Waratahs

Late Try Denies Deserving Waratahs

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The HSBC Waratahs have once again been left pondering what might have been after a late trysaw the Chiefs record a 28-23 victory in their Super 14 clash at Aussie Stadium.



Chiefs replacement Tane Tu’ipulotu touched down out wide in the 77th minute of play to put his side back into the lead after the Waratahs had led 23-21.


The try was awarded by referee Craig Joubert despite the last pass, from fellow try scorer Liam Messam, going almost a metre forward.


Stephen Donald converted to make the final score 28-23 in favour of the visitors.


The loss was the third close defeat for the Waratahs at home this season, following on from one point losses to the Crusaders and Highlanders.


The match began badly for the home side, the Chiefs leading by ten points to nil after just six minutes of play.


Donald opened the scoring with a penalty goal after one minute, while wing Sitiveni Sivivatu crossed five minutes later for his side’s first try.


Sivivatu hit the ball at pace 20 metres out, steaming through a gap in the defence to score under the posts.


Shocked into action the Waratahs then enjoyed the better of the next half hour, the match played at a frenetic pace for much of the first half.


Sam Norton-Knight opened the scoring for the Waratahs, a massive left foot step seeing the flyhalf leave the defence grasping as he sprinted 15 metres to score under the posts.


Peter Hewat converted to narrow the gap to three points.


A penalty goal to Donald stretched the margin again on 26 minutes, while two to Hewat saw the teams head into the break locked up at 13-apiece.


Donald again nudged the Chiefs into the lead after the resumption, however it wouldn’t be long before Lachie Turner swung the match in the direction of the Waratahs with a sublime five pointer.


Getting the ball just inside his own half Turner, with men in the clear on either side, opted to go himself and after shrugging aside two would be tackles the 19-year old touched down under the posts.


Hewat converted for a 20-16 lead.


Chiefs flanker Messam put his side back into the lead with a try 17 minutes from time, while Hewat kicked a penalty in the 71st minute to see the Waratahs back in front and also take his career tally of points in Super Rugby past 500.


Then came the Tu’ipulotu try, breaking the hearts of the Waratahs and the 16,288 hardy fans in attendance, which when converted by Donald saw the score finish at 28 points to 23.


The Waratahs were well served by man of the match and captain Adam Freier, who never stopped in his 54 minutes on the field, while Turner, Lote Tuqiri and Rocky Elsom were ever present for the home side.


The loss brings down the curtain on the Waratahs home season, with only next week’s clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington left to play.


HSBC WARATAHS 23



Tries: Sam Norton-Knight, Lachie Turner


Conversions: Peter Hewat 2/2


Penalty Goals: Peter Hewat 3/3


CHIEFS 28



Tries: Sitiveni Sivivatu, Liam Messam, Tane Tu’ipulotu


Conversions: Stephen Donald 2/3


Penalty Goals: Stephen Donald 3/3


At Aussie Stadium, Sydney



Crowd: 16,288


Man of the Match: Adam Freier (Waratahs)


Referee: Craig Joubert (RSA)

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