Turner bags double to help Tahs home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Turner bags double to help Tahs home

By Darren Walton 05/04/2009 08:25:24 AM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs escaped with a 12-6 victory over the Stormers in a low-quality Super 14 match at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

A tryscoring double from winger Lachie Turner was enough to consolidate the Waratahs' position in the top four with their 11th straight win at the SFS.

Man-of-the-match Turner struck in the fifth and 76th minutes in an otherwise sloppy performance from the Waratahs, who should really have won easily but squandered a host of pointscoring opportunities.

Turner and replacement forward Damien Fitzpatrick both knocked on metres short of the line, Turner also missed a long-range penalty attempt and five-eighth Daniel Halangahu landed just one of his five shots at goal.

All up, 24 points - plus a bonus point - went begging.

The lacklustre victory nevertheless edged the Tahs closer to a semi-finals berth for the fourth time in five seasons.

Three wins from their last five games should be enough to clinch NSW a playoff spot.

The Waratahs made a bright enough start against the touring South Africans, with Turner crossing in just the third minute only for the try to be disallowed after referee Bryce Lawrence ruled a forward pass against Lote Tuqiri.

There was no denying Turner two minutes later, the Wallabies winger doing it all himself, beating two defenders before regathering his own chip kick to score next to the posts.

The match quickly deteriorated as a spectacle after that, two penalty goals from Stormers five-eighth Peter Grant narrowing the deficit to a solitary point.

Out-of-favour utility Kurtley Beale was injected into the fray on the hour mark, replacing fullback Sam Norton-Knight.

Beale had the desired effect for the Tahs, setting up Turner's match-sealing second try with a midfield chip kick for his winger.

Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus hailed Turner as the difference between the two teams and Hickey had no argument with his counterpart's assessment.

"Lachie, we know he's a talented player. He's been finding his feet through the first half of the competition and it's really good to see him come into some form," Hickey said.

"He did really well tonight not only in terms of scoring those tries but he also did a lot of the hard yards for the team as well."

Hickey and Waratahs captain Phil Waugh were also full of praise for Beale and the manner in which he has accepted his relegation to the bench over the past fortnight.

"I think people underestimate Kurtley's maturity as a person, the way he's come on over the last 24 months," Waugh said.

"I spoke at the start of the year about how I couldn't speak highly enough of him and the way he's reacted since Hangers (Halangahu) has got the start at 10 has been superb.

"He's fronted up at training and he knew he was going to get some good time tonight and he came on and provided some spark.

"He's certainly got a lot of poise for a guy who's just turned 20."

Hickey said it would have been easy for Beale to mope after losing the No.10 jumper he'd held a mortgage on for the past two seasons.

"It's never easy I suppose when a player's been in a position for a while and he gets dropped," he said. "He's showed a lot of maturity.

"If he wasn't disappointed, then I'd be disappointed in the first place.

"But, look, that only lasts for 24 hours and then his focus was on what he could contribute to the team.

"We've had the opportunity this week to train him at 15 and when he came on there in the second half, he certainly delivered some good play for us."

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