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Waratahs burst Kings' bubble

Sat, 04 May 2013 16:59
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Record win for the Australians
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The Waratahs exposed the tournament rookies, the Southern Kings, in the most cruel fashion - handing them a record 72-10 hiding.

After showing some promise this season, which included two wins and a draw with the table-topping Brumbies, the Kings were handed their biggest defeat.

The 62-point margin is the largest by some distance - with their previous biggest defeats having been the 35-point loss (20-55) to the Crusaders and the 34-point defeat (0-34) against the Bulls.

It is also one of the tournament's biggest defeats - with the Bulls 89-point margin (92-3) against the Reds in 2007 and the Crusaders 77-point (96-10) win over the Waratahs in 2002 beating this.

It would be far too easy to turn on the Kings and say: "I told you so. It had to happen."

It would be more profitable and more pleasurable to look at the Waratahs. What a brilliant display of rugby, especially in the first half. They just kept on  and on playing.

In that half there were just five scrums, five line-outs and six penalties. The game went on.

That wise old man of rugby, Basil Bey, said afterwards that he had timed the rucks. His findings: "A Waratah ruck seldom lasted three seconds –  mostly it was quicker than that.  The Kings' rucks were never under three seconds. Waratahs brought the ball swiftly back into play, frustrating the rearrangement of defence lines; their backs ran from some depth and support for ball-carrier was superb – but best of all for me was the deft handling, the ever-present support , the accurate and early passing from straight runners that put support runners away. "

The result was a try after 38 seconds - seconds - of the match, a bonus-point try after 18 minutes and a half-time score of 46 [points. 46 points in 40 minutes. By then the contest was over. The Kings were no match for the Waratahs who more and more had fun while  the Kings slumped into an apologetic numbness.

The crowd in the posh stadium had dwindled from its first enthusiasm and after today could dwindle even further, which is sad for the Kings have had some heroic occasions in 2013 Super Rugby.

The first try started with Israel Folau.  George Whitehead kicked the ball and the Waratahs got possession. Somewhere near half-way, Folau ran past two Kings. Whitehead tackled him five metres from the Kings' line. Folau popped the ball to Peter Betham who immediately gave it to Cam Crawford, over from the right wing and Crawford  scored the first of his hat-trick of tries.

Folau got the next one. The Waratahs were going through phases which looked harmless till the tall man calmly stepped past three Kkings and scored as two others clung to him. 12-0 after 6 minutes.

Benn Robinson was penalised in a tackle  and Dimitri goaled a penalty as Brendan McKibbin did  a minute later. 15-3 after 10 minutes.

Crawford got his second  when the Waratahs went wide right and he beat three defenders to stretch in the tackle and score. 22-3 after 22 minutes.

The Waratahs attacked on their left, Sergeal Petersen went for an intercept and Kane Douglas scored the bonus-point try. 27-3 after 18 minutes.

Petersen had a run soon afterwards and chipped but the ball went harmlessly into the Waratahs in-goal.

The Waratahs, whose scrumming was superior, won a tighthead and Foley sold a dummy and raced some 40 metres before lobbing a high pass inside to Michael Hooper, who scored. 34-3 after 25 minutes.

From a scrum Foley fed inside to Betham who beat three to score. 41-3 after 27 minutes.

A penalty gave the Kings a five-metre line-out but they lost the line-out.

On the right Hooper started running just inside the Kings' half. Near the 22 he drew Whitehead and passed to Crawford on his right and Crawford completed his hat-trick.

Just before half-time the Waratahs were going left across the field. Betham passed and {Petersen stepped forward, knocked the ball up, caught it and ran half the length of the field for the try. 46-10, which was the half-time score.

The Kings made many changes at half-time. On came Grant Kemp, David Bulbring, Luke Watson and Waylon Murray.  Whether it was the changes or the Waratahs' diminished urgency but they won the second half only 26-0. Only! The Kings started with some phases but turnovers, slow ball and losing the ball in contact would nullify their best efforts.

Folau did some clever things and Dave Dennis took an inside pass from Betham to crash over in the corner.  51-10 after 45 minutes. The Waratahs went on a phase raid and Adam Ashley-Cooper passed inside to Betham  who wandered over to score. 58-10 after 53 minutes.

Sergeal Petersen went on a mazy run which produced excitement for the crowd but the sight of his being helped off the field was an unhappy one.

Phases and a bit of stepping produced a try for Ben Volavola - 65-10 after 74 minutes as Matt Lucas converted. Folau did some mesmeric things before popping a pass to Tom Kingston who scored under the posts with five minutes to play till the Kings were mercifully released to disappear into their changing cavern.

Man of the Match: Israel Folau. What he does and the way he does it is wonderful;. He is so calm and thoughtful about everything he does, seeming to have time for whatever he wants to do and doing it with effortless ease. He is such a classy player.

The scorers:

For the Southern Kings:
Try:
Petersen
Con: Catrakilis
Pen: Catrakilis

For the Waratahs:
Tries:
Crawford 3, Folau, Douglas, Hooper, Betham 2, Dennis, Volavola, Kingston
Cons: McKibbin 5, Lucas 2
Pens: McKibbin

Teams:

Southern Kings: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Siyanda Grey, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Siviwe Soyizwapi.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Mitchell Chapman, 19 Patrick McCutcheon, 20 Matt Lucas, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Tom Kingston.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwessen (South Africa)

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