Waratahs

Waratahs Rout Hurricanes to Finish Season On a High

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The HSBC Waratahs have rounded out their Super 14 campaign with a dominant 38-14 victory over the Highlanders in Wellington.



The Waratahs scored four tries to two, all but wrapping up victory with two tries in five minutes to start the second half.


The victory also spoiled the party for the 25,000 fans in attendance, the Hurricanes farewelling long-term contributors Tana Umaga, Paul Tito, Lome Fa’atau and Luke Andrews after the match.


It was a landmark performance for the Waratahs in more ways than one, the win their first over the Hurricanes since 2004 and their first in Wellington since Rugby went professional.


It also saw Lote Tuqiri break his try scoring drought, the wing touching down five minutes after half time to give his side a vital 20 point lead.


With skipper Phil Waugh making his first appearance since round three of this season, the Waratahs made their most positive start of the year and could consider themselves unlucky not to get on the board inside the opening minute.


Lock Will Caldwell gave the Waratahs the best possible start, charging down an attempt at clearance deep inside Hurricanes territory after the Waratahs had kicked off to start the match.


Spreading the ball wide on the next phase the Waratahs found Ben Jacobs in the clear, the centre finding the tryline despite the attempted tackles of two Hurricanes defenders.


Referee JC Fortuin went to the TMO, who correctly ruled Jacobs’ foot had brushed the touchline in the tackle.


In the end the Tahs would reap the benefits of their positive start, 50-gamer Peter Hewat kicking the visitors into the lead with a penalty goal on 11 minutes.


Having dominated the opening quarter the Waratahs stretched their lead further when Dean Mumm charged over for a try in the 25th minute of play, Caldwell claiming the ball from the lineout before handing off to Mumm who exploited a slight gap in the defence to sprint away and score.


Hewat converted then added a second penalty goal to see the Waratahs lead 13-nil approaching half time.


The home side pegged one back before the break, prop John Schwalger setting the platform for their opening try with a 30 metre run that was pulled up just five metres short of the line.


From the next phase Jimmy Gopperth made the Waratahs pay for the defensive lapse, ghosting through a gap before carrying Waugh over the line to score.


Piri Weepu converted for a 13-7 half time score.


Straight after the break the Waratahs kicked clear, Lachie Turner converting what seemed to be a nothing chip into points in the 41st minute.


Hitting the ball at pace after a stumble from Hurricanes fullback Cory Jane, Turner sprinted away to score under the posts for a 20-7 lead.


Four minutes later the Waratahs were in again, Sam Harris slipping a short ball to Lote Tuqiri who scored his first try of the season.


Again Hewat converted from in front for a 27-7 lead.


The Hurricanes scored their second soon after, flanker Jerry Collins touching down off a driving maul to narrow the gap to 13 points.


Collins’ try saw momentum swing the way of the Hurricanes, however they were prevented from scoring on more than one occasion by some outstanding last ditch defence from the Waratahs.


Hewat kicked the Waratahs beyond two converted tries with a penalty goal 15 minutes from full time then, as everyone in the ground including the Hurricanes were distracted by the departure of Tana Umaga, the Waratahs attacked deep into home territory.


A 40 metre run from Mumm caught the Hurricanes off guard, and they were duly penalised for offside.


Hewat converted from 30 metres for a 33-14 lead.


With the win now safely in their keeping the Waratahs secured the full compliment of points four minutes from full time when Jacobs got the try he was denied in the first minute, taking an intercept to score midway between the posts and the touchline for a 38-14 final score.


The win means the Waratahs finish the season with three wins and a draw to their names, their final tally moving along to 21 points for the season.


HSBC WARATAHS 38



Tries: Dean Mumm, Lachie Turner, Lote Tuqiri, Ben Jacobs


Conversions: Peter Hewat 3/4


Penalty Goals: Peter Hewat 3/4


HURRICANES 14



Tries: Jimmy Gopperth, Jerry Collins


Conversions: Piri Weepu 2/2


At Westpac Stadium, Wellington



Half Time: Waratahs 13-7


Crowd: 25,000 Approx.


Referee: JC Fortuin (RSA)

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