It’s safe to say it has been a very disappointing season for the NSW Waratahs. The 2014 Super Rugby champions have had a serious fall from grace over the last two seasons and they are currently in serious danger of missing out on the playoffs.
The only positive for the Sydney-based outfit is that all the Australian sides have been performing poorly, so they still have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
In Super Rugby there are four conferences and the winner of each conference automatically qualifies for the quarter-finals. The Tahs are currently five points behind the Brumbies who lead the Australian conference and after a morale-boosting 29-26 victory over the Queensland Reds at the weekend, Daryl Gibson’s side need another victory to get within touching distance of the Brumbies.
The Waratahs are facing the Auckland Blues at their home ground in Sydney but over the last week, the governing body of another sport wanted the Tahs to play this fixture at the North Sydney Oval, a multi-purpose ground in the suburbs, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The A-League final is due to take place in the Allianz Stadium, a day after the Waratahs match, and due to the poor condition of the pitch, football organisers requested the Tahs not to play there in fear of further damaging the surface.
However, Football Federation Australia’s pleas have seemed to fallen on deaf ears.
The Waratahs released the following statement:
“Saturday’s Super Rugby game against the Auckland Blues will remain at Allianz Stadium.
“While consideration was given to the request made by NSW government late on Monday 1 May, out of interest for the NSW Waratahs fans and supporters as well as other stakeholders, the game will remain at the Tahs’ home ground, Allianz Stadium.”
Waratahs assistant coach, Nathan Grey, dismissed the controversy as a distraction for his squad and stated that they would play the Blues on any surface.
“For us as a team, Allianz is our home. We’re looking forward to playing there and we’re preparing to play there.
“We’re just getting ready to play the Blues. We’ll play them in the car park if we have to.”
Strong words from Grey as his side look to secure another much needed victory against the Blues.