NSW Waratahs secure away win in Tokyo


7/04/2018



By NSW Waratahs Media unit

The NSW Waratahs secured a crucial away win in Tokyo today with a 50-29 result against the Sunwolves.

The visitors scored seven tries to four to move into second on the Australian Conference points table behind the Melbourne Rebels and record a third straight win.

A blistering start to the match saw the NSW Waratahs scoring at more than a point a minute to lead 24-7 after 20 minutes through opening tries by halfback Jake Gordon, centre Curtis Rona, flanker Will Miller and the boot of first five Bernard Foley.

The game promised much in testing conditions. The NSW Waratahs made the most of playing with a strong wind in the opening 40, and Taqele Naiyaravoro stamped his mark on the game early with a storming run down the lefthand touchline. Great support play from Jake Gordon resulted in the first try of the match in the sixth minute.

The NSW Waratahs kept their composure and the scoreboard ticking over in the early exchanges. After the Sunwolves levelled the score in the 10th minute through a Michael Little try, Foley kicked a penalty in the 14th to give the visitors a 14-7 lead. The Sunwolves had the opportunity to attack from the restart but kicked the ball straight into touch. From the ensuing scrum on halfway, the NSW Waratahs unleashed Alex Newsome on the rightwing and after putting together several phases of play, Curtis Rona was on the receiving end of a well-executed try to extend the lead to 17-7 after 16 minutes.

Three minutes later, and against the run of play, Ned Hanigan picked up a loose ball, off loaded to Damien Fitzpatrick who was in the perfect position to pass to Will Miller for the flanker’s first try. Foley was successful with the conversion for a 24-7 advantage.

But the Sunwolves clawed their way back into the game through good defence and a bit of magic from midfielder Michael Little to bring his side to within a converted try in the 28th minute.

With the Sunwolves threatening to level the scores, the NSW Waratahs found some magic of their own and from a scrum inside the opposition’s half, Gordon darted over after beating two defenders. Foley added the two points to take the score to 31-17 with five minutes to go until halftime.

That lead increased on the stroke of halftime when Bryce Hegarty finished off a move that started with Michael Wells winning the ball from a restart, which set up Kurtley Beale to create the perfect opportunity for the fullback to score. Foley kicked his sixth conversion to give the NSW Waratahs a comfortable 38-17 lead at the break.

The NSW Waratahs continued their momentum into the second half and in the 45th minute, captain Michael Hooper was over the line after a good old fashioned rolling maul to make it 43-17.

The Sunwolves didn’t lose any of their fight though and after a period of sustained pressure, winger Semisi Masirewa was at the end of a well-worked try that started inside the NSW Waratahs’ half to reduce the deficit to 43-22 in the 51st minute.

The home team, with their tails up, never backed down but a try-saving tackle from replacement Lalakai Foketi in the 63rd minute momentarily halted the Sunwolves’ momentum. They were not to be denied a five-pointed though as two minutes later, off the back of an attacking scrum they crossed the tryline to take the score to 43-29.

The NSW Waratahs sealed the win with a final touch down from Naiyaravoro in the 72nd and a successful conversion by Foley.

On Saturday 14 April, the NSW Waratahs will return to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the first time since 1983 for a special Heritage Round clash against traditional rivals, the Queensland Reds.

To secure your seat at this historic occasion, head to www.nswwaratahs.com.au/tickets.

Missed out on the action tonight? Head to our match centre page for a full recap of the game.


Scorers:


NSW Waratahs 50
Tries: Gordon (2), Curtis Rona, Will Miller, Bryce Hegarty, Michael Hooper, Naiyaravoro
Conversions: Bernard Foley (6)
Penalty: Foley

Sunwolves 29
Tries: Michael Little, Sam Wykes, Kazuki Himeno, Semisi Masirewa
Conversions: Yu Tamura (2), Hayden Parker
Penalty: Tamura



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