NSW Waratahs leaders have stressed composure and defence rather than a helter-skelter pursuit of tries will be big priorities in their must-win Super Rugby final-round match.
The Waratahs play the Blues in Auckland on Friday knowing they need a bonus point win to put pressure on the Brumbies, whom they are level with on points ahead of the ACT-based franchise’s clash with the lowly Western Force on Saturday night.
“You’ve got to be actually more composed I think when you go into games and you’ve got to get a bonus point,” Waratahs lock Dean Mumm said on Monday.
“If you go crazy focusing on tries from moment one, then you’re unlikely to get it done because you become a bit loose in the way you play.”
With the rules regarding the bonus point being changed this year, Mumm recognises stopping tries will be just as important as scoring them.
“It’s not like the old bonus point where you get the four tries and you’re done and then you’ve got to get the win,” Mumm said.
“It’s (finishing) three (tries) ahead (of the other team).
“If you’re going to get three ahead, you’ve obviously got to limit them as much as possible.
“It’s much easier to score three tries than it is to score five and them score two.
“So defence is a huge element for us this weekend.”
Mumm said the Tahs were working on defence after conceding three tries in last Saturday’s loss to the Hurricanes.
“Sometimes we let ourselves down in defence,” Mumm said.
“We were a little bit compressed and tighter than we should have been.
“We probably gave them too much room on the edge and certainly we know that the Blues will come at us like that.”
NSW have only ever won twice at Eden Park, but Mumm was one of a handful of current players who were part of the last Tahs side that triumphed there in 2009.
“I think in terms of a hoodoo or whatever, it always gets talked up when we go there, but it comes down to what you do and how you perform in that moment,” Mumm said.