NSW Waratahs go down to Lions


29/07/2018



By NSW Rugby Media




A brave NSW Waratahs succumbed to the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday night in a high octane Vodafone Super Rugby match.

The game started at a frenetic pace and the NSW Waratahs were the first to get on the scoreboard through a Ned Hanigan try in the fourth minute and a successful Foley conversion saw the visitors lead 7-0.

With the momentum in the NSW Waratahs’ favour, they capitalised on quality possession and Israel Folau was the ultimate finisher to extend the NSW Waratahs’ lead to 12-0. Foley landed the conversion to extend the lead to 14-0 after just 10 minutes.

The home team had to wait until the 22nd minute to get on the scoreboard when Kwagga Smith crossed over for his team’s first try. Two more tries in eight minutes by Aphiwe Dyanti and Malcolm Marx and successful conversions by first-five Elton Jantjes put the Lions 14-19 ahead.

But the NSW Waratahs were not done and when prop Tom Robertson crossed over from a NSW Waratahs lineout close to the tryline, the scores were locked at 19-all at the break.

The Lions went on to score 25 points in the second half but the visitors showed tenacity until the end when Jake Gordon crossed over for the NSW Waratahs’ fourth try. The Lions had too much left in the tank though and clinched a 26-44 win to advance to the Super Rugby final next Saturday.

NSW Waratahs captain Bernard Foley said afterwards: “I think we probably turned over the ball at set piece or first or second phase too much. We were not allowed to apply pressure and hold it on them. They are a quality side and overpowered us in the second half.

“I am incredibly proud of our guys, we stuck at it all year, our application every game we turned up and gave it a good hot crack today. It’s a shame we didn’t get the result.

“We have come a long way this year; for a young forward pack and a couple of first timers. We can be proud of the work that we have put in.”


Scorers


NSW Waratahs
Tries: Hanigan, Folau, Robertson, Gordon
Conversions: Foley (3)

Lions
Tries: Smith (2), Dyanti, Marx (2)
Conversions: Jantjes (4)
Penalties: Jantjes (2)


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