Waratahs want points at all costs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs will be taking any points on offer when they take on the Stormers this weekend, with one of their most stable lineups of the year.

The Stormers boast one of the best defensive records in Super Rugby, having conceded just 13 tries this season, the equal-lowest across the competition.

With that record in mind, Gibson said anything the Waratahs could do to keep the scoreboard ticking over would be worth it.

“Definitely they’ll be hard to break down,” he said.

“What we have to do is get ourselves some tries.

‘’If we can keep the scoreboard ticking that’s a part of it. We will take points whenever we can get them.”

For the first time this season, the Waratahs are out of Sydney for two matches in a row, with a shot at their first consecutive wins of 2016.

Kicking will be critical for the Waratahs. Photo: Getty ImagesGibson said there had been a different feel around the group in their week in South Africa, coming off a victory over the Force in Perth.

“I think we’re entering a real special game for us,” he said.

“We need to perform well to win this game and we’re going to have to play at our very best.

“The guys are very motivated and really accepting of that challenge. They’ve had a really good attitude to our training and they were excited to get away on tour.

“With this year’s schedule we haven’t travelled a lot, it’s a good opportunity and I think we’ve got a nice stable feel.

“We’re focused on building that performance last weekend against the Force.”

Against a Stormers side that has added a more lethal attack to an already formidable defence, Gibson said choosing when to run the ball would be critical.

“We’re probably forced to change our game plan against the Force,” he said.

“That worked for us last week and we will look at when we make good decisions about when we run the ball.

“That was probably the biggest thing that came out of last week.”

Dean Mumm will start at six. Photo: ARU Media/ Stu WalmsleyDean Mumm will come into the starting blindside spot for the Newlands trip, replacing Jack Dempsey.

Mumm hasn't played blindside flanker in Super Rugby since the 2012 season, before heading to the UK at the end of that year.

Dempsey suffered nerve damage to his shoulder in the win over the Force and Gibson said his recovery could be anything from a couple of days to five weeks.

Gibson said he was pleased with the form of Dave Dennis and Will Skelton in the locks last week and was aiming for as much continuity as possible in the set piece.

“That obviously keeps our lineout intact in terms of positions,” he said.

“I think he’s (Mumm) very athletic.

“It’s probably more Dave performed well as a lock and we’re going to keep him there. 

“Given our options Dean’s been the best one.”

The Waratahs face the Stormers at Newlands on Sunday morning, 3:15am (AEST).