NSW coach Daryl Gibson reiterated his support for Rugby Australia's Wallabies rotation policy despite a humiliating 31-29 loss to the Sunwolves in Newcastle on Friday.
Gibson rested Test players Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Jack Dempsey for the Waratahs' round seven clash with the axed Japanese side.
Their absence did not fully explain the loss, which was the Sunwolves' second away win in the team's four year history.
The Waratahs made countless handling errors, while the so-called 'Blue Wall' that stopped the Crusaders in their tracks last week was no more troublesome for the Sunwolves than a worn-down speed bump.
But Mack Mason's turn in the NSW No.10 jersey was an unmitigated disaster as the 23-year-old battled to give his side any voice under a relentless and wily Sunwolves attack.
Nevertheless, Gibson refused to blame the agreed-upon rest policy brokered by RA with the Super Rugby teams.
"I believe it's just part of the game. I'd absolutely make the same decision with our rotation. It's a team game," he said.
The policy is shrouded in mystery, with little concrete detail around it other than it being one game for some players and two games for others.
The Waratahs' heavy concentration of Test players effectively means they will be missing at least one front line starter each week. With only Foley, Ashley-Cooper, Dempsey, Kurtley Beale and Tolu Latu rested (or in Latu's case suspended) to date, that still leaves Karmichael Hunt, Israel Folau, Nick Phipps, Michael Hooper, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu and potentially Ned Hanigan still to sit out a game or two. Beale and Foley will likely have to sit out another game before the end of the season.
"We kind of need to, we signed up for the intent to make sure our Wallaby players are in good condition for the World Cup, Im still a supporter of that," Gibson said.
"Its about managing the squad well and managing the energy and how much people are playing and as Hoops said its going to be a squad effort this year, we cant just keep putting out the same team every week."
Gibson defended Mason, who was by no means the only player who made the wrong calls or dropped balls in Newcastle. He and halfback Phipps, who comically kicked the ball out before the half-time siren, were hooked in the 57th minute.
"Obviously everyone made mistakes, don't get me wrong. I don't think he had that platform to work off tonight but, yeah, that was what had to be done atRead More – Source