Aisle not miss any train­ing, vows Nick

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RUGBY - JAMIE PANDARAM

AFTER the Waratahs suf­fered their big­gest loss of the sea­son, half­back Nick Phipps has vowed not to take any days off train­ing this bye week de­spite get­ting mar­ried on Satur­day.

Phipps will wed his banker fi­ance Ebony Bam­ford in Rose­berry next week­end but will not shirk any prac­tice ses­sions this week as the Tahs reel from their em­bar­rass­ing 29-0 de­feat to the Li­ons.

“I wouldn’t ask for (days off). We made sure it wasn’t go­ing to im­pact any of the train­ing be­cause as I said to the boss that’s num­ber one — the boss be­ing the mis­sus,” Phipps said.

Last Fri­day’s de­feat was the first time NSW had been held score­less in Su­per Rugby his­tory, and adding to Phipps’ woes was that team­mates in his bridal party — Michael Hooper and Bernard Fo­ley — both took heavy whacks to the face. Bam­ford, in the stands at Al­lianz Sta­dium for the game, got her point across af­ter­wards.

“She might have pointed out that Hoops had blood run­ning down his eye. She said he’d bet­ter fix that up for the pho­tos. She saw Bernard got put to sleep so she said he’d bet­ter be right for the wed­ding,” Phipps said. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing. I’ve been the young bloke at the club al­ways hav­ing a laugh and a joke around with the older boys get­ting mar­ried. It’s go­ing to be fan­tas­tic. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.”

But be­fore he walks down the aisle, Phipps will walk into a som­bre meet­ing with the rest of his team­mates to­mor­row.

“It’s a big learn­ing op­por­tu­nity at this stage in the sea­son. There were a lot of things out there that weren’t our best — not our trade­marks and style we want to play,” Phipps said.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for us to re­ally rip it apart, be­cause we were well and truly beaten by the bet­ter team. They’re the bench­mark of the com­pe­ti­tion at the mo­ment. If we want to be up there at the top, they’re the games we’ve got to be bet­ter at and learn from.

NSW for­wards coach Si­mon Cron said con­fu­sion around de­fend­ing the Li­ons’ pre-planned li­ne­out plays, from which they scored two tries, was a key is­sue.

“We had some maul D, the maul D was stop­ping them dead but we’ve also got a de­fen­sive sys­tem out­side of that, and as soon as they bounced, one or two guys had come in when they shouldn’t have and it just opens a hole,” Cron said.

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