NSW Waratahs plan to ratchet up the emotion level from passive to angry for Friday night’s Super Rugby clash with the Rebels in Melbourne.


The champions are primed to adopt a much more forceful approach after a scathing honesty session in the players’ Monday review of their insipid performance against Western Force the day before.

NSW defence coach Nathan Grey described the Waratahs effort in the contact area against the Force as passive, a word Waratahs captain and lock Dave Dennis said was fair.

Head coach Michael Cheika said the Tahs weren’t angry enough last weekend and he clearly expects a far more combative and physical approach against the Rebels.

“I think a lot of the boys are probably angry from last week’s result, so we’ve got to express that on Friday night,” Dennis said.

Grey said the side had worked on their execution, defence and breakdown play in the short turnaround between their first two games.

He expected the Rebels would try and keep the game in the forwards.

“They’ve got a number of guys who are playing well and they are quite cohesive as a team at the moment, so we know they are going to be a very difficult challenge,” Grey said.

He stressed the Waratahs had no intention of meddling with their style to counteract teams trying to slow them down, as the Force did.

“We don’t want to change the way we play and we’ve got the tools in our weaponry to be able to play the way we want to play,” Grey said.

“It’s just a matter of executing those really, really quickly and consistently, which we didn’t do last week and paid the price.”

Grey said injured No.8 Wycliff Palu would be a big loss, but the Waratahs would utilise the different set of attributes of replacement Stephen Hoiles.

While fellow assistant coach Daryl Gibson has confirmed he would like the head coaching position after Cheika steps down at the end of the 2015 Super Rugby season, Grey said he hadn’t applied for the job.