Tomorrow night is a very crucial night at BankWest Stadium in Parramatta. All eyes are on the NSW Waratahs. This is their first home game of 2021. And just came back with two heavy losses against them.
Even though these defeats come from the Reds & Brumbies. It is still not acceptable to see themselves as low-tier. With heaps of pressure annoying head coach Rob Penney. As they host the Western Force.
While Force also came in with a loss in Round 1 v Brumbies at home. They did not play last week due to a bye. But the Perth-based team have yet to win a game in Super Rugby AU. Since their re-admission last year. Hoping an influx of marquee International signings will lift them up.
Angus Bell is out with an ankle injury so Tetera Faulkner steps in his spot. With Harry Johnson-Holmes stays on as tighthead prop. Plus Dave Porecki in for Tom Horton as the 1st choice hooker.
Sam Caird retains his second row role at No.4. As Hugh Sinclair displaced Jack Whetton. Lachie Swinton & Carlo Tizzano in the flanker roles. And Jack Dempsey rounds out the Tahs defense at No.8.
Jack Grant starts in scrum-half alongside Will Harrison at No.10. James Ramm & Jack Maddocks on the wings. When Maddocks swapped his full-back role with Mark Nawaqanitawase. And both Tepai Moeroa & Alex Newsome in the middle.
Tom Horton has a chance to bounce back ahead of Porecki. If he jumps off later tomorrow night. Sio Tatola & Chris Talakai as back up props. Jack Whetton in the 2nd choice locks. So does Jeremy Williams who plays loose forward. Henry Robertson behind Grant. Tame Edmed ready to kick if Harrison comes off. And Triston Reilly as utility reserve back.
Their front three was intact from Round 1 v Brumbies. Tom Robertson & Santiago Medrano in the props. Alongside Felati Kaitu’u where he will be 1st choice hooker.
Jeremy Thrush & Fergus-Lee Warner in the second row/lock. Tim Anstee & Kane Koteka as flankers. Before Brynard Stander rounds out the Force defense.
Tomas Cubelli starts at 9. With Tom McIntyre in first five-eighth. Toni Pulu & Byron Ralston on the wings. Richard Kahui & Tevita Kurindrani playing centrally. And Rob Kearney at full-back. With a few changes to complete their starting XV.
Andrew Ready as the back up hooker behind Kaitu’u. Angus Warner & Greg Holmes in the 2nd choice props. Ryan McCauley at second row. Tomas Lezana dropped back here after he started two weeks ago. Ian Prior as the reserve half-back. Domingo Mitotti as backup for Tom McIntyre. And Marcel Brache ready to find some minutes anywhere at the backline.
It will be a hard game to see which winless team comes out first. With 7 weeks left that first win of 2021 would mean a sign of resurgence. As the Tahs & Force are in a long way from reaching the Top 3. If it means trying to reach the Playoffs spots.
You got a young and inexperienced side who are tipped for the long run. Which does remind me of the Reds 2-3 years ago. When Brad Thorn first took over as head coach. And on the other side you got a very experienced team. At least for the majority who played Super Rugby & International level before. While some youth get to learn from this senior group.
Despite what Force has got on their disposal. It would be the Tahs who will bounce back by 10 points. And they hope to get the ball rolling. Especially with some youngsters settling in to the first team setting. Having once been dominant before a few years back in Super Rugby.