Confident Tahs head to South Africa

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:50
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It will be a confident Waratahs team that will depart for South Africa this weekend, following their impressive win on Friday.

It will be a confident Waratahs team that will depart for South Africa this weekend, following their impressive win on Friday.

The Sydneysiders face the Bulls in Pretoria next Saturday, April 27, then tackle the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, before returning home for their third successive encounter with a SA team - the Stormers on May 11.

Two first-half tries and a last-minute effort have lifted the Waratahs to an inspiring 25-20 home victory over Super Rugby's defending champions.

After building up a 15-point half-time lead, the Waratahs held off a spirited Chiefs fightback, securing victory in the 77th minute when replacement hooker John Ulugia scored from a perfectly executed short ball through the midfield.

After turning in their best 40 minutes of this season, the home side repelled wave after wave of attack from the highly favoured Chiefs, with their scrambling defence keeping them in the match long enough for Ulugia to deliver the lethal blow in the dying minutes.

Praising his side, coach Michael Cheika attributed the win to his team's composure in the closing stages.

"I think that there's a belief in the way we want to play," Cheika said.

"If you look at that last try, we started a fair way down the track with a short amount of time to go and we get back up there and create the opportunity to score.

"We were sticking to the style of game we want to play and that can only happen if we lay a platform around the contact area."

Looking ahead to the two-match tour of South Africa, Cheika was enthused with his side's newfound confidence.

"We're starting to build some belief in ourselves.... in each other and the commitment we need to make to each other, to work hard enough to win games."

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