Planet Rugby

Waratahs edge past Reds

06th March 2009 10:22

Share:

Luke Burgess celebrates

Deceptive start: Early Benn Robinson score was not the order of the day in Sydney

The Waratahs continued their winning start to 2009 as they eked out a 15-11 victory over rivals the Reds on Saturday, but it was far from entertaining.

Despite their contrasting Super 14 positions of second and tenth pre-game, it could, and has been argued that the Reds are playing the more entertaining rugby.

And with last weekend's confidence-boosting victory over the toothless Cheetahs safely in their pocket, the Reds matched their title-chasing opponents in most facets of play.

However, in a match that was expected to see two different styles collide, the four points were eventually claimed by the more conservative outfit, with the visitors only adding to their winless run in New South Wales.

The game began with two fine immediate touch-finders from the Reds - first from Peter Hynes and then Quade Cooper - pushing them from their own line to within two metres of the 'Tahs' as the visitors set about enhancing their flamboyant tag early on.

But any aspirations they had of upsetting the league position applecart within five minutes was smashed by 101 not-out flank Phil Waugh's umbrella rush tackle on Mark McLinden, which lifted the home crowd to their feet and took the league-convert off his.

What followed saw the Waratahs' back-row at their best, albeit from a Tatafu Polota-Nau overthrow, as the now attacking Waugh snaffled on the loose ball before offloading to Wycliff Palu. From the following phase it was the turn of the tight three to show their worth and that they did with Wallaby prop Benn Robinson sneaking under the posts to take the scores to 7-0.

Up until the end of the first quarter it was all Waratahs with Kurtley Beale adding three points following two penalties from Ben Lucas - centre Charlie Fetoai's lung-busting run from halfway the catalyst for their scores.

However, the home purple patch continued for the next five minutes with the statistics showing the Reds dominating with 88 per cent of possession as they looked to eat away at the lead. And on the back of another three points from Beale, that's what they did with exciting backs Berrick Barnes and McLinden sending Peter Hynes over just seconds before the hooter.

Upon the turnaround, and once again it was the Waratahs who gained the slight upper hand in the opening quarter as they looked to wear down their tiring opponents.

However, within a blink of an eye and largely against the run of play, the half-time lead of 10-11 could have been stretched by the Reds had full-back McLinden managed one extra inch in his reach for the line.

That proved to be one of just three, yes three, exciting moments in what was a dour half of rugby as the Waratahs ground out their fourth straight victory with replacement Timana Tahu pushing the hosts back in front, which was how it remained with Laclan Turner also going close late on.

Man of the match: We're left scratching our heads after a dull 80 minutes of rugby and believe no player even comes close to picking up an accolade in Sydney.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:

Tries: Robinson, Tahu

Con: Beale

Pen: Beale

For Reds:

Tries: Hynes

Pen: Lucas 2

Waratahs: 15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (captain), 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Will Caldwell, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Dan Palmer, 18 Chris Thomson, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Timana Tahu.

Reds: 15 Mark McLinden, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Charlie Fetoai, 12 Berrick Barnes (c), 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Van Humphries, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Greg Holmes.

Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Laurie Weeks, 18 Adam Byrnes, 19 Poutasi Luafutu, 20 Will Genia, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Blair Connor.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

Touch judges: James Leckie (Australia), James Scholtens (Australia)

Television match official: Geoff Acton (Australia)

Assessor: Wayne Erickson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
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
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
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 Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
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
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615