Wallabies' unexpected flyhalf option?
REACTION: Will Harrison, the Waratahs young find of the season continues to impress at flyhalf, especially with the boot in the Super Rugby AU competition but this time it was under the careful scrutiny of new Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie who was in the stands.
Rennie and his defence coach Matt Taylor were amongst the crowds in the stands on Friday at Cbus stadium in the Gold Coast where Rennie now incidentally resides, watched carefully as the rookie pivot put on a superb kicking performance slotting 2 conversions and 3 penalties.
His performance against the Force certainly hasn’t done him any harm in the race to wear the Wallaby no.10 jersey in the upcoming Rugby Championships especially seeing as goal kicking hasn’t been much to talk about in the Wallaby camp of late. Harrison who slotted 5 from 5 in this game took his success rate to an impressive 94% for the season and must be giving the Wallaby selectors the best possible kind of headache.
All the same coach Rob Penney kept his young charge’s feet firmly on the ground by downplaying the moment.
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“There’s too many highlights individually – of course Will Harrison is one and he’s in such a difficult position” said Penney after the match.
“There’s a number of guys that you could name”
“He’s a young 10 and the takes on that role really maturely”
Probed further about Harrison’s goal kicking, Penney reminded rugby fans that ex-Test star Bernard Foley had been “pretty useful” himself.
In other highlights of the game Australian skipper Michael Hooper played his 150th Super Rugby match and there was no doubting that Jack Maddocks turned in his best game of the season!
Maddocks showed his rugby nous in helping the ‘Tahs set up their first try with Alex Newsome crossing the whitewash and ten minutes later scored a try himself from an intercept. He was unlucky not to have a double when the TMO ruled there had been an obstruction in the run up to the try.
Harrison’s game continues to develop with the 21-year-old youngster utilizing Karmichael Hunt at first receiver while backing himself to run with the ball whenever the occasion permits.
With a bye in the final round, the Waratahs have just two games remaining (Brumbies & Rebels) and will be desperate to to push themselves into the top three in order to secure an appearance in the finals.