Tahs go down in a close season opener 16/02/2019 By NSW Rugby Media A sold out Brookvale Oval set the scene for a close season opener of the 2019 Vodafone Super Rugby between the NSW Waratahs and the Wellington Hurricanes. In a nail biting round one clash, the game went down to the wire, the Hurricanes pulling off a one point victory 20-19. The Waratahs started well to take an early three point lead in the opening minutes courtesy of a Bernard Foley penalty kick. That kick saw him enter the history books to become NSW Waratahs' highest point scorer in, overtaking Matt Burke. Both teams opened with great phase work and a strong defensive line, neither letting up. Jordie Barrett was able to convert a penalty from right in front of the sticks moments later. With some early penalties the Waratahs took no risks and Bernard Foley easily slotted two penalty kicks to take the score line to 9-3. At the end of the first half the Waratahs found themselves defending their own line, however their disciplined effort was no match for a charging Ardie Savea under the sticks and quickly the Hurricanes took their first lead of the game 10-9. While it was a tightly contested first half the Waratahs were able to take the lead 12-10 heading into halftime thanks to another Foley penalty conversion. Both teams came out hitting in the second half and at 43 minute mark Israel Folau broke through the Hurricanes defence, striding down the sideline and with a perfectly timed pass to Curtis Rona who was able barge through for a try in the corner. Foley’s conversion from the sideline pushed the Tahs lead out to 19-10. Some ill discipline on each side created a very stop start half through multiple errors and mishandlings. Jordie Barrett was able to close the gap to six points with a penalty conversion. The NSW Waratahs found themselves on the defensive front for most of the second half. Alex Newsome showed glimpses of his great speed and attack, however the penalties at scrum time hurt the Waratahs and they were back on the defensive front again. Ardie Savea almost bagged himself another try under the posts but was called back due to foul play after a high barging arm and taking out the man. Only moments later the Hurricanes looked to be a sure thing in the corner, however it was not to be as Adam Ashley Cooper made an impressive try saving tackle into touch. With only five minutes left, the Waratahs were working hard to keep their six-point lead in tact. That was until the Hurricanes Du’Plessis Kirifi spoiled the party, with a solid charge through to the defence to cross and with Jordie Barrett conversion, the Hurricanes put themselves in front 20-19. Hope was not lost though in the dying minutes of the game, with the pumped up crowd getting behind the New South Wales men. A very dominant scrum and a penalty in the Waratahs attacking half led to a chance at goal for Foley 25 metres out to win the game. Unfortunately for the Waratahs, he wasn’t able to convert. A very close encounter on home soil, however the Waratahs come up short to their trans-Tasman rivals and the full time score is 20-19 to the Hurricanes.