Aisle not miss any training, vows Nick
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.