NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika wants to get his team’s lineout working better as he waits to see who they will face in their home semi-final.
The defending champions secured a week off after finishing top of the Australian conference with a thumping final round win over the Reds.
That meant they avoided next weekend’s qualifiers and playing for an 11th straight week.
While he won’t know till next weekend whether his team will host the Stormers, Highlanders or Chiefs the following week, Cheika stressed he still has a fair bit of work to do with his own team.
He has been tweaking parts of the Tahs’ game, especially defensively, over the last few weeks and will continue doing so after giving them the day off training on Monday.
“I don’t think our lineout worked very well the other night,” Cheika said.
“There’s a few other things in defence and attack that we think we’ll focus on this week, just two or three points that we really can push.”
Cheika said there was no update on the quadriceps injury which forced inside centre Kurtley Beale out of the Reds game.
“He’s got to get his rehab exactly right. This week will be a big week for him,” Cheika said.
Cheika confirmed there was no way the Tahs would be able to play former Wallabies lock Dean Mumm in the finals.
Mumm, who recently returned from English club Exeter, came off the bench in each of the Waratahs’ last three games, but that wasn’t enough to qualify him for the finals.
“He’s done well for us and I would like to have him in the finals series because I’ve got two locks who are missing for the rest of the season, but I couldn’t get him qualified,” Cheika said.
“After a certain time you’ve got to get a special dispensation and we asked about it and were told `no.'”
Mumm, who has signed with NSW for next season, was grateful to have played a part in the current campaign.
Prior to the Reds game he participated in two matches in South Africa after a vacancy caused by Will Skelton’s suspension.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in three games, two of those have been victories, so I feel very fortunate to come in and join what is a very good squad and a very good culture,” Mumm said.