Planet Rugby

Waratahs bury tired Cheetahs

03rd April 2010 08:59

Share:

Horne try v Cheetahs

Rob Horne celebrates his opening try

The Waratahs marched to a comfortable 40-17 win over the Cheetahs on Saturday in weather as ugly as you could wish for.

Driving rain made the ground heavy underfoot and made for a slog of a game, which was a shame for the home side who looked in form and ready to run throughout.

The Cheetahs looked as fatigued as you'd expect from the long journey across from South Africa and with a nasty dose of winter to contend with as well as a fired-up home side, the will to succeed got weaker quickly and visibly.

The Waratahs, who enjoyed well over 60 percent of possession and territory, went into the break 23-3 to the good.

Daniel Halangahu ensured the early superiority was rewarded by knocking over two early penalties for a 6-0 lead.

The heavy ground made it hard to open up the game properly but eventually the pressure told, with Rob Horne slicing through the Cheetahs back-line on an angle for the opening score under the posts.

Halangahu kicked his third goal, cancelled out by Naas Olivier's sweetly-struck penalty from wide out for the Cheetahs.

Right on the stroke of half-time, the 'Tahs extended their lead to 20, moving the ball right then left before a series of rucks near the Cheetahs' line culminated in Benn Robinson burrowing over for his side's second, with Halangahu converting.

In a pitchside TV interview, coach Chris Hickey said there had been no talk of the bonus point and an intention merely to ensure the win first.

Both were achieved within six minutes of the second half starting again, with Al Baxter emulating Robinson and burrowing over for his first-ever Super 14 try in his 100th match. Two minutes later, Kurtley Beale picked off a stray pass from a ruck and raced home - with a little help from a damp pitch that allowed him to slide home from 5m out.

Halangahu converted neither score but at 33-3, the outcome of the match was way beyond doubt.

The home side removed some big guns from the pitch early, no doubt with an eye on next week's clash with the Crusaders, but it made little difference. The rain continued to pour and the home side continued to dominate.

The Cheetahs went closest near the hour mark with a series of rucks, Hendro Scholtz was probably the one who was closest to the line. But Devon Raubenheimer took the ball through the close phase one time too many and found himself penalised.

Drew Mitchell had a good break but ended up offloading to an opponent and Berrick Barnes' chip and chase to a corner was won by Hennie Daniller. The rain continued to bucket down.

Finally the Cheetahs did manage to muster one more effort near the line which ended in a try for WP Nel after some appalling communication between the referee and the TMO which had everybody standing cold and miserable in the wet.

At least three times the referee asked if it was a try and each time the TMO absolutely refused to answer a yes or no question with either one-word answer, instead choosing to say 'the ball was grounded prior to the line and then promoted to the line'. In the end it was left to touch-judge James Leckie to nod his head and we were all able to get on with it.

Not that there was much to get on with as the rain came down so thick it was hard to see across the ground in the lights. Josh Holmes cantered in for the Waratahs' fifth with a minute remaining, with Corne Uys replying a minute later. That was that.

Man of the match: Hard to pick on a day where it was grind and guts. But a sentimental nod to Al Baxter for his first try - an epic worth waiting for (or so he'll say).

The scorers:

For the Waratahs:
Tries: Horne, Robinson, Baxter, Beale, Holmes
Cons: Halangahu 2, Barnes
Pens: Halangahu 3

For the Cheetahs:
Try: Nel, Uys
Cons: Olivier 2
Pen: Olivier

Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Will Caldwell, 19 Locky McCaffrey, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Tom Carter, 22 Sosene Anesi.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Barend Pieterse, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Walti Vermeulen, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Wian du Preez .
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Davon Raubenheimer, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Corné Uys, 22 Riaan Viljoen.

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand20:50
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
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
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615