Waratahs still in finals fight: Gibson

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

They have just three wins from 10 games but Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says finals is still in the picture, and mathematically, his calculations are spot on.

The Waratahs stole a bonus point from the Blues in a 40-33 loss to the Kiwi side, closing the gap on conference leaders the Brumbies to just four points, with the winner taking automatic finals qualification.

A bye next week means they can’t consolidate that, but when asked whether a 3-8 record meant they deserved it, Gibson said there’s no reason to count themselves out.

“We're certainly in the fight for it, whether we're worthy is up to the next five games,” he said.

“We haven't given up, if that's what you're suggesting." - Daryl Gibson.

“There's enough fight in this team to know that we're still in it and we're going to approach it that way and keep playing that way.”

Another hot and cold outing for the Waratahs left them frustrated and still without the answer to their slow starting woes.

Piers Francis killed the Waratahs with his kicks. Photo: Getty ImagesCaptain Michael Hooper lamented an early penalty count that gifted Blues flyhalf Piers Francis the first nine points of the game.

“Can't fault intent, we’re super eager, but too eager giving away penalties, jumping over mauls, shooting out of the line, I know I was guilty of one of those. Then the quick tap not getting back.

“Frustrating little things that you can change so easily but it's not an intent thing, it's just smarts and rugby discipline.”

It’s those elements that the Waratahs have battled for much of the year and the solution still appears a mystery.

"We're able to play some really good rugby against top sides and we've done that in a couple of games this season,” Hooper said.

“Yes, it’s frustrating and even more frustrating when you go to the review room and you see players doing great things and the team working so well together and then on the flipside of that just the total opposite.

“It's hard to put a finger on and we haven't found it yet and really trying to chase it."

The Waratahs have a bye next week before returning to face the Rebels in Sydney on Sunday May 21, an afternoon game.