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Waratahs to fight on despite another loss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/04/2017 Darren Walton

The NSW Waratahs have returned to Australia with their tail between their legs but vowing to fight on despite slumping to a fifth Super Rugby defeat in seven matches.

A 38-28 loss to the defending champion Hurricanes in Wellington has left the Waratahs languishing in 12th spot and set to fall further after next weekend's bye.

To compound their woes, Test prop Sekope Kepu faces a suspension after being ordered to report to SANZAAR's Foul Play Review Committee on Sunday night after receiving his third yellow card of the season.

But insisting he feels no external pressure, coach Daryl Gibson is adamant the Waratahs can still push for the finals, saying the worst is behind his team following a gruelling schedule to start the season.

In their first seven matches, the Waratahs have not only travelled to the home of the titleholders, but to South Africa while also having faced the undefeated Crusaders and Australian conference leaders the Brumbies.

"It's only the pressure I put on myself to make sure the team gets itself out of this. Very determined to fight on. The season is not over," Gibson said after his side conceded six tries in Wellington, including three in the first 11 minutes in a diabolical start.

"We've firmly through a tough schedule and now we've got an opportunity with a block of three games coming up before another bye that we'll really focus on and go forward from."

The Waratahs host the lowly Kings in a fortnight before playing the Queensland Reds in Brisbane and the Melbourne Rebels in Sydney.

Victory in all three very winnable contests will put the 2014 champions back in the mix.

The Brumbies also have derbies against Queensland and Melbourne before a trip to Wellington to play the Hurricanes in their next three outings.

Kepu was issued with a warning on Saturday after his dangerous tackle on Hurricanes fullback Jordie Barrett in the 27th minute followed his two previous sin-binnings in rounds one and two.

The foul play committee will look at all three of the Wallabies star's offences before determining a penalty, if one is required.

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