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
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
Thursday , May 1
Zebre vs Ospreys17:00
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs RedsHurricanes vs Reds Preview
Western Force vs BullsWestern Force vs Bulls Preview
Cheetahs vs StormersCheetahs vs Stormers Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues 21 - 13 WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058