Wallaby Phipps returns for NSW Waratahs

By Darren Walton, Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

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    Wallabies halfback Nick Phipps will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season after being named on the NSW bench for Saturday night’s clash with Queensland in Sydney.

    Phipps has been frustrated by a nagging calf injury but is certain to get game time at the SCG as the Waratahs chase a fourth-straight win.

    The classy No.9 convinced coach Daryl Gibson he was finally ready for a call-up with an impressive hat-trick in Sydney University’s 36-12 Shute Shield over Parramatta last Saturday.

    “It’s been a long, hard road for him. He’s had to six to eight weeks of nearly being there and he’s finally passed fit,” Gibson said on Wednesday.

    “He had a good trot last week with Sydney Uni and I think he’s ready.”

    Otherwise unchanged from last week’s 50-29 bonus-point victory over the Sunwolves in Tokyo, the Waratahs have an opportunity to complete a rare season sweep over their Australian conference rivals having already beaten the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels.

    Not that Gibson says the Tahs ā€“ who trail the conference-leading Rebels by a point on the table ā€“ need any extra incentive to topple the Reds.

    “We’re treating each game as they come and we know this is against one of our traditional rivals,” he said.

    “There’s no real added motivation needed for this week. It’s a game the boys are really excited to get the opportunity to play.”

    Despite making their best start to a campaign in almost a decade, Gibson says the Waratahs are far from the finished product.

    “Defensively we still are conceding far too many tries, particularly putting a lot of pressure on ourselves through our own poor ball control at times,” he said.

    “That’s something we’ve talked about a lot.

    “We always knew the Sunwolves were going to be a difficult proposition and the fact that they have got an excellent attack they played with a lot of variation and without risk.

    “We’re steeling ourselves for what is going to be a very physical encounter.

    “We see both teams really trying to transform themselves into really competitive teams and that’s what we’re expecting this weekend.

    NSW Waratahs: Bryce Hegarty, Alex Newsome, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (capt), Will Miller, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson. Reserves: Hugh Roach, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Paddy Ryan, Tom Staniforth, Jed Holloway, Nick Phipps, Lalakai Foketi, Cameron Clark.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • April 11th 2018 @ 3:06pm
      pk said | April 11th 2018 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

      And thus an automatic pick for the Wallabies Bench.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 1:45am
        Yep said | April 12th 2018 @ 1:45am | ! Report

        There goes any chance for any other Scrumhalf that isn’t a Waratah….sigh

    • April 11th 2018 @ 4:12pm
      Malo said | April 11th 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

      Noooooooo

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2018 @ 6:28pm
      jeznez said | April 11th 2018 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

      Still no Latu or Vui? Why no love Gibbo?????

      • April 11th 2018 @ 6:56pm
        RJ said | April 11th 2018 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

        I was wondering the same thing, I’d take Latu over roach anyday of the week

        • Roar Guru

          April 11th 2018 @ 7:35pm
          jeznez said | April 11th 2018 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

          Latu was on the Uni team sheet on the weekend. Vui the same for Southo’s.

          The not fit line isn’t ringing true – just need to give these guys a run.

          • April 11th 2018 @ 8:01pm
            cuw said | April 11th 2018 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

            perhaps hard to change a winning team .

            • April 11th 2018 @ 11:46pm
              cinque said | April 11th 2018 @ 11:46pm | ! Report

              That ultra-light back row was fine against the Sunwolves but could be in big trouble against the Reds.

              • April 12th 2018 @ 5:29am
                Ed said | April 12th 2018 @ 5:29am | ! Report

                And the second row are not big brutes – Simmons and Hanigan.

            • Roar Guru

              April 12th 2018 @ 1:57pm
              jeznez said | April 12th 2018 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

              By that argument Vui should never have been dropped after the team beat the Stormers.

              • April 12th 2018 @ 2:29pm
                Fionn said | April 12th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                Is it just an attitudal thing with Latu??

              • Roar Guru

                April 12th 2018 @ 4:35pm
                jeznez said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

                I wish I knew.

                His lineout was off against the Jag’s but I didn’t think it was so off that he should be freight trained straight back out of the squad.

                I thought he made impact everywhere else in the game – and similar with Vui earlier, he scrummed well and won a couple of collisions which we had been struggling to do against the Stormers.

                My gut says that Gibson is putting a huge premium on workrate over effectiveness.

                So Robertson who is very quick to his feet and into the post position is preferred to a player that would strengthen the scrum, carry more strongly and is more effective in the clean out.

                Further why Miller is now preferred to Holloway.

                We’ll see if the improvements seen through the Rebels, Brumbies and Sunwolves games continue.

                The pack has hunted much more as a group since that second half against the Rebels. Individual deficiencies are less noticeable with the numbers that are getting to contests.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 11:01pm
      Malo said | April 12th 2018 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

      Hooper and Foley to smash the opposition and then get bagged continuously by roarers with no idea.

    • April 13th 2018 @ 7:17am
      Thanks said | April 13th 2018 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      Reds support staff have been warned to stay clear of phipps and reds squad have been instructed to heavily tape their bootlaces to make it harder for phipps to steal for his signature boot throw

      • April 14th 2018 @ 10:46am
        double agent said | April 14th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        Saw a boot throw last week in a Subbies game. Ahhh – it never gets old!!

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