'Blunt force' works for Waratahs
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika believes his team's impressive physicality was the key to their tense 21-15 victory over the Stormers.
A late Israel Folau try saw the Sydney side clinch victory over a tough Stormers side that was kept tryless by some determined defence.
The sides engaged in a fierce arm wrestle for ascendency throughout the match, turning in brutal defensive performances and prompting Stormers coach Allister Coetzee to label the game Test match quality.
It was this intensity that most impressed Cheika, who was happy with the way his side rose to meet the physical challenge.
“I think our physicality in defence was excellent, against probably one of the biggest packs around.. we made some cracking hits and we were really up for the physicality of the game.
“We said at half time we’re not going to be able to unlock them with deception, we’ve just got to get in there with a bit of blunt force trauma – suck them in and then try to shift it wide to make it happen,” Cheika said.
Captain Dave Dennis attributed the win to his side’s poise in the dying stages of the match, and said it typified the culture that the team was trying to build.
“We’ve worked hard on our attack and it just feels that now when we’re under the pump, or under pressure, we know what to go to… the group and the club are in a good head space at the moment but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Dennis said.