It’s safe to say that the Waratahs badly needed Angus Bell by their side at tighthead after his red card last week v Chiefs was overturned via appeal, as his presence played a huge part in this upset win v Crusaders. He’s such a brilliant contributor when helping out his team’s attack going forward, having both joined the ruck/maul to stop the Saders from turning over, as well as smashing through each bit at their defensive half. And his hard work tells everything about him where his talk-up & physicality saw the Saders pay the price over several ill-discipline errors. He’s such a brilliant role model the Tahs fans has in stall between now and the near future.
Next up is Lalakai Foketi down at the inside midfield engine room in the No.12 Tahs jersey. He never stopped running throughout the full 80 minutes, having came in to contribute the Tahs attack as a support player. He credits to a brilliant read towards the opposing team’s body language; that way, he shielded a couple of Saders defenders that gave them an idea on where to plant the TRY line, which played a part of the Tahs’ impressive match-up.
And Sione Havili Talitui has been a great addition since he came on for Dom Gardiner in the 2nd half. He knew his Crusaders team needed to make up some lost time, having squeezed his way past the Tahs danger zone with one TRY and an assist. There’s so much physicality to unpack when he desperately called out his half-back, before he piled some damage that threw the pressure back at the Tahs. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late when it comes to a tough result through the mirror. But he would’ve made a difference if he was given a chance to change the game as a starter on the second row alongside Sam Whitelock.