After a solid Captains run at Ballymore, it was good to check in with Tate McDermott about how the side is going at this stage of the season. It's young players like him (he's not even 21 yet!) that give Reds fans a good reason to "believe" in the team, in 2019 and beyond!
Hey Tate, how was training this morning?
Yeah mate, it was pretty good aye. We’ve been training well all week and leading into the Waratahs game, it was pretty important, getting our last training - last little polish run to get our skills in touch before the big game tomorrow night.
The boys are in good spirits and looking forward to a good game.
I’d love to hear how you feel the team is going at this stage of the season.
Yeah I think we have a realistic chance to make the finals this year, all the boys are pretty upbeat. Obviously we started with three losses in a row and it was a bit disheartening considering we told our fans that we were going to be different this year and we started the way we did in the past. But I think we’ve won five games and the one in South Africa was massive for us and a few at home in front of our home fans - the Brumbies one was a big turning point in our season I thought. In the few games we have lost, it’s more been us losing it than them beating us. Last week against the Rebels was pretty disappointing, but aside from that, once we beat the Sunwolves and got our first win, I think we’ve done pretty well this year, considering the team we’ve put together, full of young fellas that have stood up and made their mark on the competition. So yeah, it’s been good so far.
We do have one of the youngest teams in Super Rugby don’t we!
Yeah, we’re the youngest team in the comp by a long shot. I think the average age is 22-23. There’s a lot of boys my age, who are turning 21 this year who are 20 now, then you’ve got Isaac and Jordy in the team who’re 19, Jack Hardy’s 19, Fraser’s 19. There’s a lot of boys that are really young and getting a shot and making a difference, which is good to see.
What will the team have to do specifically this weekend to beat the Waratahs?
Yeah. We’ve gotta be a smart team and we’ve got to kick the ball in the right places and hold onto the ball when we need to. I think for us, it’s all about attacking. As you know, they play with a flat fourteen and just the one fullback, so if we can turn them around and put it in their corners, I think that’ll take us a long way. It’s all about being smart and playing in the right areas of the field. Last week, our exits let us down a little bit, when we received that kick and tried to get out of our own half. So if we can nail that, I think that’ll show through the whole game. And if we hold the ball and execute when we need to, I think that’ll definitely give them a run for their money and we’re confident we can win this game.
I know it’s all about the team, but still it’s gotta feel good having four tries under your belt right?
(Laughs) it was good to get the first one. But like you said, it’s just good to be scoring tries for the team. If that helps the team in any way, it’s awesome. But there’s no better feeling than crossing the line, in an important game.
Thanks Tate very much for your time!
No worries thanks for having me Tommy.
To hear more about Tate's rugby journey, make sure you catch my interview with him from last year here.