Axed Sunwolves howling not wimpering

“The news [of being axed] is devastating for everyone involved but the only thing we can do is play good footy, win games of rugby. That’s 100 per cent our focus,” Brown said.

“If you go back to the start of the season we’ve been playing good rugby and not quite winning. We are a good enough side to win this competition and we’ve just got to believe that a little bit more, and next week [on Frdiay] we’ve got to believe it a little more, prepare as well as we did this week and beat a pretty good Rebels side.”

Still waving the flag: Sunwolves supporters at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on Friday night.Credit:AAP

Brown was not getting carried away, reminding his players that they had plenty to work on after the Waratahs made countless line breaks but failed to convert them to any real pressure, or points.

“I’m really proud of the guys but at times there we were playing some ugly rugby as well,” he said.

“We can get a lot better than we played and that’s the exciting thing for us.”

Friday’s match was another indication the Sunwolves will leave Super Rugby at the very time their investment is coming to fruition.


From a solitary win in their first season in 2016, to three wins last year, to this year’s first away win and Friday’s second away win, some coaching continuity and alignment with the Test side has seen the Sunwolves go from charity inclusions to genuine contenders.

Halfway through a two-week Australian tour, Brown seemed bemused by the focus here on rotation policies and their fallouts. Asked on Friday about the Waratahs’ decision to rest three front-line Wallabies and start baby five-eighth Mack Mason, he was blunt.

“We’re also resting players as well, every international team has rotation policies, so it is what it is, you put the best team you can on the field,” Brown said.

“It doesn’t worry us who they play, that’s something for the Waratahs to be more worried about. We just go out there and prepare to win the game of rugby.”

Georgina Robinson is the chief rugby reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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