Waratahs prove doubters wrong
Russell Barwick, ESPN Sportscenter Australia
March 30, 2009
The Waratahs' Sekope Kepu leads the celebrations after his side's victory over the Blues, Blues v Waratahs, Super 14, Eden Park, Auckalnd, New Zealand, March 27, 2009
The Waratahs' Sekope Kepu leads the celebrations following his side's long-awaited victory over the Blues in Auckland © Getty Images

I hate it when I have to say I'm sorry or admit I was wrong and up until this week I've never had to do either. So I will do it now - Sorry.

The Waratahs proved me and my bank manager wrong on Friday and in the process ruined my weekend (not to mention that of many other punters) by beating the Blues at Eden Park for the first time since JC played half-back for Bethlehem. They did it easily too which made it even worse. And I can't blame the ref which is normally a good opportunity for fans and journos alike to cover their own mistakes.

Instead, I am blaming coach Chris Hickey. I mean, why would you go and drop Kurtley Beale when he was playing like he was, missing kicks and passing poorly? Daniel Halangahu comes into the side, backs himself when he should've passed to Loti [Tuqiri], scores the try and kicks everything from everywhere! If we had known he was that good, why wasn't he there three weeks ago?

The result means I have to review my predictions for the season. Waratahs will make the top four. Others remain the same.

Another try-fest for Chiefs

The Chiefs have scored more points than cricket sensation Phil Hughes has runs in the past two games and are fast becoming the flag bearers of New Zealand and Australia. We don't mind the Chiefs over here because unlike Auckland, Canterbury or Wellington, they have never won anything.

The effort against the Blues last time out was matched again on Saturday night against the Reds and the cow bells are starting to ring on both sides of the Tasman as the folks from Waikato dream of a top four place and the joy that might go with that.

The theory behind their attack isn't hard to predict - throw it to Sitiveni Sivivatu. This bloke has scored six tries in two games and as a result leads the competition on that front. I hope their form continues as the men from Waikato have had to wait far too long for success at this level.

Bulls finally taste defeat

Elsewhere, it took seven weeks but the previously unbeaten Bulls finally lost a game. But what a magnificent performance thus far by both the Bulls and the Sharks. They are the dominant sides in the competition and if the two semi-finals are played in South Africa then we are looking at an all South African final.

Speaking of the finals, I wouldn't mind betting the final four will be sorted by this time next week if things go according to plan. At the moment we have the Sharks, Waratahs, Chiefs, Bulls and Hurricanes in the top five. If the top four teams win next week, then there could be a six point gap to the Hurricanes, Highlanders, Crusaders and Blues (and the last 3 of those have byes in the next two weeks).

Russell Barwick is a presenter for ESPN Sportscenter in Australia

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - German GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open