NSW captain Phil Waugh celebrated joining the 100 Club on Friday night by leading the Waratahs to a 34-16 win over the Highlanders in their Round 3 Super 14 clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Sydney University flanker became the third Waratah to play 100 Super 14 games when he ran on against the Highlanders, joining Chris Whitaker, his predecessor as captain, who played 107 matches, and University team-mate David Lyons, who played 100 before venturing overseas.
Waugh, 29, was knocked out just before half-time on Friday night and once again finished the match the same way he has finished the previous two matches this year – with a bloodied head swathed in bandages.
With 77 Tests to his credit, Waugh has two ambitions to fulfil – a World Cup and a Super 14 title.
He skippered the Waratahs to the final last year and would dearly love to go one better this season. As for a World Cup title, that decision rests with Wallaby coach Robbie Deans and the form of openside contenders George Smith and young Western Force No.7 David Pocock.
“I just keep that out of my mind,” Waugh said prior to the Highlanders’ clash. “I’ve sort of taken it one game at a time ever since I started so … it’s about playing against the Highlanders and winning the game.
“When you come off, you’re icing up the bumps and bruises and getting ready for the Reds game (next week), so that’s just the way I’ve operated.”
After coming through the Sydney University Colts program, Waugh made his Super 14 debut against the Stormers in 2000 never dreaming that 99 games later he would be captaining the Waratahs to a record nine consecutive home victories at the SFS.
Helping him celebrate the win were Sydney University team-mates in second-rowers Dean Mumm and Will Caldwell, inside-centre Tom Carter and five-eighth Daniel Halangahu.