In an astonishing match, the Waratahs came from 6-23 down at half-time against the Highlanders in their quarterfinal in Sydney to eventually win 30-23.
It was a stunning turnaround, but the Waratahs were also helped by the fact that the Highlanders had one of their key players (Waisake Naholo) sent to the sin bin around the 50-minute mark.
In the 10 minutes that Naholo was absent, the Waratahs scored three converted tries to lead 27-23.
“I thought we were really poor in the first half,” said Gibson. “We lost four line-outs and we couldn’t get any possession, we couldn’t hang onto anything, we couldn’t string any phases together, we were getting behind in the penalty count, so on the balance, we played very poorly and still won the game.
“It shows we are a good side. We got plenty of growth in us.
“We got to fix those things up for next week, but those are things that are easily fixable.”
Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley said it was belief in their own abilities that got them through in the end.
“I think we always had the belief, we just got to keep nailing the big moments.
“I thought we missed some line-out delivery tonight, especially at crucial times.
“We allowed them to get a roll on in that first half with some silly errors and some ill-discipline at the rucks. We just got to be more clinical in those positions. I think the belief and the confidence was always there amongst this squad,” said Foley.
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