Waratahs beat Reds, top Super 14 table - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs beat Reds, top Super 14 table

06/03/2009 11:41:47 PM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs have climbed to the top of the Super 14 ladder on Friday night with a stirring win over Queensland in a bruising interstate derby at the Sydney Football Stadium.

In a dour affair dominated by bonecrushing defence, rugby league convert Timana Tahu clinched an 15-11 victory for the Waratahs with a fine opportunist's try 16 minutes from time.

With NSW trailing by a point, Tahu swooped on a spilt ball from Queensland winger Peter Hynes and raced almost 40 metres to score the match-winner.

The Waratahs' 10th successive home win matched a streak last achieved between 1936-38 and gave Chris Hickey's side a perfect four-from-four start to their 2009 campaign.

The Reds, though, were left to rue their fifth consecutive defeat in the annual grudge match after failing to convert their one-point halftime advantage into a much-needed second win of the season.

A try to Wallabies winger Peter Hynes 16 seconds before the break nudged the Reds ahead for the first time in the match and they looked like extending the lead in the 44th minute only for Waratahs flyer Lachie Turner to pull off a desperate trysaving tackle on Mark McLinden.

NSW enjoyed a dream start, crossing for the game's opening try in just the fifth minute.

Test prop Benn Robinson - who was only cleared fit to play on Thursday - showed his worth to the team is not limited to scrum time when he burrowed over next to the posts to give the Tahs a 5-0 lead.

Kurtley Beale added the extras for 7-0 before Queensland halfback Ben Lucas narrowed the deficit to a point with penalty goals in the 17th and 20th minutes.

Another Beale penalty in the 32nd minute stretched NSW's lead to four points before Hynes struck.

Despite enjoying the bulk of possession, the Waratahs were unable to breach the Reds' resolute defence and regain the lead until Tahu made his mark.

During a spiteful post-match press conference, Queensland coach Phil Mooney claimed the Waratahs had looked "clueless" in attack and uncomfortable at having "to play rugby" when behind on the scoreboard.

Mooney's thinly-veiled attack followed Queensland playmaker Quade Cooper's mid-week sledge when he branded the Waratahs "boring" and the Reds Super 14 entertainers.

Waratahs captain Phil Waugh was only too happy to return fire after walking away with the four points, courtesy of the two-tries-to-one win.

"For an exciting rugby side who throws the ball around, they still only scored 11 points," Waugh said, before taking personal aim at Mooney.

"He likes to talk a lot, Phil, doesn't he?"

Waugh, though, conceded the Waratahs still had much to work on after failing to convert their clear domination into a more comfortable victory.

"It's still a good win, but we made it tough on ourselves," he said.

"It felt like we should have scored more points and should have beaten them by more.

"They were always in the game when they probably shouldn't have been."

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