Will Skelton his own harshest critic

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika can rest easy. There is little chance of second-rower Will Skelton getting too carried away after his strong showing in NSW’s victory in their Super Rugby opener against the Force on Sunday.

On Monday, Skelton was anything but satisfied with his performance in the 43-21 win, despite being one of their big ball running forwards alongside Wycliff Palu and Paddy Ryan who set the platform for their backs to attack with direct centre-field busts.

”I had a big pre-season and I was a bit rusty coming out for that first game,” Skelton said. “I dropped a few balls and my defence … I didn’t stick very well. It comes to poor execution. I wasn’t focusing on my tackles. A few of the carries .., I’d make metres but then go to ground and lose the ball. It’s not good enough for the team. I need to contribute more.”

Such self-analysis will leave Cheika smiling. He made it clear that while he was happy about the result, which included six tries, to beat the Reds on Saturday the Waratahs must eliminate handling and passing errors.

Not that Skelton was all down on himself. Pressed on how he, Palu, Ryan and others helped gain metres with their ball carries, he said: “That’s what our forwards try to do every carry. We are not about game line. We are about going forward.

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