Queensland prop James Slipper says he hates seeing NSW win anything and is primed to help derail the Waratahs’ Super Rugby title push.
A scathing assessment by Queensland great Stan Pilecki has the Reds fired up to put a dent in NSW’s finals preparations when the traditional rivals meet in the last round of Super Rugby on Saturday.
The Waratahs have already locked up first spot and a home final while the Reds have had a disappointing season in which they currently sit 12th.
But accusations from Pilecki – after whom Queensland’s best-and-fairest medal is named – that the Reds gave up during their last up 30-20 loss to the Force have wounded prop James Slipper, who says his side will lift for their supporters against the `Tahs.
“I find it hard to support a team that doesn’t support itself,” Pilecki wrote in an email to 250 former state players.
“I was embarrassed and disgusted with the efforts shown on Saturday. I don’t mind losing as long as you try to win – have a go!
“Not too many guys had a go on Saturday. They showed little pride in the jersey.”
Slipper labelled Pilecki an idol, said his criticism stung and was off the mark and admitted derailing the Waratahs’ title push would serve as the perfect riposte in the Reds’ season finale at Suncorp Stadium.
“What he said, it’s just disappointing,” Slipper said.
“I was out there in the field of battle so I knew what was going on.
“Our halfback played the majority of the second half with a broken jaw. Numerous other players were split open.
“So to question our effort and our motivation and our willingness to play for the Red jersey is pretty upsetting. Every week we put in.
“It seems as though everyone has a go at you when you’re down. It’s an Australian trend.”
The Waratahs are riding a club-record six game-winning streak and are hungry to carry the momentum into the finals.
“The game against the Waratahs this weekend is real exciting for the boys, just to get out there in front of our home crowd and to give back to our supporters,” Slipper said.
“We understand that they’ve had a really good year and they’re deservedly at the top of the table.
“Taking nothing away from that, I just don’t like seeing NSW win anything, in any sport.
“So going into this weekend, that’s a major cue for us to make sure we bring our A game and make sure we really front up.”
The depleted and out-of-contention Reds are very much playing for pride, but Waratahs winger Rob Horne said there was no room for complacency in the NSW ranks.
“It’s Super Rugby for one,” Horne said.
“Playing at Suncorp, they feel good when they play there. When they run out, they feel comfortable.
“So that’s already a big challenge for us heading up there.
“And number two, it’s a NSW-Queensland game; the form guide goes out the window every year with that game.”