Waratahs at a crossroads

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs have a choice to make.

Sitting with a 1-2 record after four Super Rugby rounds, NSW halfback Nick Phipps said the side was at a ‘crossroads’, after a second straight defeat at the hands of a title contender.

“We’re at the crossroads now,” he said.

“We’re going to have to make a decision. (Do) you want to just be a courageous team or do you really want to knock it down, get  the job done?” he said.

Phipps was not buying into any gallant defeat narrative after the Waratahs pulled themselves out of a 30-point hole to lose by just four points against reigning champions, the Highlanders.

“You never want to be a courageous in defeat team,” he said.

“It’s frustrating the way that once we didn’t really have anything on the line that’s when people started switching on, ball running with a bit more intent.

“It was very disappointing, to be honest.”

Phipps said their last two matches, against the Brumbies and the Highlanders, had shown them their place in the pecking order.

“It’s been pretty brutal after the loss going into a bye and now we’ve got another nine day turnaround until we get to play again,” he said.

“We played the two best teams in the competition now so we see where we’re at .

“When we get an opportunity to play the Brumbies especially again... we’ll make sure we’ve tightened a lot of that stuff up.

“Otherwise it’ll be the same old story.”

Waratahs have to wait until next Sunday’s clash against the Reds to break their first run of consecutive defeats in three seasons.

Phipps said he was confident the Waratahs could turn things around and wanted to come out the other end a more ruthless side.

“We’re going to be alright,” he said.

“These kicks are nice and early and it gives us a lot of chances to move to make sure we tighten a lot of things up.

“We’ve got to put a foot on the throat (against the Reds) because we can’t just float into a game like that, we can’t just gift 30 points in the first half and expect it’s going to come back.

“We’ve got to start a lot better than that and we’ll be doing a lot of work this week.”