"Obsessed" Hooper wants Waratahs to improve

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

NSW Waratahs captain Michael Hooper says his life is all about the Waratahs right now.

Hooper will be part of a NSW and ACT Wallabies catch up on Saturday and said it would take a bit of adjusting to put his head in the international space, after a brutal derby.

“My head’s all Waratahs at the moment,” he said.

“I’m obsessed with the Waratahs at the moment, it’s my life at the moment.

“I just want the team to get better.”

Hooper took a positive spin out of the game, thought admitted coughing up four penalties in the opening four minutes was not an ideal start.

“We wanted to start really hard and get up in their faces. Probably a bit eager there and led to penalties put ourselves under pressure for that first 30 minutes and took a bit of gas out of the tank

“We can go into a bye and really dissect what went wrong tonight.

“It was great to play a team like the Brumbies who have their stuff together and pulled us up in a few areas.”

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said the Brumbies had proven themselves the yardstick of the competition.

 “It’s certainly not terminal, it’s round two,” he said.

“What it does gives us is a clear indication of what we need to improve on. The Brumbies are setting the standard and now we know where that standard is.”

Gibson was pleased with his side’s ability to stay in the match, drawing scores level at half-time.

“I felt overall we really showed some good passion and real desire and commitment,” he said.

“Accuracy, particularly at the breakdown, let us down and subsequently we couldn’t put enough pressure on the Brumbies to get some score and keep the scoreboard ticking.”

The Waratahs will have plenty to delve into during the bye week, with a number of players under injury clouds.

Utility back Bryce Hegarty suffered a suspected ACL, while hooker Tatafu Polota Nau (arm) and back Rob Horne (knee) are also to be assessed.