NSW Waratahs win classic battle


By NSW Waratahs Media unit

Photo credit: Getty Images

The NSW Waratahs remain top of the Australian Conference after a thrilling 31-26 Vodafone Super Rugby win against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.

It was a classic, hard-fought derby that brought out the best in the rivalry between the two Australian teams and underlined the fighting spirit of the NSW Waratahs.

The Melbourne Rebels were the first to score through a Reece Hodge penalty in the second minute but the NSW Waratahs had to wait until the 18th minute to get on the scoreboard through a Taqele Naiyaravoro try.

The try was the big winger’s 12th for the season, which saw him join Israel Folau as the joint top try scorer in a season. Captain Bernard Foley added the two points to give the visitors a 7-3 lead halfway through the first half.

It wasn’t until the 36th minute that the Rebels hit back through a Dane Haylett-Petty try and Hodge conversion to level the score 10-all.

The NSW Waratahs faithful didn’t have to wait long for one of the tries of the season through outstanding play from both forwards and backs that put Will Miller over the line. Foley converted to give the visitors a 17-10 lead at the break.

The Rebels dominated most of the half and with 12 minutes to go were 17-26 ahead. It took a bit of Kurtley Beale magic that resulted in a hard-fought try to Ned Hanigan and a well-timed intercept try by Bernard Foley that gave the NSW Waratahs the win.

Foley summed it up afterwards. “It wasn’t easy, we lost our way a little bit in the third twenty but the way we responded was pleasing (at the end). Beale added: “This is a huge win for us. Credit to the lads who have stepped into some big shoes. We dug deep in the end and showed a lot of character to come away with the win.”

The NSW Waratahs’ next match is against the Sunwolves at Allianz Stadium on 7 July.

To secure your seats for the next two home games, head to our ticketing page.

Check out the full match re-cap right here.

NSW Waratahs 31
Tries: Naiyaravoro, Miller, Hanigan, Foley
Conversions: Foley (4)
Penalty: Foley

Melbourne Rebels 26
Tries: Haylett-Petty, Ruru
Conversions: Hodge (2)
Penalties: Hodge (4)






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