“There’s nothing like having bragging rights over your mates”: Paddy Ryan speaks to The Roar ahead of Waratahs vs Reds clash

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    The Waratahs are looking to continue their impressive 2018 season. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

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    The NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds will square off in a Super Rugby derby this Saturday night, with retro the theme of the night. The match will be played at the SCG, and the Tahs will be sporting some pretty sweet throwback jerseys.

    The clash will be a significant one for prop Paddy Ryan. A Tahs regular since making his debut back in 2011, Ryan will make his 100th appearance for the side on Saturday night, and the front-rower was kind enough to chat to The Roar ahead of the landmark match.

    The Roar: What’s the rivalry between the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds like as a player?

    Paddy Ryan: Like all Australian derbies, it’s an opportunity to play against guys you grew up playing against, and win. And there’s nothing like having bragging rights over your mates. They have had a good start to the season playing a physical, yet expansive brand of rugby, which makes this game even more exciting

    Rob Simmons is someone who’s been on the other side in this rivalry in recent years. What’s it like having a former Red alongside you going into this clash?

    Rob is a great guy to have in our side. He runs a great lineout and has been in good form the last few weeks. The fact that he is a former Red doesn’t influence me much. It may mean that he has more conversations with the coaches this week but the team just wants him to bring what he brings each week.

    How would you describe the NSW Waratahs’ season so far?

    We are still at a crossroads for our season, the start has been okay without being exemplary. We have some really important games coming up leading into the June Test window, which is also a break in Super Rugby. The thing about Super Rugby is you need to build momentum and a win this weekend will continue that momentum into a big encounter against the Lions next weekend.

    You guys copped some criticism early on in the season, but have gone on to post three pretty impressive wins. What’s been the main factor in that strong form over the last few weeks?

    A part of being a sporting club in Sydney means that you come under more criticism than any other club in other cities. There is a lot of sport on offer here and people want to see their teams doing well. I feel that we blocked our criticism out early and have gone on to play in a true NSW Waratahs style that Daryl Gibson has worked hard on developing over the last few seasons. We need to stick to this style under the pressures that will come at some stage.

    Waratahs

    (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    You’re just one point from the top of the Australian Conference. There’s plenty of the season still to go, but is there much thought about your finals chances at the moment?

    If we start worrying about the finals now we will lose focus of what we need to do to get there. It’s a cliche in sport to say we are taking it one week at a time but that’s the reality. Getting ahead of yourself usually results in a stumble or poor performance.

    Personally, it’s your 100th cap for NSW. Did you ever think you’d make this many appearances for your state?

    It’s not something you take a lot of time thinking about as it approaches but once my career is done it will be something nice to reflect upon. The men that have played 100 games for this state are all great rugby people and to be a part of that group is an honour

    You’ve come off the bench a lot this season. Are you comfortable in that replacement role, or are you eyeing off getting into the starting line-up?

    Every player wants to start every game but it’s always been a team-first culture here. Sekope Kepu has been performing well the last few weeks. If my role changes to a starting role I will take that opportunity with both hands.

    The NSW Waratahs will go up against local rivals the Queensland Reds this weekend in what promises to be a blockbuster of a Super Rugby encounter, so be sure to grab a NSW Waratahs membership and get down to the SCG to enjoy all the Saturday night action.

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • April 12th 2018 @ 6:29am
      Jameswm said | April 12th 2018 @ 6:29am | ! Report

      Underrated player, mainly because he’s unfairly bagged. The bench NSW scrum has actually gone pretty well with Paddy and HJH.

      I’d still prefer Vui as the backup TH and Ryan and HJH as loose heads and Robertson as 5th prop, but Robertson has improved in the last couple of weeks.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 7:27am
        Cynical Play said | April 12th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

        The bench front row has been going OK. But I see this Reds pack as a step up from last week. If Tupou plays Tahs will struggle at scrum.

        I see this as a genuine 50:50. No Folau. Reds will be totally up for this after last week. Reds pack is very good. Reds midfield are hard to stop and Tahs backline defence has been shaky. I suspect Brad will have a plan to counter big TN on the wing. He had had a good look by now.

        Go Tahs

        • Roar Guru

          April 12th 2018 @ 3:44pm
          jeznez said | April 12th 2018 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

          Tupou sadly is out.

          I’d like to see Vui given another shot as I thought his one cameo this season was excellent.

          Ryan would also be my preferred LH bench player competing with Robertson for the spot.

          Think the scrum this week will be a good step up from prior weeks, even with Tupou out so looking forward to the battle.

          • Roar Guru

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

            ‘Tupou sadly is out.’

            Mind you jeznez he looked pretty much out of it very early last w’end… but yes it was going to be a fascinating clash.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 10:30am
      shooshiner said | April 12th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      No one cares as two Un Zudders are coaches.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 10:34am
      shooshiner said | April 12th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      This will be an interesting game for only one reason.

      If the Tahs win, i expect 18 Tahs in Michael Cheikas Wallaby 23.
      If the Reds win, i expect 18 Tahs in Michael Cheikas Wallaby 23.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 11:37am
        Cynical Play said | April 12th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

        still drinking?

        • Roar Guru

          April 12th 2018 @ 4:30pm
          Machooka said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

          Does Marto drink?

          • April 12th 2018 @ 7:17pm
            Lily the Pink said | April 12th 2018 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

            Have explain the Marto somehow!

    • April 12th 2018 @ 3:19pm
      uglykiwi said | April 12th 2018 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

      Does anyone still watch Aussie Rugby? I watched the Reds/brumbies game earlier this year…….. and refused to watch any Aussie side after that game. Have they improved?

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2018 @ 3:38pm
        jeznez said | April 12th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

        a little not a lot. I have intentionally been avoiding watching the kiwi derbies as I know it will make watching the aussie ones less fun

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2018 @ 3:42pm
        John R said | April 12th 2018 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

        Nah we just all comment about it without having watched any.

        It’s more fun that way because you legitimately have an excuse for having no idea what you’re talking about.

        • April 12th 2018 @ 4:10pm
          JP said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

          He said he watched one John R and asked if they have improved.Simple question.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2018 @ 4:30pm
            jeznez said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

            John just answered uk’s first question – “Does anyone still watch Aussie Rugby?

            It’s all good – I addressed his second question.

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2018 @ 4:31pm
            Machooka said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

            I know… JP stands for Justice of the Peace yeah?

          • Roar Guru

            April 12th 2018 @ 4:53pm
            John R said | April 12th 2018 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

            JP if you have seen some of his other comments, you’d know he’s not really asking a question.

            He’s just trying to stir the pot so to speak, so I played along.

      • April 12th 2018 @ 8:10pm
        Drongo said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

        Nah, got worse. How are the Com games going?

    • April 12th 2018 @ 6:12pm
      Malo said | April 12th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

      The Tahs by 20. We have better players and talent , that’s why they get picked in the wallabies.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 6:14pm
      Malo said | April 12th 2018 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

      The Tahs destroy every province and the roarers whinge when the Tahs have the most wallabies. How extraordinary

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