4 Jun 2011

Waratahs' playoff hopes on life support

4:19 pm on 4 June 2011

The New South Wales Waratahs coach remains optimistic about his injury-ravaged Super Rugby side's finals hopes, despite a 23-17 loss to the Bulls and several more casualties.

The result in Pretoria on Saturday morning enabled the defending champions to leapfrog Chris Hickey's men into fifth place on 49 points despite the Waratahs dominating possession.

Hickey knows the Waratahs can't afford another defeat in their two remaining games at home to the HIghlanders and Brumbies - but a bonus point means his team are on 47 points, level with the Sharks, who were scheduled to play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein early on Sunday.

The visitors couldn't convert enough opportunities and played the last 13 minutes with 14 men, after replacement lock Pat O'Connor was sent off for an alleged head butt.

O'Connor and another Waratahs lock, Kane Douglas, were cited - Douglas for an alleged dangerous tackle - with both men scheduled to front a judiciary on Saturday evening.