Super Rugby

Gibson : Waratahs are “genuine contenders”




Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson says that his team’s 30-32 Super Rugby victory over the Stormers in Cape Town makes them “genuine contenders” to win the Australian conference.

The top spot in the Australian Conference at the end of the regular season earns a team a home play off and Gibson says that it is a realistic target.

Gibson has praised his players for their tireless work in a match which they only enjoyed 41 per cent possession but still managed to win the match.

The result has put the Waratahs level on 21 points with the Brumbies and they are now just two points behind the Rebels who lead the conference.

The Waratahs also have a game in hand over the Rebels and the Brumbies so a draw would put them in first place in the Australian Conference.

“It’s an excellent result for us,” Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“We knew we had to come here and win to give ourselves a chance in the Australian conference and with that win today we move into a position where we’re in contention. ”

“We’re genuine contenders. We’ve had our struggles, we’ve gone through that losing period and we’re coming out the other side.”

The victory over the Stormers means that the Waratahs have won back to back matches on the road and has given the team some much needed confidence.

“I think we’ve grown a lot as a team over the last two weeks being on the road,” Gibson said.

“Michael’s leading the team very well and things are coming together for us. In this tournament you need momentum at crucial parts of the year and for us we go home now and we’ve got two home games against South African opposition.”

“I think the guys have got real incentive and motivation now.”

On the matter of the Stormers being given a red card for a challenge on Bernard Foley Gibson said, “I think it’s borderline [a red card] and probably correct technically,” Gibson said.

“I think the primary concern is safety. You can’t have people landing on their heads, that is dangerous. The lawmakers are always going to have to interpret the game with safety in mind. ”

“The decision was made and I thought the Stormers were very valiant for 20 minutes and probably should have held on to win the game, but certainly for us to come away from the result is very good.”

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