Cape Town - Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson admits he doesn't know if he would have taken the job if he knew what he would be getting himself into.
Gibson's first two years saw the 'Tahs finish 10th in 2017 and a record-lowest 16th last year in an initiation of sorts at the start of his tenure. Despite pressure on him to be sacked, the 'Tahs brains trust stuck with their man.
And now, Gibson looks to be repaying the faith shown in him, with the Sydneysiders comfortably topping the Australian Conference, thus setting up a home quarter-final against the Highlanders on Saturday.
But it wasn't always plain sailing as Gibson revealed in an interview with the Fox Rugby Podcast.
“They backed me last season off two pretty average, mediocre years,” Gibson said.
“I don’t know whether I would have taken the job when I look back.
“As much as it was a winning team, it was very much a team in transition in terms of the roster, the playing list.
“The systems and everything that goes with the experience of all your staff being in place had gone, disappeared.
“To put that back in place and to really, truly own it and do it the way I wanted to do it - it’s taken to this point just to get here.
“One of my goals as NSW coach is making sure that part of the legacy that I want to leave behind is all those development systems and positions that we have in our club, are filled and work regardless of who the head coach is."
He added: “If I had my time again, I probably would have been a little bit more patient.
“I’ve learnt how important it is that the head coach is supported from an organisational view.
“Having incredible stability and direction - the CEO, the chairperson, the captain, your support staff - all in place and being really stable and all aligned towards one direction and a firm direction.
“When I look back to 2015, when Cheik left to take on the Wallabies, he took six staff with him, which is a big hole to fill.
“At the time we had no CEO, no general manager - the ingredients that you need to be a really successful club weren’t in place and so we really were starting from a blank canvas.
“For some coaches that would be a really appealing thing, but I guess being inexperienced at that stage, I made some mistakes.
“When I reflect on that, I would have probably taken my time a little bit more and been far more considered with my moves.”