Waratahs licking lips at dry track as more unwanted history beckons

A favourable Sydney weather forecast has buoyed an under-fire Waratahs side that is desperate to avoid becoming just the second Australian Super Rugby side in the past decade to lose four matches on the trot to begin a season.

After consecutive defeats to the Crusaders, Blues and Melbourne Rebels before a bye, the Waratahs need to pick themselves off the ground with a victory against the Lions at Bankwest Stadium on Friday to quell anxiety at the club.

The Waratahs slumped to their third straight defeat in Melbourne last Friday. Credit:AAP

Including their 49-12 thumping at the hands of the Highlanders in the final round of last year, the Waratahs are in the middle of their biggest losing run since a nine-game streak of defeats across 2012 and 2013.

They will go into Friday’s must-win game as favourites but the Waratahs have struggled against the Johannesburg-based Lions in recent times, having fallen short on five occasions since 2015.

Four of those have been in South Africa but the worst defeat of the lot was a 29-0 thumping in Sydney.

“They have a really big forward pack and some really dangerous outside backs,” Gordon said. “For us at the moment it’s about focusing on our game.

“Obviously it’s not the greatest start ever. We’re not happy with how we’re going and it’s a good reflection that bye week to look at a few things we can work on. This is a bit of a journey. For us it’s acknowledging the things we aren’t doing well going forward.”

Coach Rob Penney will name his starting XV on Wednesday to face a Lions side coming off two losses from three matches in 2020.

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