‘I reckon he’ll cry again’: $8 outsiders Waratahs upset Crusaders in massive statement for Australian rugby


On Friday, Waratahs coach Darren Coleman faced more questions about his future at NSW beyond the season. Less than 36 hours later his Waratahs delivered the upset of the season and the side’s biggest win since 2022, as NSW smashed the Crusaders 37-24 in Melbourne.

The victory came against all the odds.

Indeed, the bookies had the Waratahs as $8 outsiders. But just was the case in 2022, where they were considered $15 roughies, the men in blue pulled off another victory as they hung on at the death despite a late comeback.

“I’m really happy for the boys,” Coleman said.

“We didn’t trial well and then we were well-beaten last week. It’s the beauty of sport, isn’t it? No-one backed us to even go close tonight, so that’s what I enjoyed about it.”

Captain Jake Gordon’s runaway try in the 66th minute was the moment that looked like sealing the deal, but hearts were buried deep in the Waratahs mouths after the Crusaders hit back through Christian Lio-Willie.

That was until Tane Edmed, who had his finest performance in a blue jersey since leading them to a 24-21 win against Scott Robertson’s Crusaders at Leichhardt Oval two years ago, made a last-ditched tackle on Scott Barrett to deny the captain a try in the 76th minute.

Tane Edmed sent Harry Wilson in on the stroke of half-time against the Crusaders at AAMI Park, on March 02, 2024, in Melbourne. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

It was the second time in three years the Waratahs have upset the Crusaders, who have started their rebuild under Rob Penney with consecutive defeats.

On both occasions Edmed was the star.

After an injury-riddled 2023, Edmed took the ball to the line, kicked well out of hand, controlled the match and defended marvellously. It was the type of performance that saw him picked for Australia A at the end of 2022.

“I reckon if you got him he’d probably cry again,” said Holloway of Edmed in a reminder of the scenes two years ago when the No.10 led the Waratahs to the famous win in Sydney.

“He’s just growing. Another year in the saddle, the coaches have given him the confidence. All these young guys are stepping up to the plate.”

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