4/06/2018

The Daikin Cooldown: Queensland Reds vs NSW Waratahs with Daryl Gibson

Photo credit: Dave Molloy

The NSW Waratahs have cemented their spot on top of the Australian conference after their 52-41 victory over the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium. Hear from Head Coach Daryl Gibson about the round 16 match and what lies ahead for the team in this week’s instalment of the Daikin Cooldown.


1. Fans were treated to a spectacle on Saturday night in a true Australian derby clash up at Suncorp Stadium. Talk us through the team’s mindset before taking on a team like the Reds.

We wanted to continue the improvement we have been showing in the games against the New Zealand teams. We wanted to play at the same intensity and put the close losses in previous games behind us and nail this one.


2. There were 15 tries scored in total, the scoreline becoming the highest ever recorded score in any Australian derby. What was the atmosphere like in the stadium?

It was a great atmosphere there with the Queensland crowd getting behind their team at home. It really reminded me of our last home game against the Highlanders when the Tahs fans really got in behind our boys and supported the team. It certainly helps when the going gets tough out on the field.


3. How crucial was our defensive game to the outcome from Saturday night?

Defence was a concern for us on Saturday night. We conceded some soft tries that we are not pleased about, especially when we had a bonus point with 30 minutes left to play. On a positive note, our attack is really starting to click so the key is to score more than the other team!


4. It was Rob Simmons’ first appearance back at Brisbane in NSW colours, how do you think he and the rest of the forwards handle the set piece?

Rob had an excellent game and has been a great signing for us this season; from his impact on our lineout and the quality ball it’s providing us all the way down to his excellent leadership and knowledge.

I’m sure he had mixed feelings about playing his old team, however that would have been made easier by getting a win.


5. Israel Folau made history with his two-try effort, becoming the highest ever try scorer for NSW. How effective were he and the backs in executing those set plays?

His strength in the air is very special. We are starting to really use him more effectively and as a real weapon that’s going to cause opposing teams a headache when trying to work out how to combat the air raid that’s coming!


6. What were some of the key learnings for you following round 16?

We continue to struggle to exit our area from restarts, especially after we have scored. We built healthy leads over the Crusaders, Chiefs and Reds, which were all games where we let the other team back in contention.


7. Now that we enter the June Test break, what’s on the agenda for the NSW Waratahs until we return to face the Rebels in Melbourne?

We are thrilled that we have such a good representation in the national team and we will be glued to the television in what promises to be a great series. The remaining players have a week off before we head to Japan to play the NEC Green Rockets at the Minato Festival of Rugby (Tokyo) on Sunday 17 June.

The players will then return to the Shute Shield for club rugby duties before we head to the really exciting part of the season.


The NSW Waratahs will return to face the Melbourne Rebels on Friday 29 June at AAMI Park.

Missed out on the action last Saturday night? Check out the full match re-cap right here.


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