NSW Waratahs retain Weary Dunlop Shield


18/03/2018



By NSW Waratahs Media unit

The NSW Waratahs scored 41 points in the second half to beat the Melbourne Rebels in a pulsating afternoon of rugby.  

 

Tries to Simmons, Short, Hegarty and Naiyaravoro in the last 40 minutes saw the home side record their third straight win against their interstate rivals. 

 

The visitors opened up the account for the afternoon, centre Tom English taking advantage of some loose ball just ten metres out from the NSW line to score; 0-5 the score in the 5th minute. 

 

NSW continued to threaten the Rebels’ line, with Kurtley Beale’s pickups playing with the Melbourne defence.  

 

Pressure from the Tahs eventually paid off as flyhalf Bernard Foley knocked over a penalty conversion in the 16th minute to bring the score to 3-5. Rebels backrower Amanaki Mafi put NSW to the sword with an enormous 60m runaway try in the 27th minute, a conversion pushing the visitors to a 3-15 lead.  

 

Melbourne winger Jack Maddocks continued the point scoring for the visitors, finishing off a try in the corner with only three minutes left until the break.  

 

The NSW Waratahs weren’t ready to give up yet, with Lalakai Foketi being put through for his first Vodafone Super Rugby try by some classy play by Beale.  

 

The scores sitting at 10-20 in favour of the Rebels at the half-time break, the Tahs came thundering back in a whirlwind second 40 minutes.  

 

Two minutes was all it took for the NSW Waratahs to go barraging over the chalk, a high-flying Israel Folau plucking the ball out of the air to put lock Rob Simmons over for his first try in NSW colours.  

 

Continuing their momentum, halfback man of the match Mitch Short was gifted a try from a Curtis Rona linebreak in the 49th minute and Foley’s conversion put the home side in front 24-20 for the first time in the match.  

 

NSW’s lead was furthered by Foley’s boot once again, slotting a penalty conversion in the 53rd minute. 

 

Fast forward another three minutes and it was fullback Bryce Hegarty’s turn, diving over in the corner for a try against his former side to push the lead out to 32-20. 

 

Adding firepower almost immediately off the bench, barnstorming winger Taqele Naiyaravoro produced a double-effort to finish his own try in the corner. Foley kept the points ticking over by nailing his shot from the sideline to make it 41-20 with 20 minutes left on the clock.  

 

The Rebels weren’t prepared to go quietly, however, lock Matt Philip charging over for a try next to the uprights in the 63rd minute.  

 

As the visitors looked to mount a resurgence by playing edge-to-edge rugby, the New South Welshmen kept them at arms-length; Foley knocking over another penalty in the 73rd minute to extend the lead to 44-27. 

 

The cherry on top came just minutes from the final hooter through Naiyaravoro, who showed his brute strength to bump one defender and brush two more to bag his second for the afternoon. 

 

NSW closed out the match 51-27 after Foley converted for the sixth time. The NSW Waratahs now enter a bye week before taking on the Brumbies in Canberra for round seven of the Vodafone Super Rugby competition.  

 

To re-live all the action, check out our match re-cap page here. 

 

 Scores: 

NSW Waratahs 51 (Tries: Foketi, Simmons, Short, Hegarty, Naiyaravoro 2; Cons: Foley 4; Pen Cons: Foley 3) 

Melbourne Rebels 27 (Tries: English, Mafi, Maddocks, Philip; Cons: Hodge 2; Pen Cons: Hodge) 

 

 Photo credit: Adrian Koch - Rising Sun Photography



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