The Blues will seek to make their advantage count as they go in search of a Super Rugby semi-final spot at the expense of the injury ravaged NSW Waratahs, but the retiring Phil Waugh believes an upset is possible.
The ‘Tahs were forced to delay naming their team for the showdown at Eden Gardens this weekend after being hit by a series of injuries. Luke Burgess became the franchise’s latest injury worry this week after the scrum-half fractured his hand in training on Thursday, with Tatafu Polota-Nau, prop Al Baxter, fly-half Daniel Halangahu all still sidelined due to injuries picked up in last weekend’s defeat of the Brumbies.
Star turn Berrick Barnes is also missing after seeking a neurologists help having complained of suffering with headaches, and has since been advised to take a break from the game.
With the winner of the qualifier lined up to play either the Stormers Queensland Reds Shirt or the Stormers depending on the result of the other qualifier between the Sharks and the Crusaders, Burgess side will be desperate to ensure the game isn’t Waugh’s last by extending their time in the competition.
Waugh has enjoyed an illustrious career and will be keen to end it on a high – but believes his side cannot afford to rely solely on the magic of Kurtley Beale in order to win the game and defy belief that the visitors have no chance of pulling off an upset.
“I think it’s providing threats around Kurtley so he gets the opportunity to have a bit of space,” Waugh said.
“To just throw him the ball and hope that he can do what he’s been doing over the past month would be a bit too much, so our responsibility as a team is to supply as much space and freedom for Kurtley to play. If we do that, then he can do what he does.” He added.