Planet Rugby

Waratahs seal home spot

17th May 2008 12:21

Share:

Dean Mumm scores v Reds for Waratahs

Mumm knows best: Dean grabs the 'Tahs' opener

Then there were two away spots remaining as the Waratahs beat the Reds 18-11 at the Suncorp Stadium to seal a Super 14 home semi-final on Saturday.

Even after the Blues had edged past fellow countrymen the Hurricanes at Eden Park on Friday, the permutations at the top end were still very much in the air pre-kick-off.

However, the 'Tahs' overnight position on the cusp of the knockout stages had left their fate very much in their own hands in Brisbane, with all of their knockout rivals cheering on the Reds.

But first-half scores from forwards Dean Mumm and Wycliff Palu proved enough for glory while ending the Chiefs' faint hopes in Durban and also foiling the Reds' season hurrah.

Added to the cog-turning play-off permutations, there was also some extra spice thrown into the mix due to Lote Tuqiri downplaying the Reds' proud party-pooping style - if more bite was needed between these two Australian rivals.

And as expected there was some early niggle with the temperature continuing to simmer from the midweek shenanigans. Opposing stalwarts Phil Waugh and David Croft were the first to get the ball rolling at ruck-time before the long-armed Dan Vickerman and James Horwill exchanged pleasantries moments later.

Failing to get drawn away from their objective, the 'Tahs did have opportunities to draw first blood in a scoreless opening twenty minutes. But young Kurtley Beale was unsuccessful on either upright with two shots from 35 metres out.

However, fittingly the visitors called on their Mumm to sort out the squabbling as Lote Tuqiri's run and Waugh's know-how sent the big lock under the posts on 22 minutes - Beale adding the simple extras.

That only sparked the spoiling Reds into life though as they set about their crashing task - with the Blues keeping everything crossed in Auckland - and Clinton Schifcofske closed the gap five minutes from the interval.

Yet that three could and probably should have been quickly wiped following Horwill's high-shot on Beale, but once again the fly-half struggled to find his range from distance.

So, Ewen McKenzie's men turned to their power-play from attacking line-out ball in the final sands of half-time as Wycliff Palu pierced the close-range defence to race over and stretch the lead - the 'Tahs seemingly crashing the crashers.

The Reds were not going to go quietly into the Brisbane night though, and fresh from the interval Wallaby Berrick Barnes reduced the arrears with a snap drop-goal on 45 minutes - getting the seated Blues edging ever forward.

And the hosts would have been encouraged by how the game momentum began to tilt in their favour with just one score the difference.

Then controversy struck the Suncorp as a succession of fumbles led to wing Peter Hynes having a one-one-one down the left before probable glory.

However, referee Matt Goddard adjudged a knock-on and then pinned prop Rodney Blake for non-use of the shoulder in quick succession - upsetting the baiting crowd.

However, the Waratahs weathered the sustained storm and thanks to a Quade Cooper error and Schifcofske's illegal hands, Beale found his range for two vital penalty goals with twelve minutes remaining.

Yet pride was very much the final challenge for the hosts and they got their reward through Hynes' well-taken collect and score deep into injury-time - bringing a rise smirk to the home faithful.

Man of the match: Yet another honest performance from Phil Waugh against his old foe David Croft. The Wallaby was everywhere for the Waratahs and set up Mumm's try superbly to kick-start the play-off procession.

Moment of the match: The Reds were desperately keen to stay within touching distance going into the interval. However, Palu's charging run through a hole in close-quarters ultimately proved the difference in Brisbane.

Villain of the match: Surprisingly, no villains despite the words and hype of midweek!

The scorers:

For Reds:

Tries: Hynes

Pen: Schifcofske 2

For Waratahs:

Tries: Mumm, Palu

Con: Beale

Pen: Beale

Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Caleb Brown, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 David Croft, 6 Poutasi Luafutu, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Van Humphries, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Coutts.

Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Rodney Blake, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Sam Cordingley, 21 Andrew Walker, 22 Charlie Fetoai.

Waratahs: 15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Dan Vickerman, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 David Lyons, 19 Will Caldwell, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Rob Horne, 22 Timana Tahu.

Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)

Touch judges: James Leckie (Australia), Damian Mitchelmore (Australia)

Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

Assessor: Wayne Erickson (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615