Waratahs win wild one in the west


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The HSBC Waratahs overcame a gallant Western Force outfit, finally securing a 17-12 victory well after the final siren at Perth’s Subiaco Oval.

With a parochial and vocal home crowd urging the Force on, their final forays towards the NSW line were eventually snuffed out by a Lachie Turner intercept, delivering the Waratahs their third straight victory.

While both sides enjoyed periods of dominance, the Waratahs scored the only two tries of the game, one in each half.

In doing so, the Waratahs kept their tryline clean for the second time this season, however with Force penalty goals keeping them in the game, the Aussie derby went right down to the wire.

The Waratahs opened the scoring in the fourth minute through a Kurtley Beale penalty, and while both sides had their chances, the only other score in the first quarter of the match was a Matt Giteau penalty in the 20th minute to tie the scores.

The match was turned on its head in the 23rd minute when a Giteau tackle on Sam Norton-Knight went wrong, knocking the Force No.10 out cold. Play continued for a number of phases with the Waratahs stretching the Force defence before a stoppage finally occurred.

Lote Tuqiri rolled his Wallaby teammate on his side while waiting for the Force medical team to arrive, showing great camaraderie.

Eventually Giteau was taken from the field on the medicab, and it was only a few minutes before the Waratahs exploited the new Force midfield.

Tom Carter committed two defenders off the scrum and when he popped the ball up in the tackle, 18-year-old Rob Horne steamed on to the ball to touch down under the posts in his first run-on cap.

With former Waratah Lachlan MacKay taking the reins for the Force, the home side started to play an expansive game and for extended periods had NSW at sixes and sevens.

Three times in the final ten minutes of the half the home side forced the Waratahs to concede penalties in their own territory. Another former Waratah in Cameron Shepherd took over the kicking duties and made NSW pay, with two penalties to reducing the visitors’ half-time advantage to 10-9.

The Waratahs started the second half well, however when on track for a penalty were often the victims of the referee calling advantage gained before points could be secured.

Shepherd had the chance to take the lead for the Force ten minutes into the half, however the ball hit the left upright, then crossbar, before bouncing away.

Another injury concern for a world class player saw Waratahs skipper Phil Waugh leave the field with a knee injury, and both coaches continued to ring the changes from the bench in a bid to take advantage of fresh legs in an exhaustive match.

The Waratahs were next to go close however it was the Force who troubled the scorers first, with Shepherd’s third penalty in the 63rd minute putting the home side in front for the first time in the match, 12-10.

NSW continued to force the issue, however it was a stroke of luck which helped them regain the lead in the 72nd minute.

Putting phases together and troubling the scrambling Force defence, Tuqiri made a half break before being brought down on the 22. Tuqiri kicked ahead in the tackle, only for the ball to ricochet off a Force defender straight into the arms of Lachie Turner who sprinted down the left flank to score.

Beale’s sideline conversion took NSW to a 17-12 lead and a grandstand finish in the offing.

The Waratahs had a couple of chances to seal the match, however passes were either not thrown or went astray as the clock wound down.

Buoyed by their 79th minute victory against the Bulls last week, the Force ‘ and their crowd ‘ never gave up and pushed the Waratahs to the limits, even when they were on halfway when the siren sounded.

Three penalties and a yellow card to Alfi Mafi later, the Force were within inches of scoring through burrowing forward play which had gained them so many yards throughout the match.

Once the Force eventually decided to spread it wide, Lachie Turner came out of the line to intercept and sprinted downfield.

While a length of the field try looked a possibility at one point, he was run down and when Brett Sheehan booted the ball into touch it was game over.

The Waratahs third straight win ‘ their sixth for the season ‘ sees them move to third on the Super 14 table, and will finish week nine no worse than fourth pending the result of the Bulls-Hurricanes clash later tonight.

The Waratahs return to Sydney tomorrow ahead of back-to-back home games against the Lions and Sharks before heading to Africa.

The Waratahs two tries tonight raised another $1000 for HSBCkids, the tutoring and mentoring program run by HSBC and children’s charity Barnardos, bringing the season total to $11,000.

Western Force 12
Penalty Goals: Cameron Shepherd 3/5, Matt Giteau 1/1

HSBC Waratahs 17
Tries: Rob Horne, Lachie Turner

Conversions: Kurtley Beale 2/2

Penalty Goal: Kurtley Beale 1/1
Drop Goal: Kurtley Beale 0/1

By the clock

4th ‘ Kurtley Beale penalty. Western Force 0 HSBC Waratahs 3
20th ‘ Matt Giteau penalty. Western Force 3 HSBC Waratahs 3
27th ‘ Rob Horne try; Kurtley Beale conversion. Western Force 3 HSBC Waratahs 10
30th ‘ Cameron Shepherd missed penalty.
33rd ‘ Cameron Shepherd penalty. Western Force 6 HSBC Waratahs 10
39th ‘ Cameron Shepherd penalty. Western Force 9 HSBC Waratahs 10

Half Time ‘ Western Force 9 HSBC Waratahs 10

49th ‘ Cameron Shepherd missed penalty.
64th ‘ Cameron Shepherd penalty. Western Force 12 HSBC Waratahs 10
72nd ‘ Lachie Turner try; Kurtley Beale conversion. Western Force 12 HSBC Waratahs 17
79th ‘ Kurtley Beale missed drop goal.
80th+ ‘ Alfi Mafi yellow card.

Full Time ‘ Western Force 12 HSBC Waratahs 17




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