Super Rugby LIVE updates: Waratahs start season with crunch clash against Brumbies

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Brumbies scrum wins bragging rights

Young Waratahs prop Archer Holz pops up in the first scrum of the match and the Brumbies win the long-arm, which leads to some classic shirt-fronting between NSW talisman Jed Holloway, defending his younger team mate.

Waratahs leave first points begging

NSW No.10 Tane Edmed misses a shot at goal from 47 metres out but the Waratahs have the early dominance here, with Angus Bell and Michael Hooper making metres for the home side.

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Payto’s on deck at Allianz Stadium

Iain Payten’s in Moore Park for Friday night lights. Here’s his view from the cheap seats:

You had three choices in Sydney tonight: Ed in Homebush, Kylie at the Domain or the Waratahs at Allianz.

And, as predicted, a fair few people have picked the Tahs back in their old stomping ground.

The forecast is for a crowd of over 25,000, and that’s a mark NSW haven’t hit since 2016.

Clear skies have helped bring people out, after some scattered showers throughout the day.

The Brumbies have made one change to their line-up, and it’s a great story. Former Waratahs hooker John Ulugia has come in as reserve hooker for Lachlan Lonergan, almost a decade after his last Super Rugby game.

After leaving NSW for France in 2013, where he played for Clermont and Bayonne, Ulugia finished up midway through 2022 and returned to Canberra, where he had lined up a job with the Brumbies as forwards coach of the pathways and academy program.

But short on hookers in the pre-season, Stephen Larkham convinced him to dust off the boots for the summer and trial matches, and he’s stayed with the playing group since.

Power vs Pace

I’m excited to watch the rookie wingers tonight. No, come on, bear with me. Wingers are cool. Cory Toole for the Brumbies and Max Jorgensen for the Waratahs. A sevens speedster and a baby-faced teen with a dual-code pedigree.

With the exception of Tom Lynagh, the Reds’ starting five-eighth tomorrow night, there aren’t any more exciting new faces. Brumbies coach Steve Larkham told the Herald that Toole’s speed wasn’t the most impressive thing about the winger. It was his technical knowledge and skill around the breakdown which, Larkham said, put the rest of the squad to shame. Toole scored a brace of tries in the Brumbies’ trial matches and will be keen to transfer that to the season proper.

Jorgensen gets his Super Rugby debut in the starting line up, with Mark Nawaqanitawase on the other wing and Ben Donaldson at the back. The teenager, who finished high school last year, will be looking to use his footwork and speed to carve through the Brumbies’ defence, not tall order for a bloke who finished high school last year.

History favours the visitors

A brand new stadium, bright new lights, a powered-up roster. That’s all well and good for the Waratahs, but history tells a sobering picture. The Waratahs have not beaten the Brumbies since 2018 and have not beat them in Sydney since 2015, when 27,000 people watched on at the old Allianz Stadium. The Brumbies also drew first blood in the pre-season trial in Griffith.

The Waratahs digest a Nick Frost try in Canberra last season.Credit:Getty

Chiefs smash Crusaders to kick off Super Rugby Pacific 2023

Welcome to the first round of Super Rugby 2023, I’ll be your guide through this clash of Aussie heavyweights, the Waratahs and Brumbies, at Allianz Stadium.

My tipping season is off to a shocking start after the Chiefs obliterated the Crusaders 31-10 in Christchurch. Classic slow start from the Scott “Razor” Robertson Crusaders, I should have seen it coming. I wasn’t alone either – here’s looking at you, Morgan Turinui, Wayne Smith, Roz Kelly, Paul Cully, James Horwill, Iain Payten and Tom Decent. Misery loves company!

We’re kicking off at 7.35pm AEDT. You can tune in on Stan Sport or follow the action here.

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