McKenzie ignores standings

New South Wales coach Ewen McKenzie's plans to get his team up the Super 14 ladder this season include not looking at the standings for the remainder of the season. [more]

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New South Wales coach Ewen McKenzie’s plans to get his team up the Super 14 ladder this season include not looking at the standings for the remainder of the season.

The Waratahs coach revealed on Tuesday that he doesn’t know how far the Australian outfit is off the top four as they attempt to prevent their season from slipping away.

The besieged New South Wales boss has good reason not to glance at the ladder – the Tahs are seventh following last Friday’s loss to the Crusaders and must beat the Cheetahs in Sydney on Friday to stay in touch with the leaders.

But McKenzie is not about to panic despite his job being inextricably linked to his team’s position at the end of the season.

He points out the vagaries of the draw throw up a murky picture of the likely semi-finalists this far out from the end.

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"This is the first year I’ve spent no time looking at the competition table," McKenzie said.

"I seriously haven’t looked at it – I’m actually not even sure where we’re at.

"I know we’re in the middle somewhere and I know what we’ve got to do and we’ve got to win on the weekend.

"But you’ve got to look at all this in the context of the competition. This will go right down to the last round.

"A lot of the top teams haven’t had the bye yet. We’ve had the bye so we’re effectively a game behind the rest and a lot of the top teams haven’t played each other yet, so teams are going to stand still."

New South Wales are coming off a disappointing 34-7 Good Friday loss to defending champions the Crusaders – a game in which they led 7-6 just after half-time.

McKenzie insists his team’s effort wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard but doesn’t feel the loss makes Friday night’s game extra vital.

"They’re all important. You can’t get bogged down and get emotional about the week to week," he said.

"We want to win every game. We’re going to take the same effort into this week and hopefully we can get a bit more possession and express ourselves a bit better.

"Training’s been excellent and the players have come back well from the trip to New Zealand and we’re looking forward to it."

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