Rob Horne of the Waratahs.
Rob Horne of the Waratahs. CRAIG GOLDING

Tahs hoping Reds clash will erase last-start embarrassment

RUGBY UNION: Playing against their traditional rivals will be the perfect chance to get the dismal defeat by the Kings out of their system, says Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson.

The New South Wales side takes on the Queensland Reds on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium looking to bounce back from a 26-24 home loss to the South African strugglers last Friday night.

Gibson said the only game between the two teams this season will add some extra spice to the match and his team should need no extra motivation to get a positive result.

"We're playing our greatest traditional rival," he said.

"A lot's been said about what we represent and I think we couldn't have found a better opposition than the Reds this week.

"We go into the game with similar issues, both 2-6, the fate for either one of us - it's a must-win for both of us.

"Consequences are very much likely to be out of the conference."

While Gibson said he took the majority of the blame for last week's shock defeat, he added his senior players had also shown in how they had reacted in training that they would not accept the loss.

"What the players have been doing is taking accountability for themselves and their actions and through that we're very united about what we need to achieve over the next seven games," he said.

"They feel a great sense of responsibility towards that and the reason they are senior players is they can provide that leadership.

"In these situations, that's required."

Centre Rob Horne said the players needed to show their loyal fans a response and said the State of Origin-type game was the perfect opportunity to do that.

"NSW-Queensland games are always (thought of) on its own merit, regardless of either team's season," he said.

"So it'll be a massive challenge up there.

"They've got so many great players and it'll be a huge contest.

"I'm looking forward to getting back out there in our jersey and doing it proud.

"All our passionate supporters will be tuning in to see how we respond."

Meanwhile, the Australian Rugby Union has said the Brumbies are safe after calls for the Canberra franchise to merge with the Melbourne Rebels.

Former Wallabies coach John Connolly, who has backed the Western Force to remain in Super Rugby, told News Corp Australia the ACT-based Brumbies were fortunate to survive the axe.

His merger proposal would see the "Melbourne Brumbies" split their home games between the locations, while the Force's ability to produce home-grown talent entitled them a place in the competition.

An ARU spokesman said there had been no change in its position that the Brumbies were excluded from discussions around axing an Australian team.

News Corp Australia

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