwolves with Simon Cron


By NSW Waratahs Media unit

Photo credit: Karen Watson

The NSW Waratahs defeated the Sunwolves 77-23 in a huge home victory at Allianz Stadium. We caught up with Assistant Coach Simon Cron to get his take on the game plus what lies ahead in the Brumbies for this week’s edition of the Daikin Cooldown.

Saturday night’s match saw the team take a massive 77-25 victory over our Australian conference rivals in front of a home crowd. Talk us through the preparation leading into that game as we approach the final stages of the regular competition.

Every game is important and that’s got to be our approach – it doesn’t matter if you’re playing the top of the competition or the bottom. Every single game you’ve got to be very focused on your process on what you’re trying to achieve and what you’re trying to do.

In parts of our game on the weekend, I thought we executed well, but there are some clear areas for us to fix that we need to work on which we have already discussed in our review.

They were ahead of us at one point in the match, any areas of concern that came out of that patch of play?

Our own errors created those opportunities for them so therefore, it’s fixable. Their tries can be attributed to a couple of poor defensive reads from our end, plus we shut off on one kick-chase so it wasn’t a case of panicking and it was a good thing to see the boys press the reset button, fix those problems and come out and play our attack.

The red card wouldn’t have helped their cause – when you lose a guy it doesn’t help your defensive systems. However, when the opposing team receives a card, you can sometimes be at risk of getting a little bit loose and complacent which can be even more dangerous.

We’d obviously prefer them to have 15 on the field and for us, it’s better that way but I think the boys held their composure well and did what they needed to do to create the space.

It was a record-breaking night for the team and also for winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, who now holds the record for most NSW Waratahs tries scored in one season (14). What’re your thoughts on his performances so far this season?

Taqele is playing some really good rugby and he has got a big work rate off the ball which I think is making a big difference for him at the moment. He is working hard on his own carrying technique and he hasn’t stopped trying to better himself all year. As a result, he is playing some great rugby for NSW.

He worked incredibly hard to get fit during out pre-season, but he has also maintained a strong, positive mindset to ensure that he is the best he can be. We see that in the way he trains, the questions he asks and his approach to everything off the field.

He has become very clear on his role within the team and I think that’s very important. He doesn’t focus on what other people are doing but instead, focusses on what his job is and does it very, very well.

Tolu Latu also made his 50th appearance for NSW on Saturday night, another great milestone achieved by a promising young player. As a forwards coach, he must be giving you some selection headaches based on some solid performances?

I thought he was very good on the weekend; great in the contact zone, much better around his timings in the lineout and he scrummed really well. He added a lot when he came on the field on the weekend so there’s a lot of competition for that starting hooker spot.

We want that competition in every position. The only way to get Fitzy (Damien Fitzpatrick) and Roachy (Hugh Roach) better is to have Tolu pushing them, and the only way Tolu will get better is if he has Fitzy, Roachy and JP Sauni pushing him.

This weekend, we will wrap up the regular competition rounds with another fiery derby against the Brumbies at Allianz Stadium. How will the team approach this one leading into the quarter-finals?

I don’t care about finals at this point in time, they’re irrelevant. What is relevant though, is the Brumbies on Saturday night - they’re a very good side who’ve been playing very good rugby over the last few weeks and we’ve got to go at it on the weekend and make sure we take advantage of the things we point out around attack and defence, and also nullify the things they’re good at.

They are a good side, they always have been. They were a good side in round seven when we played them in Canberra and they will be now.

This Saturday night we will also celebrate Country Rugby Round, where we will recognize the enormous contribution that the volunteers and players from the nine country zones make to the game of rugby in this State. How crucial is country rugby to NSW Rugby as a whole?

There’s a lot of boys from all the Shute Shield clubs and the NSW Waratahs that come out of the country. Country players, no bias in here, are tough, hard, uncompromising players so it’s a huge asset for us at NSW Rugby to have a strong country competition.
They add huge value to us so it’s important we acknowledge the impact they have on us as a State.

You’ve seen some of the clips on social media this year of the trips that Paddy Ryan and Cody Walker have done out in the Western Plains amongst other initiatives, and I can’t wait to head out there myself in the off-season.

The NSW Waratahs will face the Brumbies this Saturday night (14 July) at Allianz Stadium; 7:40 pm (AEST) kickoff. To secure your seat, head to our ticketing page.

Check out the full match re-cap right here.






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