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04 Dec

Will Skelton: NSW Waratahs may have taken Stormers ‘for granted a bit’

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Trying to make a break: Waratahs foward Will Skelton is tackled by Stormers pair Nizaam Carr and Steven Kitshoff. Photo: Mark MetcalfeFollow SMH Sport on Twitter

Waratahs forward Will Skelton admits his lack of go-forward in their loss to the Stormers last Saturday night was an “attitude thing” and conceded the Super Rugby champions may have underestimated the South African side.

Skelton lauded the Stormers for their 32-18 win over the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium, especially their defence which the Waratahs were unable to break.

But asked if the visitors got it over the Waratahs physically, Skelton said on Monday: “A few periods in the game they did. First-up we showed some big hits and some good runs from the forwards and backs. But … [when] you come off a bye … we needed to switch on mentally. We might have taken that game for granted a bit.”

With the Waratahs to play the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday, Skelton spent Sunday reflecting on how he feels he let the Waratahs down last Saturday. “I wasn’t deep enough in attack,” Skelton explained. “I took a few carries, but I had no go-forward. That is one thing I looked at and will work to rectify this week.”

Asked if the issue was a physical or mental one to address, Skelton said: “It’s both,” but added: “If you are not in the game there, it’s an attitude thing. We would get tackled backwards and I would work my way over for a run and I would be too flat.”

Pressed on whether he felt the Stormers sensed that and capitalised on it in defence, he said: “Credit to the Stormers. They have good defensive coaches and their line they brought out was very swarming … they swarmed us [when we were] in attack.”

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