Waratahs earn place in Super 14 Final



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The HSBC Waratahs have progressed to their second ever Super Rugby Final with a 28-13 victory over the Sharks at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Waratahs crossed twice in each half on their way to a commanding victory in front of a vocal crowd of 37,378.

It was the second time in four weeks the Waratahs scored a four tries to one, 15-point victory over South Africa’s leading franchise.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was given to captain Phil Waugh who received a standing ovation from the Waratahs faithful in recognition of his 100th NSW Cap.

It was the Sharks who scored first when Ruan Pienaar dropped into the pocket in just the third minute to pilot a field goal signalling the visitors’ intentions.

Kurtley Beale missed a difficult penalty attempt in the 13th minute but made amends five minutes later to even the scores.

As the half wore on the Waratahs kicking game came to the fore, repeatedly turning the Sharks backs around with grubbing kicks behind the line. They backed that up with brutal defence and it was not surprising a turnover resulted in the first try of the game.

With the Sharks looking to go wide, Rob Horne jolted the ball free with what is becoming a trademark big hit. Lote Tuqiri picked up a tricky ball and raced 20m for the Waratahs opening try of the game and a 10-3 lead.

That advantage moved to 15-3 just four minutes later when a break down the right by Dean Mumm was finished on the left by Horne giving the Waratahs a good buffer with ten minutes remaining in the first half.

Francois Steyn kicked a 50m penalty shortly before half-time and when Pienaar missed a drop goal in the 40th minute, the Waratahs led 15-6 going to the break.

If the message from Ewen McKenzie at half-time was to hit the accelerator the Waratahs heeded that advice, with HSBC Man of the Match Rocky Elsom sending the final pass to put Beale over in the 42nd minute.

With the crowd in raptures, the Waratahs added another try four minutes later when Luke Burgess intercepted directly from a Sharks scrum to take the advantage to 25-6.

With a need to score points to stay in touch, the Sharks did well to maintain possession for long periods however costly errors saw the Waratahs able to relieve the pressure time after time.

It was not until the 71st minute that the Sharks finally crossed for their first try when replacement prop Craig Burden was awarded a five-pointer by the Television Match Official right under the uprights.

Beale missed a drop goal attempt to take the margin outside a two converted tries in the 76th minute, however he made no mistake just 90 seconds later and the Waratahs ran out 28-13 victors.

The win sees the Waratahs progress to their second Super Rugby Final in four years, where they will once again travel to Christchurch to meet the Crusaders who overcame the Hurricanes 33-22 earlier today.

The Waratahs try-scoring feats tonight added another $2500 to their fundraising effort for HSBCkids. The first three tries netted $500 each, however with the fourth try worth $1000, the tally has now reached $20,500.

HSBC Waratahs 28
Tries: Lote Tuqiri, Rob Horne, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess
Conversions: Kurtley Beale 1/4
Penalty Goals: Kurtley Beale 1/3
Drop Goals: Kurtley Beale 1/2

Sharks 13
Try: Craig Burden
Conversion: Rory Kockott 1/1
Penalty Goals: Francois Steyn 1/1
Drop Goals: Ruan Pienaar 1/2

By the clock
3rd ‘ Ruan Pienaar drop goal. HSBC Waratahs 0 Sharks 3.
13th ‘ Kurtley Beale missed penalty goal.
18th ‘ Kurtley Beale penalty goal. HSBC Waratahs 3 Sharks 3.
26th ‘ Lote Tuqiri try; Kurtley Beale conversion. HSBC Waratahs 10 Sharks 3.
30th ‘ Rob Horne try; Kurtley Beale missed conversion. HSBC Waratahs 15 Sharks 3.
37th ‘ Francois Steyn penalty goal. HSBC Waratahs 15 Sharks 6.
40th ‘ Ruan Pienaar missed drop goal.

Half Time ‘ HSBC Waratahs 15 Sharks 6

42nd ‘ Kurtley Beale try; Kurtley Beale missed conversion. HSBC Waratahs 20 Sharks 6.
45th ‘ Luke Burgess try; Kurtley Beale missed conversion. HSBC Waratahs 25 Sharks 6.
55th ‘ Kurtley Beale missed penalty goal.
71st ‘ Craig Burden try; Rory Kockott conversion. HSBC Wartaahs 25 Sharks 13.

76th ‘ Kurtley Beale missed drop goal.
78th ‘ Kurtley Beale drop goal. HSBC Waratahs 28 Sharks 13.

Full Time ‘ HSBC Waratahs 28 Sharks 13



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