Forward motion: Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps has the sort of strength that could almost see him classed as a forward.

Forward motion: Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps has the sort of strength that could almost see him classed as a forward. Photo: Getty Images

Seven months ago sitting at ANZ Stadium, as the precious seconds counted down at that memorable final, I uttered two desperate words to myself as Bernard Foley struck the ball. 

Get there ... get there ... GET THERE! 

It was something instinctive, something I always used to say as the ball set sail from my boot. 

That night it wasn't me, but I still got the same sense of pride and elation as that kick snuck over from 40 metres out. The rest is history. 

The journey starts again today for the champion,  as they tackle the Force on the home turf that last year transformed a team. 

Not only did they enjoy playing at Moore Park but they built an army. An army of supporters that is made up of people like you and me

Never before has a Waratah team captured the imagination like the 2014 side, but that knowledge and the achievement of last year means that the task of going back-to-back is all the more difficult.

Then came the interesting words from Michael Cheika that brought a dose of reality to the champions. 

He mentioned that the Tahs are not defending their title, merely starting again like the other 14 teams. To me this just reeks of hunger. It says "I want it just as bad as last year". Now these can just be words, and I have been in some teams where words are stronger than actions, but I think this mob are for real. 

They have tasted success and learnt that nothing gets handed to you. The style of football the Tahs played was criticised early on last season. I even said you have to kick it, but they persisted with a brand that eventually gained them respect and then the ultimate prize.

Sometimes the easy option for a team is to try to emulate what it did last season, and that will suffice for this year. The danger with that thinking is others will soon catch up. Put simply, producing the form from last season won't be enough, you will fall short with the knowledge that what was done last year won't be good enough to get the job done now.

Their immediate goal on Sunday is to try to get back to at least where they were last season and build from there. That has to be their starting point. Certainly the the objective for Tahs is to not to be overzealous. They are not the team from last year but they have left a legacy from last season, an identity. The goal of the 2015 team is to find the new players that will take them to a second title without losing that identity. There will be a sense of occasion ringing around the ground on Sunday, the first game at home and, playing against an opposition that grew so much in confidence last season, overplaying your hand could cause problems. 

But that's not their style, and that's certainly not the Tahs' mentality. I know it was only a trial match last week against the Chiefs but a 38-36 scoreline to me suggests an attitude of "catch me if you can". We are going to play, we may leak some points but we will certainly score some along the way. 

So who makes a difference for the Tahs this season?

Captain Dave Dennis. Back, fit, strong and looking to make amends. Joining him back in action will be Sydney's favourite adopted son, Jacques Potgieter. Aggressive, direct, passionate and leadership will be his forte again for this team. 

In effect it is about the whole pack making a immediate impact. The scrum concerns that plagued the Wallabies last year will need to be eradicated. 

I just wonder how much of the message got through about learning to love scrums. It is so crucial to get that channel-one quick ball to let the playmakers dictate the ebb and flow of the game. 

One player that has matured nicely in perhaps one of the most competitive positions in Australia is Nick Phipps. 

He could be classed as the ninth forward with his strength, but I think his best attribute is delivery from the base of the ruck. It is quick, efficient and bullet-like, allowing time for the receiver. 

This time last year the Tahs got off to a flyer against the Force with Israel Folau crossing the white line three times. 

This afternoon the Honey Badger, Nick Cummins, is back to lift the spirits of the men from the west, so expect resistance. 

I just don't know if they will be able to grind it out against the Tahs especially without their captain Matt Hodgson. 

Tahs for me this arvo. Onwards and upwards.