McKibbin stays at halfback

2012-03-28 07:46

Sydney - Goal-kicking halfback Brendan McKibbin has kept star import Sarel Pretorious on the bench for the Waratahs' Super Rugby clash with the Chiefs on Saturday.

Coach Michael Foley on Wednesday retained the same team that secured a 34-30 win over the Sharks last Saturday as the Waratahs prepared to fly out to Hamilton to play the top-ranked team in the New Zealand conference.

McKibbin impressed when making his season starting debut against the Sharks, forming a good partnership with new flyhalf Berrick Barnes and producing a flawless goalkicking display to add 12 points.

The Waratahs are wary of the threat posed by Sonny Bill Williams in the Chiefs' midfield and have tough-tackling Tom Carter lining up against him.

But they will also need to be wary of the impressive new halves pairing of rookie halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and All Blacks' flyhalf Aaron Cruden who have given the historically-erratic Chiefs new direction.

The match against a team that loves to attack with ball in hand will provide a good test of the Waratahs' vow to do the same in the wake of their hard-earned home win over the Sharks.

"The players have been very clear about the standards they demand for themselves again this week," said Foley.

"The two things that stood out in the Sharks game were that we tried to play with the ball as a 15 and our defensive discipline was good for the entire match."

"We know the Chiefs will be a big game for us. They've always been a side able to spread the ball, they've certainly got pace out wide and, in Sonny Bill Williams, they have another dimension in attack.

"Their forward pack is certainly a threat, particularly at scrum and lineout."


Chiefs: TBA

Waratahs: 15 Bernard Foley, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson (captain)

Substitutes: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Jono Jenkins, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Daniel Halangahu

Rugby Heaven

  • seaton.carolus - 2012-03-28 09:39

    should have stayed with the cheetahs

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