Phipps : Waratahs won’t be changing their game

Waratahs half back Nick Phipps says that their loss to the Stormers in Sydney last week will be the spark that makes them hit top gear starting with the Hurricanes this weekend.

Super Rugby champions the Waratahs have dropped to 10th place in the overall standings and are ten points behind the Brumbies who lead the Australian conference.

The Waratahs came off a bye last week but were unable to stop a Stormers team who had been winless on tour until last week.

Phipps says that despite their predicament they will not be changing the expansive style of play that was so successful last season.

“We’re committed to this style of play,” Phipps said on the Waratahs site.

“There’s obviously going to be different variations and different little things that we want to do for different teams when we see opportunities, but we’re not going to stop that style.”

“I think it would be disappointing that after three hard years, that if we have a couple of disappointing results that we shy and turn away from it.”

And while the result would have disappointed the vocal Sydney crowd, Phipps said that what was most disappointing was that the Waratahs were unable to play the style of play that they wanted.

“I guess the Stormers played really well,” Phipps said.

“They carried hard and defended very well. They probably beat us a bit tactically, but in saying that we didn’t really play to our game plan.”

“Working into the second-half we knew that they were going to rush and try to shut down our forward runners. But we didn’t really play any of our variations that we had been working on so hard so that’s disappointing.”

Moving forward, Phipps said that he and the group were looking forward to spending time with each other and the challenge of taking on the pace-setting Hurricanes.

“There’s no bigger challenge,” Phipps said. “There’s nothing better than getting on the road and having one target for the weekend.”

“It’s going to be good fun there and they’re an exceptional team, they’re playing so well and they deserve to be undefeated. They’ve got powerful ball-runners in the forwards and their outside backs are unbelievable as well.”

With All Black’s Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith in the midfield and Julian Savea and Cory Jane outside them, Phipps said that he, Bernard Foley and their forward pack would have to restrict the time and space given to the clinical halves paring of Perenara and Barrett.

“Their nine and 10 are not just explosive runners, they’re the directors. They’ve got a lot of good cattle around them and they’re using them to full effect really well,” he said.

“The way they play, they’re not the flashiest players all the time (Perenara and Barrett) but they’re the ones giving those around them the opportunities to play really well and it’s working really well for their team – the boys are just chomping at the bit to run off them and they’re definitely a couple of targets that we’re going to have to take into this week.

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