Planet Rugby

Waratahs edge Reds in Sydney bore

14th April 2007 12:37

Share:

beau robinson

Whack!: Hugh McMeniman (right) gets to grips with Beau Robinson

The Waratahs beat the Reds 26-13 in what was one of the dullest Super 14 matches of the season - a match that showed exactly why these two teams are second last and last on the standings.

One wonders if players enjoy playing in a match like this. One wonders if coaches enjoy coaching teams that play like this in a match like this - so seemingly joylessly. It certainly is not much fun watching a match as drab as this, the ditch-water dullness relieved by just four lighter moments.

The Reds dominated possession in the first half without looking like doing a creative thing with the ball they used. Afterwards the Waratahs captain Adam Freier praised his side for their aggressive defence in the first half which, he believed, tapped the energy from the Reds.

The light moment of the half came when a Waratahs attack seemed to have petered out on the left touch-line where a tackle/heap occurred. It looked to be going nowhere till impish Josh Valentine, got the ball and like the knave of hearts stole it right away, dashing down the touch-line for a try in the corner - which Peter Hewat converted. That made the score 16-6 at half-time.

That try was the light of the first half.

There were two light moments in the second half, the first a flash of creative genius from the dull Reds, created by two former league players. Berrick Barnes chipped and Clinton Schifcofske chased. He snatched the ball from under hesitant Hewat's nose, broke free of Freier's attempt to hang onto his coattails and scored under the posts. He converted to make the score 19-13.

That's how it stayed for 25 minutes. On their left the Reds threw into a line-out. They threw deep but James Horwill could not control the ball. His hand diverted it and burly Wycliff Palu stretched and caught it. He ran and then took a pass and ran some more down the touch-line before turning the ball infield to Beau Robinson, who scored the try, which Hewat again converted from far out. That made the final score 26-13.

The last light moment happened after the match - the smile on enthusiastic Adam Freier's face when interviewed. Victory has not come often for the friendly man whose heart is neither small nor invisible.

For the rest there was not a lot of fun. The scrums were a confounded mess to start with. You can't get much life into a game when scrums fall down over and over. There were 20 scrums which produced nine resets, five free kicks and four penalties. It makes having scrums a waste of time. It also produced a yellow card for the Reds loosehead Tama Tuirirangi who plodded off to sit on the touch-line for ten minutes. At one stage the Waratahs had four successive scrums five metres from the Reds line without producing a try, not even when the Reds were down to seven forwards. They did not score a point in the ten minutes that Tuirirangi was absent.

There was not a lot of fun in the kicking either, except for Barnes's try-bearing chip. Most of the kicking was simply hoofing the ball somewhere downfield.

The tackling was the best feature of the match, though most of it was undemanding.

The scoring not mentioned was made up of kicks by either Hewat or Schifcofske with Hewat usually ahead of Schifcofske.

The match started with two teams looking jittery, which affected their handling, but in the end the Waratahs deserved to win the Bob Templeton Cup because they were more creative and composed.

Man of the Match: Rocky Elsom was better than all the rest on attack and defence, in the tackle and at the tackle. And he nearly produced a try for Lachlan Turner when he set the wing running from a turn-over.

The scorers:

For the Waratahs:

Tries: Valentine, Beau Robinson

Cons: Hewat 2

Pens: Hewat 3

For the Reds:

Try: Schifcofske

Con: Schifcofske

Pens: Schifcofske 2

Yellow card: Tama Tuirirangi (Reds, 58 - repeated offenses, collapsed scrums)

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Morgan Turinui (v-c), 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Sam Norton-Knight, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 David Lyons, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Will Caldwell, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Adam Freier (c), 1 Benn Robinson.

Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 Wycliff Palu, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Kurtley Beale, 22 Sam Harris.

Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Andrew Walker, 13 Ben Tune, 12 Andrew Brown, 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Nic Berry, 8 John Roe (c), 7 David Croft, 6 Mitchell Chapman, 5 James Horwill, 4 Hugh McMeniman, 3 David Te Moana, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tama Tuirirangi

Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Herman Hunt, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Tom McVerry, 20 Will Genia, 21 Lloyd Johansson, 22 Quade Cooper

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)

Touch judges: Brett Bowden (Australia), George Ayoub (Australia)

Television match official: Bradley Wahl (Australia)

Assessor: Andrew Cole (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821