Waratahs thrash Fiji Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs thrash Fiji Warriors

By Samantha Broun 30/01/2009 11:10:00 PM Comments (0)

Centre Timana Tahu made a storming return from injury in the Waratahs' 60-0 thumping of the Fiji Warriors in a rugby trial on Friday night.

Tahu scored a try and set-up another as the Waratahs outclassed their lesser opponents in a 10-try to nil romp at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle before a 7,438-strong crowd.

Fullback Lachie Turner scored a double and contributed three from seven with the boot.

Coach Chris Hickey sent his strongest possible starting team on to the field for the opening half, with seven Wallabies enjoying their first run since the spring tour.

It was Tahu's first game back since being sent home from the tour with a hamstring injury and it didn't take long for the star league convert to announce his return.

NSW enjoyed the early possession and spent plenty of time in Fiji's 22 but were unable to turn possession into points until the 15th minute when Tahu broke the deadlock with one of his first touches of the night, crashing over for the first try.

Tahu delighted the Waratahs faithful again when he made a storming 40 metre run, splitting the defence, then drawing in the numbers, before off loading to winger Lote Tuqiri 10m out for another five-pointer.

With a 29-0 halftime lead, Hickey rang in wholesale changes, replacing everyone except lock Ben Mowen, Turner and Tuqiri.

The less-experienced Tahs, with Kurtley Beale replacing Daniel Halangahu at flyhalf, piled on 12 points in third of four 20-minute quarters and finished off their opponents with tries to winger Peter Playford and Halangahu and Beale in the last.

Al Baxter captained the Waratahs in the absence of Phil Waugh, who was ruled out on Thursday after rolling his ankle at training.

The Fiji Warriors performed a traditional cibi war dance prior to the match as the players enjoyed the evening's cool change after temperatures had reached 32 degrees.

Coach Hickey said the 60-0 whitewash still served as a chance for his rep players to get some game time and for him to assess the squad two weeks from the start of the Super 14.

"Look the scoreboard probably wasn't our focus all the time, it was a matter of getting some of our players game time and some of the tourists, it's probably been eight, nine weeks since they've actually played a game, so from that point of view it was a good hit out from them," Hickey said.

He praised local boy, Tahu's return to rugby.

"Tahu showed some really good touches there, with some really good footwork and some offloading, I'm very pleased with his performance," Hickey said.

Tahu said he had no physical complaints and was looking forward to facing off with Stirling Mortlock and the Brumbies on Thursday.

"It was good to be back here, mixed emotions, this is where it all started for me, it was only a trial but for me personally, it's good to be home."

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