Waratahs

Waratahs beaten in Hamilton thriller

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A last minute penalty to Stephen Donald kicked the Chiefs to a 20-17 victory over the HSBC Waratahs in their Super 14 clash at Hamilton’s Waikato Stadium.


With the scores locked at 17-all in the dying moments, Donald put paid to a Waratahs comeback which had seen them score 17 unanswered points.


The Chiefs kept a clean sheet in the first half with tries to Liam Messam and Sitiveni Sivivatu, and then went further in front just after half time when Richard Kahui crossed for a 17-0 advantage.


The Waratahs needed to hit back and did so in the 46th minute when Ben Jacobs steamed through a gap and outpaced the cover defence to reduce the margin to 12 points.


The game went backwards and forwards for most of the second half, with both sides willing to throw the ball around; the Chiefs were focussed on scoring a fourth try to earn a bonus point, while at 17-5 the Waratahs knew they would have to score next to win the match.


As opportunities came and went, Ewen McKenzie released his reserves, however it was a forced personnel change which ultimately kicked the comeback into top gear.


Inside centre Tom Carter left the field for the blood bin and was replaced by Sam Harris, who scored the Waratahs second try when he snatched a Chiefs pass out of the air and streaked away to touch down under the posts.


Kurtley Beale’s conversion closed the gap to 17-12 with nine minutes remaining.


In the 76th minute the Waratahs received a free kick and Alfi Mafi took the tap. Quick hands across the backline set Lote Tuqiri on a run to the line, however he looked to be held up as he crossed.


Tuqiri looked confident though, and when the decision was handed over to the Television Match Official it was clear why; the big winger miraculously touching down to tie the scores.


Beale’s conversion attempt to take the lead sailed wide and the scores were tied 17-17 in the dying moments.


Referee Marius Jonker made the most crucial call of the name when he ruled the Waratahs offside with two minutes remaining.


Stephen Donald ‘ who had kicked just one of four during the match ‘ nailed the three-pointer for a 20-17 advantage as the clock ticked inside 60 seconds remaining.


The Waratahs attempted to attack from the kickoff however the Chiefs retained possession and wound down the clock for their first win of the season.


The Waratahs move to five competition points courtesy of a bonus point for finishing within seven points of the Chiefs.


The Waratahs fly home on Sunday to prepare for their Round 3 clash with the Highlanders at Dunedin.


Chiefs 20


Tries: Liam Messam, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Richard Kahui


Cons: Stephen Donald 1/3


Pens: Stephen Donald 1/2


Drop:


HSBC Waratahs 17


Tries: Ben Jacobs, Sam Harris, Lote Tuqiri


Cons: Kurtley Beale 1/3


Pens: Kurtley Beale 0/1


Drop:


By the clock


6th ‘ Stephen Donald missed penalty attempt.


14th ‘ Liam Messam try; Stephen Donald missed conversion. Chiefs 5 HSBC Waratahs 0


28th ‘ Sitiveni Sivivatu try; Stephen Donald conversion. Chiefs 12 HSBC Waratahs 0


30th ‘ Kurtley Beale missed conversion.


Half-time: Chiefs 12 HSBC Waratahs 0


43rd ‘ Richard Kahui try; Stephen Donald missed conversion. Chiefs 17 HSBC Waratahs 0


46th ‘ Ben Jacobs try; Kurtley Beale missed conversion. Chiefs 17 HSBC Waratahs 5


72nd ‘ Sam Harris try; Kurtley Beale conversion. Chiefs 17 HSBC Waratahs 12


76th ‘ Lote Tuqiri try; Kurtley Beale missed conversion. Chiefs 17 HSBC Waratahs 17


80th ‘ Stephen Donald penalty. Chiefs 20 HSBC Waratahs 17


Full-time: Chiefs 20 HSBC Waratahs 17

 

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