Rugby: Waratahs refuse to worry about 11-game losing streak

By Adrian Warren

Bernard Foley of the Waratahs kicks a conversion during the Super Rugby Semi Final match against the Brumbies. Photo / Getty Images
Bernard Foley of the Waratahs kicks a conversion during the Super Rugby Semi Final match against the Brumbies. Photo / Getty Images

The Waratahs aren't worrying for a single second about their drought against the Crusaders going into Saturday's Super Rugby final.

They have lost their last 11 encounters with the Crusaders, last tasting victory 10 years ago.

But Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has had his charges focusing on positive thoughts this year, which means they aren't wasting any time thinking about their poor record.

"We haven't thought about it at all," Waratahs No8 Wycliff Palu said.

"We've done a lot of mental work this year and that was one of the biggest keys, forgetting all that kind of stuff."

Palu was relishing the prospect of renewing his rivalry with Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.

The Waratahs star hasn't crossed paths with the duo in either Super or test combat since 2012.

"I personally haven't played them at All Blacks or Super Rugby level for a while now, so I'm looking forward to it," Palu said.

He is just one of five current Waratahs starters who were part of the run-on side in their 20-12 loss to the Crusaders in the 2008 Super final in Christchurch.

The others are front-rowers Benn Robinson and Tatafu Polota-Nau, and backs Rob Horne and Kurtley Beale.

"We came pretty close. When KB [Beale] went down [injured], we went down with him," Palu recalled.

"We lost our shape. It was pretty disappointing."

One of the longest-serving Waratahs, Palu remembers the bad old days of 2007, when NSW finished 13th and logged just three wins.

"Only a few years ago, we were finishing [close to] the bottom of the table, now we're in the big one, so it's pretty exciting," Palu said.

Waratahs: Israel Folau, Alofa Alofa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper (capt), Stephen Hoiles, Jacques Potgieter, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Res: Tola Latu, Paddy Ryan, Jeremy Tilse, Will Skelton, Mitch Chapman, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbon, Matt Carraro, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Peter Betham (two to be omitted).
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