By NSW Waratahs Media unit

The NSW Waratahs have claimed a thrilling 34-27 victory in their opening fixture of the 2018 Vodafone Super Rugby season after scoring the match winner after the siren.

Kurtley Beale almost produced the first points of the match, narrowly missing his own chip and chase in the third minute.

After plenty of back and forth between the two sides, it was vice captain Bernard Foley who opened the NSW account in the 13th minute, slotting a penalty kick from right in front.

3-0 the score, the Stormers hit back just minutes later through prop Steven Kitshoff who scored off the back of a regained kick off.

NSW fullback Israel Folau was the next name on the scoreboard, leaping high in the air to regain a Foley bomb before running away for his 46th career try just before the 20-minute mark. A Foley conversion put NSW in front 10-7.

The Stormers equalized just three minutes later through the boot of SP Marais, closing the gap to 10-all.

It was NSW Waratahs captain Michael Hooper who put the next points on the board, putting his side in front 17-10 in the 29th minute after breaking off the back of a rolling maul to find the line.

The visitors finished the first half off with a try in the corner with only three minutes left on the clock, bringing the scores back to 17-all at the break.

The NSW Waratahs came out firing in the second half with hooker Damien Fitzpatrick going over for a try in the 43rd minute.

Ten minutes into the second half, the Stormers went successfully on the attack to score under the posts to lock the scores up 24-all.

With NSW holding the penalty advantage, Beale was almost awarded a try off the back some clever kicking, only to be denied just inches from the line. Despite the no-try ruling, Foley was able to win back the lead with a penalty conversion, 27-24 in favour of the Tahs.

The visitors once again locked the scores up through the boot of Marais, setting the stage for an explosive finish at Allianz Stadium.

After scooping up the Stormers’ loose ball at the lineout after the final hooter, it was country boy Ned Hanigan who crashed over the line in the corner, receiving a pass from replacement prop Harry Johnson-Holmes before brushing off one defending while carrying another on his back to secure the NSW Waratahs’ first win on home turf in 2018.

A total of eight players made their debut for the NSW Waratahs on the night; lock pairing Tom Staniforth and Rob Simmons, plus Lalakai Foketi and Curtis Rona all starting the match. Props Shambeckler Vui and Harry Johnson-Holmes came on in the second half, joined later by winger Alex Newsome and lock Nick Palmer.

The NSW Waratahs will now head overseas for the next two rounds of competition, facing the Sharks in Durban next weekend before taking on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires the week after.

Re-live all the action: check out the match re-cap page now!

Next home match vs Rebels on 18 March. Sunday afternoon footy is back. Grab your tickets






An error has occurred. Error Loading the Article List: