Coleman thinks Warringah can win, even if they lose the scrum battle to Uni

Warringah coach Darren Coleman thinks his side can still beat Sydney Uni in Saturday’s grand final even if they lose the set piece battle.

Both Sydney Uni and Warringah relied heavily on their scrum in preliminary final wins over Manly and Norths respectively, a tactic they’ll likely use again in this weekend’s decider.


Sydney Uni have named Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu to start alongside Waratahs Paddy Ryan and Matt Sandell in the front row, while Harry Johnson Holmes and known scrummager Chris Talakai will play from the bench.

The Warringah front row – Rory O’Connor, Luke Holmes and Harry Rorke – certainly won’t back down from the set piece challenge, but Coleman remains confident his side can still win their second straight title, even if things don’t go perfectly up front.

“If your set piece struggles, it makes your job harder but we’ve won games this year when we’ve had a good set piece day and we’ve won games this year when we’ve had a bad set piece day so I don’t think it necessarily decides the game, it just makes your job a little tougher.

After missing the playoffs in 2017, rookie coach Rob Taylor transformed the Sydney Uni playing style this year.

Uni scored more points than any other side this year, on their way to winning the minor premiership, despite playing with the least amount of ball.

“It’s intriguing and I think it’s a little Kiwi in nature,” Coleman said of Taylor’s tactics.

“They back their defence, they can really hurt you on transition and they’re physical. It’s a good model and Rob has instilled a lot of belief and confidence in that team and you can see that by the way they play.

“We’ll need to be tactically astute and have a really low error rate to be a chance.”

Two time Catchpole Medal winner Hamish Angus will start at flyhalf for Warringah, while former London Irish playmaker Myles Dorrian has been named on the bench.

“Hamish has a big calming influence on our side and his tactical nous will be crucial,” Coleman said.

“He knows what he needs to do around the field but he also helps others play their role as well.

“Then we’ve got an incredible backup in Myles Dorrian who can play No.10 or 12. He kicked his third match winning penalty goal for the season last Saturday.

“He’s just an ice man in that situation.”