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Defiant Waratahs not throwing in the towel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/04/2017 Darren Walton

The defiant NSW Waratahs remain adamant they can turn their Super Rugby season around.

And in New Zealand, of all places.

A 41-22 loss to the undefeated, table-topping Crusaders in Sydney on Sunday has left the Waratahs with just two wins from six starts this campaign.

But things don't get any easier for the Waratahs, who travel to Wellington next to take on the defending champion Hurricanes on Friday night.

Coach Daryl Gibson hopes the short five-day turnaround proves a blessing as the 'Tahs bid to become the first Australian team to beat Kiwi opposition in a dozen trans-Tasman clashes in 2017.

"It means we've got to pull ourselves up straight away. We can't afford to be stuck in that game tomorrow," Gibson said after watching his side miss 47 tackles against the Crusaders at Allianz Stadium.

"You can't win football missing that many tackles.

"We've got to start moving on, moving towards the Hurricanes.

"Of course we'll go through the tape. There'll be some positive play."

The 2014 champions are sweating on Bernard Foley recovering from his ongoing concussion issues despite 21-year-old Mack Mason making a decent enough debut.

Apart from a couple of wayward passes, Mason stood up to the Crusaders while forming a greenhorn halves pairing with two-game rookie Jake Gordon, the Tahs' standout performer.

Gibson, who said "at this stage" Foley would be available, admitted trying to stop the rot after seeing Australian sides lose 33 of their past 36 matches against Kiwi teams was a huge challenge.

"I can't comment for the other teams but certainly right now we're finding it tough going, in terms of seeing the level that we've got to get to," he said.

"Every time we come up against a New Zealand team, we've been shown the level and that's something for us to aspire to - and part of my job is to get that team there and right now we're short of that."

Asked how short, Hooper said "15 minutes".

"We were seven points behind an undefeated team there with momentum at 65 minutes," he said.

"I was so happy with the guys there to getting it back. But we're doing it the hard way.

"Let's be that team that's up 12-0 after 10 minutes. Let's roll that into the Hurricanes this week and that's about (eliminating) individual errors."

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