NSW Waratahs claim thriller in nation's Capital


31/03/2018



By NSW Waratahs Media unit

The NSW Waratahs have secured a crucial result away from home with a nail-biting 24-17 win against interstate rivals, the Brumbies, at Canberra’s GIO Stadium.

Repeated pressure from NSW paved the way for the first points of the opening forty, Bernard Foley striking his first attempt at goal to gain an early 3-0 lead in the third minute.

Winger Israel Folau was replaced by utility back Alex Newsome following Foley’s conversion due to a hamstring injury.

The Brumbies looked to regain control of possession, successfully forcing two back-to-back penalties in the 10th minute to equalise 3-all with a penalty conversion of their own through Wharenui Hawera.

The next points of the match came no more than 15 minutes later, Hawera grubbering a ball behind the NSW line for winger Lausii Taliauli to take the lead 11-6.

The home team looking all but set to head into the sheds in front, winger Taqele Naiyaravoro quickly swept the rug out from under them. Receiving the ball 60m out from the NSW line, Naiyaravoro charged his way past his opposite number to run in his first try of the evening, equalising the game at the same time.

Vice-captain Foley slotted the conversion from the sideline after the siren to put NSW 13-11 ahead at the break.

Picking up where he left off, Naiyaravoro finished off a well-executed set piece play sparked by replacement back Alex Newsome, in the 43rd minute for his second try of the night.

With NSW in front by a converted try, a penalty conversion by Brumbies flyhalf Wharenui Hawera closed the gap to 14-18 in the 49th minute.

While both teams continued to threaten, the next points weren’t to come until after the three-quarter mark, Bernard Foley breaking the drought with his third penalty of the night in the 62nd minute; NSW’s lead extended to 21-14.

The home team turned it up another gear, fighting to regain the lead as Hawera added a 71st minute penalty to bring his side within five points of the New South Welshmen.

With the score at 21-17 and only five minutes left on the clock, NSW fought hard to dig deep into enemy territory before earning a penalty at scrum time.

While Foley’s kick came off the uprights, he was given a second chance just moments later which he hit without fault to extend NSW’s lead to 24-17 in the 76th minute.

Foley’s conversion brought his total Vodafone Super Rugby points to 800, the flyhalf becoming the youngest Australian to reach that milestone at the age of 28.

The Brumbies weren’t going to go quietly, mounting enough pressure to get all the way to within 5m of the NSW Waratahs’ line, rolling maul in motion. It took the might of the NSW forwards to halt the thundering pack, forcing a turnover after the siren to bring the derby to a dramatic end.

The NSW Waratahs will now travel to Tokyo to play the Sunwolves in round eight of the Vodafone Super Rugby before returning home to the Sydney Cricket Ground to face the Reds in a historic Heritage Round clash. To be a part of this occasion, head to www.nswwaratahs.com.au/tickets.

To re-live all the action from round seven, head to our re-cap page.


Scores:


Brumbies 17


Tries: Taliauli
Cons: -
Pen Cons: Hawera 4

NSW Waratahs 24


Tries: Naiyaravoro 2
Cons: Foley
Pen Cons: Foley 4

Halftime score: 11-13 (NSW Waratahs)



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