; Truth or sour grapes? Former All Black’s unflattering words for Lions’ semi opponents – The Citizen

Truth or sour grapes? Former All Black’s unflattering words for Lions’ semi opponents

The Waratahs celebrate their quarterfinal win. Photo: Gallo/Getty Images.

The Waratahs celebrate their quarterfinal win. Photo: Gallo/Getty Images.

Jeff Wilson doesn’t believe Swys de Bruin’s troops have much to worry about when it comes to the Waratahs.

If you’re going to believe a legendary All Black winger, then the Lions will stroll to a win over the Waratahs in Saturday’s Super Rugby semi at Ellis Park.

Or you might interpret it as a simple case of sour grapes…

Jeff Wilson, who was incidentally a Highlanders star during his career, was not impressed with what he saw in last weekend’s quarterfinal from the Waratahs, saying the New Zealanders’ “panicked a little bit” and leaked three tries after Waisake Naholo received a yellow card.

Australia’s leading Super Rugby side were 6-23 down early in the second half before launching a thrilling comeback to win 30-23.

“The worst thing is the Waratahs are in the semi-finals on the back of seven minutes of rugby,” he told Radio Sport.

“They were pretty average for the rest of it but in seven minutes they scored three converted tries and that was good enough to take it. The Highlanders had the opportunities and they’ll be bitterly, bitterly disappointed like a lot of us Highlanders fans are.

“But the reality is they have to suck it up.”

However, Wilson, now a rugby pundit on New Zealand television, had to admit the Waratahs performed when they had to with their backs against the wall.

“They’ve been a bit like this all year. When they’re on they’re outstanding but it hasn’t happened very often,” he said.

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