Waratahs won't be avoiding their problems ahead of derby

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs want to confront their slump head on as they prepare for their only derby game with Queensland in Brisbane next weekend.

After a 26-24 loss to the Kings, skipper Michael Hooper was frank when asked whether the team needed to spend some time apart, for the ‘soul-searching’ coach Daryl Gibson had said would be needed.

“We’re not in a position to get away,” he said.

The coming weeks will be close to Hooper’s most challenging as Waratahs captain, and he said there were important questions for everyone to answer.

Bernard Foley wants to address their problems head on. Photo: Getty ImagesBoth Hooper and flyhalf Bernard Foley, among others on the field on Friday night, have been on the other side of the coin, in teams whose endeavour could never be questioned, a far cry from this NSW outfit.

“We’re in a tough place. There’s got to be a switch of momentum at some point, we’ve yet to feel that, we’re yet to get that,” Hooper said.

“Teams that get a roll on, it all turns positive, it all turns really exciting. 

“You want to be there, you want to do it. When things aren’t going well, are you going to be there? It’s harder to say. 

“I’m just disappointed we can’t get it together. 

“There’s no better feeling - I have been in those teams, in this jersey included, when you have it, it’s awesome it’s like nothing else. 

“All I want is guys to feel that and I want to feel it as well.”

Foley,  has also been at Moore Park for the lows and said this season was evocative of a 2012 where they won just four games under Michael Foley, who was gone at the end of the season.

“My first year 2012 was a low point and this is there but the thing about this is we’ve got a lot of games left in this season,” he said.

“It’s a low point ,100 percent, it’s a low point but you can only go one way and that’s back up.”

The Kings capitalised on the Waratahs' mistakes. Photo: Getty Images“We can’t change the world in a day, it’s going to have to be a continual process and (we need to) rock up with an attitude that we want to be better on Monday and keep fighting.”

Foley echoed Hoopers’ sentiments about mentality, a lingering problem for the Waratahs that has manifested itself in slow starts, slow finishes and, now, a rock-bottom loss.

“When you’re going well, everyone has faith and trust and belief in the system and just does their job,” Foley said.

“When there is that doubt, people just go out and try and solve the problem themselves, which ends up being detrimental to the team.”

For Foley, Hooper and the rest of the Waratahs leaders, the flyhalf said there was only one way they could set an example.

“Through our actions. Just keep turning up, doing everything we can do and controlling in our review and preparation and every time we take the field, in training, in gym sessions, in meetings.

“Just keep fronting up and being honest and reviewing for an outcome rather than just reviewing for the sake of it or dodging around the bullet.”

They’ll be right in the firing line again next weekend against the Reds and Hooper expects that will be motivation enough.