Intercept try gets 'Tahs home over Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Intercept try gets 'Tahs home over Blues

By Darren Walton 28/03/2010 12:00:34 AM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs consolidated their position in the Super 14 top four with a thrilling 39-32 victory over the Blues at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

The Waratahs trailed until winger Lachie Turner sped 90 metres for the game-turning intercept try eight minutes from fulltime.

"It was a big play by Lachie. Those sort of plays can change a season and it was a great effort by him," relieved NSW captain Phil Waugh said.

Indeed, NSW's fourth straight win vaulted the Waratahs to second spot on the table behind the defending champion Bulls.

But had replacement back Taniela Moa's pass gone to hand, red-hot centre Rene Ranger would surely have completed a tryscoring hat-trick to clinch victory for the Blues.

Such a result would have left the Waratahs adrift of the top four at the halfway mark of the season - and still with a points-free bye weekend to come.

The Blues were shattered to have lost on an intercept try after rallying from 21-7 down late in the first half.

"We looked like scoring in the corner so to see Lachie Turner scoring up the other end, it was tough," Blues coach Pat Lam said.

"But the boys showed a lot of character to come back ... it was just a good game of footy, one of the fastest of the season."

While Turner ultimately got the Waratahs home, five-eighth Daniel Halangahu was a worthy man of the match after contributing 24 points for the home team from two tries and six goals from seven attempts.

"The points he scored were obviously impressive, but the thing that really impressed me was his game control and his decision making," Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said.

"His composure actually had an influence on the team, and obviously in that 10 position that's really important.

"His leadership and composure out there was really important in a game where there was a lot of pressure."

The Waratahs had to hang on without the services of Wallabies quartet Phil Waugh (thigh), Wycliff Palu (hamstring), Al Baxter (calf) and Berrick Barnes (leg) after they all failed to complete the match.

But classy young outside centre Rob Horne made a successful return from his chronic hamstring injury, playing strongly before being replaced in the 70th minute.

The Waratahs looked set for a big win after racing to their 21-7 lead after just 20 minutes through Halangahu's double strike plus Dean Mumm's early converted try.

But the Blues' deadly backline, led by Ranger, clicked into gear to pile on 19 points in a 15-minute blitz either side of halftime to give the visitors a 26-21 advantage.

After Halangahu and Blues five-eighth Stephen Brett traded penalty goals, hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau combined cleverly with replacement forward Ben Mowen to score from a lineout move to put the Waratahs back on level terms at 29-29 on the hour mark.

Another Brett penalty nudged the Blues ahead, before Turner had the final say to save NSW blushes.

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