SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 18: Jack Dempsey of the Waratahs reacts as he receives attention from the trainers after injuring his leg during the round four Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Brumbies at Allianz Stadium on March 18, 2017 in Sydney, . (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) Photo: Mark KolbeDaryl Gibson has admitted the Waratahs are in a “real hole” following their loss to the Brumbies and third consecutive defeat of the Super Rugby season.
After a disappointing couple of losses in South Africa, the Waratahs failed to deliver on their home turf, succumbing to the Brumbies 28-12 at Allianz Stadium.
Two tries to Brumbies winger Henry Speight put the result beyond doubt and has now left the Tahs with one win from four starts.
It is a position that has not pleased Gibson, who was rather frank at the post-match press conference, saying it was up to his players to dig themselves out of a major hole.
“That puts us into a real hole, we’re in a real battle again and that’s down to our own doing,” Gibson said. “We’ve got no one else to blame but ourselves.
“Credit to the Brumbies, they got the points, got the job done well. Things aren’t working currently so we’re going to have to look at what we’re going to change to get them clicking.
“[We are] just really inconsistent at the moment. Trying to piece that together and put together a sustained pressure at every area, whether that be set-piece, defence, kicking, just trying to make sure each individual is performing well and at the moment we’re struggling to get that consistency across the whole board.”
Gibson lamented a struggling Waratahs set-piece in the second half which contributed to NSW giving up a seven-point lead in the first half and an even playing field at half-time.
“We lost four lineouts in the second spell and failed to convert any pressure into any points,” Gibson said. “Scrum late on came under pressure, we conceded some penalties, so that’s disappointing. We can’t continue to shoot ourselves in the foot each week through our own inaccuracies and succumbing to pressure at set-piece time.”
Gibson is preparing to be without blindside breakaway Jack Dempsey for perhaps the rest of the season after he sustained a leg injury. He will have an MRI scan on Sunday.
Dean Mumm had a stint at No.6 last year for the Waratahs but it appears youngster Ned Hanigan is in the box seat in the likely event Dempsey is ruled out for the Rebels match on Friday.
“It doesn’t look good for him,” Gibson said. “At the moment best case, potentially is 8-12 weeks [on the sidelines], so that could be the season for him. [It is] particularly [tough] when he was coming into some pretty good form.”
Prop Sekope Kepu copped a head knock in his 100th game and had to leave the field. He will be monitored in the coming days.
Captain Michael Hooper said the most frustrating part of the 16-point loss was that players were putting in the hard yards on the training paddock but not being rewarded when it came to game day.
“If guys weren’t working hard each day I would be [annoyed],” Hooper said. “But I’m frustrated because guys are working really hard at training and we’re not a getting a pay on the weekend, so it’s hard to think why we put in so much hard work and don’t get the pay.”