NSW Waratahs pipped by Brumbies


15/07/2018



By NSW Waratahs Media unit

Photo credit: John Flitcroft/Flitty Images

By NSW Waratahs Digital and Communications Assistant, Hugh Yates

It was a dry yet brisk Sydney winter’s night at Allianz Stadium, perfect conditions for running rugby and the stage was set and the game was off to a cracking start.

The Brumbies were the first to score as Tom Banks neatly picked off a NSW Waratahs pass in their own half and showed his sheer pace to cross over under the sticks. Flyhalf Cristian Leali’ifano slotted the conversion to give the visitors an early 0-7 lead.

The NSW Waratahs began to apply pressure, the Brumbies buckled and flyhalf Bernard Foley slotted a penalty kick to get the home team on the board.

The Brumbies quickly responded when Tevita Kuridani and Leali’ifano combined to set up a try under the posts for second rower Richie Arnold. Leali’ifano added the extra two points to extend the visitors’ lead to 3-14.

The momentum was all in favour of the Brumbies at this point and they increased their lead to 3-21 through a five-pointer from loose forward Isi Naisarani and a successful conversion by Leali’ifano.

The NSW Waratahs had to be the next to score, and hooker Damien Fitzpatrick crossed over after a solid string of phases. Foley landed the conversion to reduce the deficit to 10-21.

The Brumbies answered back swiftly as Andrew Muirhead showed his pace and agility on the counter attack to cross over in the corner for another Brumbies try. Leali’ifano failed to add the extra two points with his conversion hitting the uprights but the Brumbies went into halftime with a 10-26 lead.

Both teams traded converted tries early in the second half, the NSW Waratahs through Taqele Naiyaravoro and the Brumbies via Kyle Godwin, and the crowd was in for a treat of running rugby at 17-33 with 30 minutes remaining in the match.

The NSW Waratahs refused to give up and that fighting spirit shone through when Will Miller crossed over for an intercept try from halfway. Foley’s conversion was successful to trim the lead to just nine points.

The Brumbies were not done and scored another try through flyer Lausii Taliauli. Wharenui Hawera added the extras.

The home team was the last to score through replacement Brad Wilkin.

The NSW Waratahs return to Allianz Stadium next Saturday for the finals series.

Scorers:



NSW Waratahs 31
Tries: Damien Fitzpatrick, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Will Miller, Brad Wilkin
Conversions: Foley (4)
Penalties: Foley (1)

Brumbies 40
Tries: Tom Banks, Richie Arnold, Isi Naisarani, Andrew Muirhead, Kyle Godwin, Lausii Taliauli,
Conversions: Leali’ifano (4), Hawera (1)


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