Waratahs steal a late winner

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:55

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Waratahs scored a try after the full-time hooter to steal a 32-25 win over the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.

Coming back from being down 6-25, the Waratahs scored four unanswered tries in the final half-hour to earn four valuable Super Rugby points in the race for first place in the Australian conference.

The Waratahs looked to be heading for their fourth successive loss to heap further pressure on their coach Daryl Gibson, before their stirring comeback.

"To come back from 6-25 down and the position we were, being one [win] from three [starts], it was a pretty crucial win for us," Gibson said.

"I'm thrilled for the boys because it will give them a great deal of confidence and show them that when we hold the ball and don't make errors and mistakes, we can be a very good football team."

Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley, back in the side after missing five weeks with post-concussion symptoms, led the way for the Waratahs with three conversions and two penalties.

The Rebels, their future beyond this season uncertain amid Super Rugby restructuring, stormed to a 19-point lead by half-time, but lost three players - hooker James Hanson, as well as locks Dom Day and Culum Retallick - to concussion.

Melbourne ran out of legs in the second half with their errors starting to mount and they were reduced to 14 men for the last four minutes when Colby Faingaa was sin-binned.

It was Melbourne's second heartbreaking loss after being overrun by the Chiefs in the last round.

The Waratahs finally found some playing fluency after the interval and 21-year-old lock Ned Hanigan scored to put his side back in the contest.

The margin was further reduced when Reece Robinson beat fellow Rugby League convert Marika Koroibete to score in the corner.

With all the rugby being played in the Rebels' half the Waratahs reaped the rewards in the 77th minute when they elected to take a scrum 10 metres out rather than a penalty with Michael Wells scoring.

Horwitz then capitalised on the numerical superiority by darting through a gap and sealing the Waratahs’ second win of the season.

The Rebels failed to score in the second half and just ran out of firepower.

The desperate loss leaves the Rebels without a win from their four games.

"100 percent, no doubt, it was a wasted opportunity," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said.

"We needed to grab some control. We scrambled and defended as well as we could but we just needed to keep the ball to get ourselves back in the game."

The Waratahs take on New Zealand's Crusaders at home next weekend, while the Rebels are away to the Highlanders.

Man of the match: The stand-out feature of the game - which was littered with errors, penalties and poor decision-making - was the Rebels' determined defensive effort. Even though they fell short in the end, nobody was better than our man of the match, Rebels No.8 Amanaki Mafi.

The scorers:

For the Rebels:
 Hodge 2, English
Cons: Hodge 2
Pens: Hodge 2

For the Waratahs:
Hanigan, Robinson, Wells, Horwitz
Cons: Foley 3
Pens: Foley 2

Yellow card: Colby Fainga'a (Rebels, 76 - cynical foul, killing the ball)


Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Fereti Sa'aga.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Jake Schatz, 22 Ben Meehan, 23 Mitch Inman.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Cam Clark, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4