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Loss puts Tahs’ season in the balanceAs it happened: NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes
Nanjing Night Net

Daryl Gibson says the Waratahs need to win with a bonus point win against the Blues at Eden Park if they are any chance of topping the Australian conference.

NSW take on the Blues in Auckland on Friday while the Brumbies host the Western Force the following evening, with only one team able to qualify for the Super Rugby finals.

The Force have battled throughout the year and will be massive underdogs against the Brumbies in the latter’s own backyard, meaning the Waratahs have come to the conclusion they will have to win with a bonus point, for if they don’t their ACT rivals could go through with a small win.

The Waratahs need to take away more competition points in the last round than the Brumbies otherwise their season is over given no Australian team has accumulated enough points to earn a wildcard spot.

“We’ve got a more difficult task,” Gibson said. “You saw how well the Blues played against the Brumbies and so to go to Eden Park and firstly win and get a bonus [point] will be a hugely difficult task.”

Asked whether he thought the Waratahs would need a bonus point to go through, Gibson replied: “With all respect to the Force, I think they’re going through some teething issues and so on the Brumbies have probably got the easier of the fixtures.”

Gibson pinpointed errors at crucial moments as one of the main reasons why his men went down to the Hurricanes 28-17 in Sydney on Saturday.

“At times we built pressure well and we let the Hurricanes off the hook with some mistakes and I think that was pretty costly,” Gibson said. “We’d be more disappointed around the performance of our team. As we alluded to, those moments that we lost were crucial in the game and that’s the most disappointing thing.

Offloads worked a treat for the Waratahs against the Sunwolves in Tokyo but they contributed more handling errors than normal in wet conditions.

Gibson said he wasn’t displeased by the team’s intent to try and offload.

“I’d asked the team to play with a tackle offloading type game to try and continue and keep the ball alive,” Gibson said.

The Waratahs will travel to New Zealand with a largely unscathed side despite a bruising encounter.

Rob Horne left the field in the 64th minute because of a migraine but is expected to be right for training on Monday.

Captain Michael Hooper conceded it was a hollow feeling not being able to give a number of players a fitting send-off in what could be their last game at home.

Dave Dennis is off to England, Wycliff Palu is not expected to be there in 2017, while Matt Carraro (50th) and Dean Mumm (100th) celebrated game milestones.

“Regardless of the result tonight we’ll go into the change room and celebrate some fantastic achievements by many players tonight,” Hooper said.

“Disappointing we couldn’t do the job and it’s always disappointing on 50th and 100th caps when you can’t pull a win and really celebrate how they should be.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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