Waratahs Win Ugly
The NSW Waratahs have extended their winning streak to five games after claiming
a 26-3 victory over the Cheetahs in a bruising encounter tonight at Aussie
Stadium in Sydney.
The Waratahs never trailed at any stage during the match, but were unable to
shake the Cheetahs until the final 10 minutes when tries to Wendell Sailor and
Peter Hewat ensured that NSW would hold on to their spot at the top of the Super
14 ladder for the time being.
With regular fly half Mat Rogers out injured the Waratahs looked disjointed
for long periods of the match and the South African based Cheetahs outfit took
full advantage of this with a strong defensive effort that saw them give the
table topping NSW side a big scare ahead of their much awaited clash against the
Canterbury Crusaders next weekend.
Having scored a combined 93 points over their last two games the Waratahs big
fan base expected fireworks right from the get go, but they were left in a
stunned silence in the fifth minute when it appeared that Cheetahs winger
Giscard Pieters had snuck over for a try.
Referee Chris Pollock sent the decision up to the television match official
and after being told that there was no clear view he decided that the ball had
been held up much to the home crowd’s delight.
The Cheetahs luck worsened in 17th minute when they were reduced to 14 men
for 10 minutes after winger Sinethemba Zweni was sin binned for his second act
of violent play when he hit NSW centre Shaun Berne with a high tackle.
The game finally saw its first score in the 20th minute when NSW opened their
account through a Peter Hewat penalty after the Cheetahs had infringed at the
breakdown adjacent to the posts.
With a one man advantage the Waratahs started to click up the pace of the
game and they nearly scored the first try of the match when a sensational piece
of footwork from recently resigned fly half Daniel Halangahu saw him break
through into open spaces, but it all came to nothing when Cheetahs half back
Michael Claassens was able to hold Sailor up over the try line.
Two minutes later the Waratahs suffered the same fate as the Cheetahs had
earlier in the game when flanker David Lyons appeared to get the ball down over
the line only to be denied by the referee, but a penalty soon after ensured that
NSW would get something from their attacking raid with Hewat slotting over his
second penalty goal of the match (6-0).
As they had done in the first half the Cheetahs made a bright start in the
second stanza and were rewarded with their first score of the game in the 42nd
minute when fly half Willem de Waal knocked over a penalty goal to cut the
margin back to three points (6-3).
Rugby Super 14 - Round
Peter Hewat 2/2|
de Waal 1/1|
@ Aussie Stadium, Sydney|
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZ)
NSW went close to crossing the try line again in the 49th minute when
Halangahu nearly stepped his way through from close range, but once again they
were forced to settle for a Hewat penalty goal that put them back out in front
by six points (9-3).
The insertion of dynamic flanker Phil Waugh 52nd minute seemed to lift the
Waratahs and his presence led to a good spell for the home side which saw them
land another penalty goal through Hewat to extend their lead to nine points
going into the final quarter of the match.
Referee Pollock denied NSW of a try again in the 67th minute when he called
back centre Morgan Turinui after he spotted a forward pass in the lead up play,
but a minute later Sailor finally broke the Waratahs duck when he barged through
some tiring Cheetahs defence to touch down for his fourth try of the season.
Hewat put the icing on the cake for the home side five minutes from full time
when he intercepted an errant pass to streak away and score under the posts. His
conversion made the final score 26-3 and gave him a haul of 21 points for the
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