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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
The NSW Waratahs suffered a 28-12 loss to the Brumbies at Allianz tonight, with the visitors walking away with the inaugural Dan Vickerman Cup.
NSW Waratahs Captain Michael Hooper, who celebrated his 100th Super Rugby game, said the team had been putting in the hard work at training but he was disappointed that was reflected on the field.
“I was very happy with the first half, I though we worked really hard and it was our best half of footy. I’m not sure why we didn’t bring it in the second half, it’s disappointing,” said Hooper.
“If guys weren’t working hard each day I would be worried. But I’m frustrated because guys are working really hard at training and we’re not getting the pay on the weekend.
“Our set piece was off in the second half so how to get that going for 80 minutes is our challenge,” he said.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Daryl Gibson echoed Hooper’s disappointment and admitted that changes may need to be considered.
“Simply I think our execution was off. If you can’t play with the ball and convert your own line out it’s going to make things very difficult.
“We have a set game plan and we know what we want to do but we are just struggling to get that in play.
“We’ve got to remain positive and optimistic but we’ve got fix those things quickly and get back up,” said Gibson.
The first half saw the NSW Waratahs quick to get points on the scoreboard, capitalising on a yellow card from Brumbies flanker Scott Fardy in the opening eight minutes with loosehead prop Tom Robertson crossing the line. The conversation from Reece Robinson saw the Tahs take a 7-0 lead.
At the 27th minute mark it was Brumbies Tevita Kuridrani who levelled score leading into the half time.
Minutes into the second half the Tahs lost Jack Dempsey with an ankle injury that could see him sidelined for 6-12 weeks.
It was tough going for both sides in the second half but it was the Brumbies that put away two consecutive tries from Robbie Abel and Henry Speight.
But the Tahs weren’t done yet with replacement scrumhalf Jake Gordon scoring his maiden try in Super Rugby to bring the Tahs back within striking distance.
Another Speight try from the Brumbies in the 74th minute saw the visitors wrap up the game and take home the Dan Vickerman Cup.
The NSW Waratahs will now have a quick turn around before they face the Melbourne Rebels in Melbourne next Friday night.
Tries: Robertson, Gordon
Tries: Speight 2, Kuridrani, Abel
Cons: Hawera 4
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The NSW Waratah’s will open their 2018 Super Rugby season with a home match against the Stormers at Allianz Stadium on the 24th of February.
SANZAAR has released the Super Rugby draw for 2018 with the Waratahs scheduled to play eight games at home.