Rebels win a turning point for Waratahs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson believes a last-gasp win against the Rebels can be a turning point for his side, as they vie for a finals chance.

The Waratahs have a nine-day break before a crunch game with the undefeated Crusaders on Sunday afternoon in Sydney.

In some ways, it’s a battle of the comeback kings, the Waratahs surpassing their trans-Tasman rival’s biggest escape, overcoming a 19-point deficit on Friday night.

“We're playing the form team this weekend, that's the way we'll treat that, but we do know that each team we've played with has been very competitive so we're going to be at our best,” Gibson said.

The Waratahs hope this is a turning point. Photo: Getty Images“We know that but we love those challenges, we enjoy playing New Zealand teams, we're at home and I think ... playing more towards a style that we set for ourselves (on Friday night) gives us a great deal of confidence."

Gibson wasn’t happy at half-time, but said the second half and ultimate victory gave his side reason to believe they could build from here.

“A win's a chicken soup for the soul, it's great,” he said.

“The guys showed a lot of fight to come back from where we were, given our situation, so showed a great deal of confidence, backed ourselves, (showed) some belief and that's kind of what you need at this stage of the season when we're where we are.

“That can be an excellent turning point for us." - Daryl Gibson

"I didn't really let them have it (at half-time) but I knew that our effort at the time wasn't good enough and we weren't doing the things that we wanted to do.

"I never want to be a coach that just vents his anger, you've got to give them a plan and a way forward. While I've done that in the last three weeks, this is one that worked.”

Gibson said the breakdown remained a worry for the Waratahs, dominated again by an Australian opposition, with Jordy Reid and Colby Fainga'a wreaking havoc for the Rebels.

Tolu Latu has been the only rwalt pilfering threat for the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images“We talked all week around Jordy Reid and Colby Faingaa just how effective they were and it was something that didn't really work.

The Waratahs lack a traditional fetcher in their back row, with Tolu Latu their most prolific turnover artist and Gibson said they needed to address that.

“We don't really have those fetching type players, so we have to look for other ways to turn those balls over,” he said.

Their longest break of the year so far will give the Waratahs a chance to finesse their shortcomings, as they prepare for the Crusaders.

"We've had quite a disjointed training schedule of late, coming back from Africa, short week this week, we haven't really been able to put in the quality training i'd like," he said.

"Now, we've got a real good crack at getting stuck into that so, waiting for this week."

The Waratahs take on the Crusaders at 4:05pm AEST next Sunday LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.

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