Oscillating bodies constitute an important class of wave energy converters, especially for offshore deployment. Phase control by latching has been proposed in the 1970s to enhance the wave energy absorption by oscillating bodies (especially the so-called point absorbers). Although this has been shown to be potentially capable of substantially increasing the amount of absorbed energy, the practical implementation in real irregular waves of optimum phase control has met with theoretical and practical difficulties that have not been satisfactorily overcome. The present paper addresses the case of oscillating-body converters equipped with a high-pressure hydraulic power take-off mechanism (PTO) that provides a natural way of achieving latching: the body remains stationary for as long as the hydrodynamic forces on its wetted surface are unable to overcome the resisting force (gas pressure difference times cross-sectional area of the ram) introduced by the hydraulic PTO system. A method of achieving sub-optimal phase-control is developed, based on the theoretical time-domain modelling of a single-degree of freedom oscillating body in regular and irregular waves, by adequately delaying the release of the body in order to approximately bring into phase the body velocity and the diffraction (or excitation) force on the body, and in this way get closer to the well-known optimal condition derived from frequency-domain analysis for an oscillating body in regular waves.