Tahs edge willing Highlanders

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:02
Large brendanmckibbinhighlanderstrial Large waratahs with fans

The Waratahs edged a willing Highlanders team 19-16 in a torrid Super Rugby pre-season match in Newcastle on Friday.

The Waratahs edged a willing Highlanders team 19-16 in a torrid Super Rugby pre-season match in Newcastle on Friday.

The Highlanders took a narrow one-point (13-12) lead into the half-time break, but after holding onto a mountain of possession the Tahs came out victors by scoring the only try of the second half.

The Highlanders replied with a penalty to close the gap and came close to snatching a win at the death, but the home side held on grimly.

The Highlanders will look to their great workrate on defence and at the breakdown, where they secured numerous turnovers, as the positives.

Their scrum was also dominant, but a string of penalties disrupted any hope of building momentum.

The line-out and ball handling will require work.

On the flipside, the Waratahs will be concerned that they did not win by a bigger margin, given the mountain of possession.

Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty, before left wing Peter Betham crossed the line in the wake of a surfeit of possession.

Another penalty, which Sopoaga converted, saw the visitors regain the lead, but Michael Hooper scored for the Waratahs after the Highlanders messed up a kick-receipt. The conversion, by Brendan McKibbin, made it 12-6.

Tom Franklin snatched a stray pass to score the Highlanders' only try - after the Tahs tried to run it from their own line. Sopoaga's conversion made it 13-12 - which was also the half-time score.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley put the home side into the lead, when he went over from a line-out and converted his own try - 19-13.

The Highlanders, following a scrum penalty, saw the gap being narrowed to 16-19, with Ben Smith slotting the kick.

However, the Waratahs hung on grimly for the win.

The scorers:

For the Waratahs:
Tries:
Betham, Hooper, Foley
Cons: McKibbin, Foley

For the Highlanders:
Try:
Franklin
Con: Sopoaga
Pens: Sopoaga 2, B Smith

Teams:

NSW Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Tola Latu, Paddy Ryan, Jacques Potgieter, Stephen Hoiles, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, Jono Lance, Ben Volavola, Cam Crawford.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Kurt Baker, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Shane Christie, 7 John Hardie, 6  Gareth Evans, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements - from: Brayden Mitchell, Matias Diaz, Craig Millar, Joe Wheeler, Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Lee Allan, Frae Wilson, Hayden Parker, Phil Burleigh, Winston Stanley, Richard Buckman.
 
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10