Tahs confident Phipps' ankle will stand up

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is confident Nick Phipps has avoided a serious ankle injury, but the NSW scrumhalf will be sweating on the results of scans this week.

Phipps came off the ground just after half-time in the Waratahs’ 44-28 loss to the Highlanders, with an ankle injury and Gibson said it seemed like an ankle sprain.

The 28-year-old will go for an X-Ray on Monday to rule out the possibility of syndesmosis, which could spell a lengthier time off.

“At this stage we're not sure if it's going to be a week-long injury or longer," Gibson said on Sunday.

“At the moment he's walking around pretty freely. I don't expect him to be out for long, if at all." - Daryl Gibson.

Should Phipps’ scans uncover something more sinister, that injury could throw a spanner into the Wallabies’ plans, with the Waratah shaping as the backup to Will Genia in June, with the first Test just a fortnight away.

The Waratahs have Matt Lucas in Sydney to call on should Phipps need to sit out their round 15 match against the Chiefs, while Jake Gordon came off the bench to score two tries on Saturday night.

“I'm certainly really pleased with Nick - I thought he was really fast to the ball and gave excellent service,” he said.

“The speed of the game certainly was very good and then Jake came on and added some real impact and got the reward for that.”

After the Brumbies’ bonus point win in Buenos Aires on Sunday, the Waratahs sit nine points adrift of the conference leaders, a position for which Gibson said they only have themselves to blame.

“(Our finals chances) certainly relies on the Brumbies tripping up somewhere,” he said.

“We started well, that was a real focus for us in the last couple of weeks and showed real resilience on defence to hold the Highlanders out.

“To go into the break a point up with a pretty solid game plan that was being well-executed, it was pretty disappointing to lose by such a margin of 16 points." - Daryl Gibson.

“We perhaps didn't quite believe that we were 16 points worse than the Highlanders.”

The turning point of the game proved to be a yellow card against Dean Mumm, with the Highlanders nabbing 12 points while the lock was off, and though Gibson said it was ‘borderline’, he didn’t lean on that as an excuse for the loss.

“It's one of those borderline ones,” he said.

“It could have been just a penalty only or a yellow card and so the referee judged yellow card.

“We've just got to do our best in that situation with 14 men and see if we can come out of it.

"Unfortunately we gave up 12 points during that period, which certainly swung the momentum their way.”

Jack Dempsey and Andrew Kellaway joined the squad on Sunday, after playing Shute Shield on Saturday for Gordon and Randwick respectively.

The Waratahs take on the Chiefs next Saturday night in Hamilton, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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