Planet Rugby

Waratahs fight back to snatch late win

24th March 2013 06:52

Share:

Rob Horne Rene Ranger Waratahs Blues 2013

Turning the tables: Rob Horne

The Waratahs fought back from 14 points down at half-time to snatch a 30-27 victory over the Blues in Sydney on Sunday.

After trailing 24-10 at the interval, home fly-half Bernard Foley slotted a last-minute penalty to claim a comeback win for the under-pressure hosts.

First-half tries from hooker James Parsons, fly-half Chris Noakes and full-back Charlie Piutau put the Blues, who were seeking their first win in Sydney in ten years, firmly in control.

But the 'Tahs came roaring back in the second period, outscoring their visitors 20-3 after the interval as full-back Israel Folau and Foley added to Drew Mitchell's first-half score.

It was only the battling Waratahs' second win of the season, while the Blues fell to 2-2 this campaign.

Foley only took over the goal-kicking duties after scrum-half Brendan McKibbin was forced off with a shoulder injury 30 minutes in and kicked two conversions and two penalties from his four attempts along with a 64th minute try that levelled the scores.

Wallabies winger Mitchell put the Waratahs in front in the seventh minute after leadup work from McKibbin and former rugby league international Folau.

But the visitors from Auckland scored the next three tries through Parsons, pouncing on an error by Mitchell after a Waratahs line-out, Noakes from close range and Piutau off a dreadful handling error by replacement scrum-half Matt Lucas.

Noakes kicked the Blues to a commanding 14-point lead at the break, which was the biggest half-time deficit the Waratahs had conceded in six years.

But the Waratahs turned around the match, with Folau scoring off a forward-looking Lucas pass and Foley plunging over to level the scores.

Folau butchered a try four minutes from time and Foley missed a drop-goal attempt, before Blues lock Culum Retallick was penalised for offside and presented Foley with his match-winning penalty attempt from 36 metres out.

"We made it hard on ourselves in the first half. We started strong and played some good rugby but let them back into the game through knocking off and not working hard enough," said Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis.

"The second half was pleasing. They're a good side and to get that win means a lot for our group and helps us going forward."

Blues skipper Ali Williams lamented his side's poor second period.

"Individually we made too many mistakes and we couldn't apply the pressure over the distance," he said.

"Frustrating: it is what is when you get to Sydney, though, it's a hard battle."

The Waratahs will host Western Force in an Australian derby next Sunday, while the Blues have a New Zealand derby with the Chiefs in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Mitchell, Folau, Foley
Cons: McKibbin, Foley 2
Pens: McKibbin, Foley 2

For Blues:
Tries: Parsons, Noakes, Piutau
Cons: Noakes 3
Pens: Noakes 2

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Pat McCutcheon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (capt), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson. Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Mitchell Chapman, 19 Jed Holloway, 20 Matt Lucas, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Tom Kingston.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (capt), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Brendon O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
Saturday , September 6
Auckland vs Wellington14:35
Taranaki vs Southland06:35
Sunday , September 7
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs North Harbour16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00