Waratahs buoyed for South African trip

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs head to Cape Town buoyed by a drought-breaking win but they’ll be without prop Benn Robinson for their crucial clash with the Stormers.

Robinson will not travel for the Stormers match, with further complications from an eye injury that ruled him out of last weekend’s match against the Force.

“He’s had further complication with his eye which meant he’s unable to travel and we’ll be monitoring him when we get back,” coach Daryl Gibson said.

“I think it’s a week to week thing. It has become more serious for him in terms of damage to his eye and it will be one where we just monitor it week to week.”

Gibson is set to stick with his backline combination that played against the Force, with youngster Andrew Kellaway impressing at fullback, with Israel Folau in the centres.

“I’m feeling more settled with this combination . Rob Horne to me looked more comfortable on the left wing,” he said.

“He gives us a lot of threat out there with his defensive qualities in the middle and shored that area  up as well.

“I’m keen to run this combination out and give it some time and certainly folau given more time at 13 to grow into that position.

“He’s determined to make sure he’s going to be a success there.”

Rob Horne is set to stay on the wing. Photo: Getty ImagesWhile they have been boosted by their victory over the Force, the Waratahs still face a run of must-win games if they want to challenge for finals in more than a mathematical sense.

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said they were ready for another challenge.

“I think it’s a good thing we’re out of our comfort zone,” he said.

“That’s one good thing we’re away and can enjoy being away and enjoy what last night was and build on that,” he said.

“It demands us to be pretty good. The Stormers have been playing some fantastic rugby.

“Building on last night’s performance is crucial will need to do next week.”

Hooper praised the side’s playmakers for taking control of the play against the Force.

"The pleasing aspect for mine was the control Nard (flyhalf Bernard foley), KB and Nick (Phipps) had on the game last week," he said.

"That was one of the better 80-minute performances they’ve had.

"They put that there as a bench mark we’ll be expecting that. They Pressure on themselves and I'm happy they want to take control of the game."