By NSW Rugby Media

It was a game that will go down in the Super Rugby history books as one of the most sensational come-from-behind wins when the NSW Waratahs secured a 30-23 win over the Highlanders to clinch a Vodafone Super Rugby semi-final berth.

And it was an epic second half display by the NSW Waratahs that kept the men from Dunedin scoreless in the final 40 and ensured the home team advanced to the semi-final.

Trailing 6-23 at halftime, the NSW Waratahs scored three tries in seven minutes between the 53rd and 60th to get themselves back in the match and set up the win.

First five Bernard Foley and his opposite Lima Sopoaga traded penalties early on but it was flying Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo who scored the first try of the match. Sopoaga added the conversion to give the Highlanders a 6-13 lead. And the Highlanders No 10 was accurate again when he slotted a penalty to extend the visitors’ lead to 6-16.

At that stage it was all Highlanders and they continued their momentum when centre Rob Thompson dotted down for the visitors’ second converted try of the night to take the lead to 6-23.

It was a different NSW Waratahs team that took the field in the second half, slowly grinding their way back into the match.

Captain Foley led the charge at the 53rd minute, scoring his first of two tries. Israel Folau added his name to the scoreboard after some Kurtley Beale magic. Foley’s conversions added to 21 points scored in seven minutes to put the NSW Waratahs 27-23 ahead with 20 minutes remaining.

By this stage New South Wales were attacking with plenty of intent and began to dominate territory. A Highlanders penalty in front of their posts gifted Foley three more points to extend the NSW Waratahs’ lead by seven points with 10 minutes to go on the clock.

The remainder of the game put fans on the edge of their seat after the Highlanders held onto possession and continually threatened the NSW Waratahs tryline. But the NSW Waratahs defence held strong and the home team held on to secure the win and a place in the final four.

NSW Waratahs
Tries: Foley (2), Folau
Conversions: Foley (3)
Penalties: Foley (3)

Tries: Naholo, Thompson
Conversions: Sopoaga (2)
Penalties: Sopoaga (3)






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