Commitment, urgency, intent keeps Tahs' season alive

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

All Daryl Gibson wanted to see from his team last night was commitment to the cause and he got stacks of that plus plenty more in a season saving win over the Reds.

Gibson cut a relieved figure post match but he also spoke like a coach that knew the kind of rugby the Tahs played last night had been there all along, waiting to be uncovered.

It appeared to be well below the surface last week in a horrific loss to the Kings but it was there from the opening minute last night.

While the individual performances of Bernard Foley and Michael Hooper have deservedly drawn the headlines, it was the Waratahs' defensive attitude at the death which told the tale.Daryl Gibson got the response he was after last night. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Reds had the ball in the Tahs half for 25 phases and while there wasn't a great deal of attacking initiative in that set to negotiate, there were two Samu Kerevi runs and a Karmichael Hunt burst which threatened to break the Waratahs line.

Last gasp tackles stopped them from breaking the game open and eventually, a tired Kerevi could not beat Will Skelton to a loose ball - the reserve second rower claiming the 50-50 pill which sealed the match.

"It's a big win for us - you can tell that by the feeling in the dressing room," - Daryl Gibson.

"It's a massive boost for us, given where we've been.

"Commitment, urgency, real intent to represent our jersey with pride, we saw that tonight."

Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper was at his inspirational best last night.

He was ecstatic with his team's response to the embarrassing loss a week ago.

"It's tough to shut it out," Hooper said.

"We played last Friday, had a really tough weekend, had a hard look at ourselves but then we looked forward.

"That's the thing with this comp - it moves week to week.Michael Hooper raises the Templeton Cup. Photo: Getty Images"We were fortunate that we were in the position where we knew we were still in this comp.

"We knew that so we attacked this week and I'm happy that the guys intent and the coaches as well has been fantastic."

The result keeps the Tahs within touching distance of the Brumbies, who face the Blues in Canberra this afternoon.

NSW face that same opposition next Saturday night back at Allianz Stadium.

Should they carry last night's form into that clash, they are every chance of stringing consecutive wins together for the first time this season.