Waratahs end Hur­ri­canes’ un­beaten streak

The China Post - - SPORTS -

The de­fend­ing cham­pion New South Wales Waratahs ended the Hur­ri­canes’ un­beaten start to the sea­son at seven matches Satur­day, win­ning 29-24 in a thrilling match in which both teams scored four tries.

Full­back Is­rael Fo­lau scored a bonus point try in the 51st minute which broke a 19-19 half­time dead­lock and set the Waratahs on the way to their fifth win in eight matches this sea­son. The Hur­ri­canes took a con­so­la­tion bonus point which re­turned them to the top of the ta­ble af­ter they had con­ceded first place to the Chiefs, who beat the Cru­saders 26-9 on Fri­day.

Winger Peter Betham scored a dou­ble, in­clud­ing a cru­cial in­ter­cept try on the tick of half­time to help the Waratahs re­vive their shaky ti­tle de­fense.

“I’m very proud to be part of that game,” Waratahs cap­tain Dave Den­nis said. “Not many peo­ple gave us a chance against the lad­der lead­ers but there was a lot of be­lief that we could come over here and put in a good per­for­mance.

“Though it wasn’t per­fect it was a re­ally big win for us.”

Both teams scored three tries in a first half which pro­duced pos­si­bly the best rugby of the sea­son to date.

Betham scored the first try of the match in the 13th minute af­ter the Hur­ri­canes had squan­dered a tryscor­ing op­por­tu­nity when flanker Ardie Savea dropped the ball over the line.

The Hur­ri­canes then re­claimed the lead with tries to cen­ter Con­rad Smith and fly­half Beau­den Bar­rett in a two-minute span in the mid­dle of the half. They took a 14-7 lead but the Waratahs slashed that mar­gin with a 33rd minute try to gi­ant lock Will Skel­ton. Den­nis was also run down inches from the line, pre­vent­ing a try that might have made the Waratahs’ lead de­ci­sive.

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