Super Rugby
Waratahs satisfied with scrum despite shaky effort against Reds
Sam Bruce
February 28, 2016
© Matt King/Getty Images

NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is likely to persist with his front-row "experiment" against the Brumbies despite a difficult night of scrummaging against Queensland Reds.

An inconsistent set-piece appears to be the Waratahs' major concern following their bonus-point 30-10 victory, particularly after they were forced into depowered scrums inside the final few minutes.

With replacement Benn Robinson injured, fellow substitute Jeremy Tilse was then made the scapegoat for repeated infringements and sent to the sin-bin by referee Angus Gardner.

It was all part of an ugly end to a dour second-half, the Reds having every right to feel a little hard done by late in the match as they failed to achieve the rewards their set-piece deserved.

"For me, it's disappointing you know that the game ended the way it did, in terms of the scrums being camped down there for four or five minutes," Gibson said.

"I'm a spectator, too; I don't come to watch that. I come to watch the ball being played. I shared the boys' frustration there."

The Waratahs conceded a number of penalties at scrum time with the new front-row trio of Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Angus Ta'avao struggling under the weight of the Reds' pack.

Waratahs crush Reds (Australia only)

Captain Michael Hooper defended his troops though and insisted he had good dialogue with referee Gardner.

"Yeah, we had communication," Hooper said.

"I think once the game progresses, once it gets later in the second half particularly, it's hard to get yourself out of that rut and I think generally with games, that once the penalties start going against you, it's really hard to get out of that situation.

"And for us, like Daryl was saying, the last five minutes was consumed by scrums which wasn't what we wanted to do. We wanted to get out and we needed to relieve pressure."

The 2014 Super Rugby champions also struggled at lineout time, losing three balls on their own throw.

The set-piece will likely be focal point in the build-up to Friday's clash in Canberra, particularly after the Brumbies destroyed the Hurricanes' scrum, and worked a set-play gem from a lineout, in their season opener.

"I thought they were very impressive," Gibson said of the Brumbies.

"To me, it looked like they've added a few things over the off-season but still very, very strong in the forwards and definitely their lineout platform is very good."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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