Waratahs captain Michael Hooper admits he needs to make better decisions, after being sin-binned in the side’s 50-29 win over the Sunwolves.
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Hooper, who is the most yellow-carded Test player in history, lamented being sent off late in the game, with the Sunwolves able to score a try while the captain was watching on.
“I obviously had 10 minutes on the sideline there and I was disappointed in that decision that I made there,” he said.
“I put the team under pressure, allowed the Sunwolves to get some good attacking ball and score a try inevitably around the scrum, where I would have been on the field
“ I’ve got to work with my relationship there with the referee and get those decisions right.”
The Waratahs were on the wrong end of a 15-3 penalty count in the match, despite dominating on the scoreboard, and Hooper said it cost them at times.
With the wind at their back in the first half, Hooper said penalties were more frustrating, knowing the weather advantage their opponents would have in the second half.
“Particularly in that first half a lot of penalties put us under pressure and probably allowed the Sunwolves to really play their game and get in our field against the wind,” he said.
“So, we knew coming into the second half, when they would have the wind, it would be tricky.”
The Waratahs fielded two sevens in the clash, with Will Miller starting at six and showing some electric attack, but coach Daryl Gibson said the pairing didn’t quite have the desired effect on the ball.
“We wanted to try and slow the Sunwolves down,” he said.
“We know that they play a fast game and that was evidenced tonight by a few of their tries, which were excellent.
“Unfortunately, the referee saw things differently at the breakdown. Penalty count of 15-3.
“We did try and get on the ball, I was pleased with that.”
The Waratahs’ bonus-point puts them just one point behind conference leaders the Rebels, with another Australian derby coming their way in round nine, against the Reds.
The Waratahs host the Reds at the SCG on Saturday April 14, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here