Wycliff Palu says the Waratahs lineout problems against Queensland were a minor hiccup and expects them to be fixed for the Super Rugby finals.
Long serving Waratahs forward Wycliff Palu is confident NSW can fix their misfiring lineout for the Super Rugby finals, describing the issue as a minor hiccup.
While NSW clinched top spot with seven straight wins, their lineout performed poorly in the final round fixture against Queensland last weekend.
Palu said that Reds Test locks James Horwill and Rob Simmons had done a good job of putting pressure on the Tahs in that area.
Having earned a week off playing for finishing first, NSW have time to work on that critical area of first phase possession before hosting a semi-final the weekend after next.
“I think we just probably need to back ourselves, back our drill,” Palu said.
“I’m not that much of a lineout expert, but I feel we probably set a bit too slow and I think it gave them a bit of time to read it.
“We had a problem with it early in the year and it got addressed.
“We’ve got a bit of time now to get better and fix it up.”
Wallabies No.8 Palu acknowledged the loss through injury of captain and regular lineout caller Dave Dennis might also have been a factor, though he backed new caller Stephen Hoiles.
“Dave was the main guy there for us but Hoilesy has worked with him closely throughout the year,” Palu said.
“I’m sure it’s just a minor hiccup.”
Star fullback Israel Folau is on course to play the semi-final after missing the Queensland match with a corked thigh.
“He’s progressing really well. We expect him to train fully on Thursday,” Gibson said.
A question mark remains about the availability of utility back Jono Lance.
“He’s carrying a knee complaint for a couple of weeks now,” Gibson said of Lance.
“We’re just hoping through rest and rehab that it will come good.”