Tahu lights up Tahs' 20-3 win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tahu lights up Tahs' 20-3 win

By David Beniuk 16/02/2008 10:48:37 PM Comments (0)

Former rugby league star Timana Tahu provided the rare moments of attacking spark in his Super 14 debut as the NSW Waratahs ground out a 20-3 win over the Hurricanes at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Tahu's silky skills set up a try in each half for Waratahs fullback Lachlan Turner, both with superb final passes, to provide the rare highlights in a lacklustre match.

Playing on the left wing, the former Kangaroos star sent Turner in for the Waratahs' first try in the 18th minute with a catch and scoop in one motion to give the home side an early 7-0 lead.

Then, in the 74th, he was on hand to send a sublime one-handed pass to the No.15 as he fell in a tackle to seal the win for the Waratahs.

But, on an eventful night for the former Newcastle and Parramatta star, Tahu was also pinged by South African referee Craig Joubert in the 28th minute when he aggressively grabbed Hurricanes fullback Cory Jane around the shoulders and sent him crashing over the sideline head first.

The healthy Sydney crowd of 27,011 booed Joubert as he cautioned the Waratahs winger.

"Just to get Lachie over the line, it was a bit more of a relief," Tahu said.

"I'm hoping to just keep on learning this year and hopefully the next couple of years I can be a big asset to the team."

Coach Ewen McKenzie said Tahu had been the best of his ex-league pupils.

"I think he's been the best in term of aptitude and application in trying to learn the game," he said.

"It's a tough game and positional play's really important and I think that every time he takes the field he's doing it better and better.

"In all that positional stuff, he's getting those really classy touches and to give the last pass on two tries was outstanding."

Tahu had few other opportunities as the brave new world of expansive rugby failed to eventuate on a dry Sydney night.

The Waratahs scored three tries to nil through Turner's double and Rocky Elsom while Kurtley Beale kicked a conversion and a penalty goal.

For the Hurricanes, Jimmy Gopperth booted a solitary penalty goal.

McKenzie praised his side's defence as it delivered enough bruises to force the Hurricanes into 32 turnovers.

"I think we knocked the enthusiasm out of them, knocked them out of their pattern," he said.

"I could definitely see with maybe 15 to go in the first half that they'd lost their rhythm and started to play a bit more one out.

"We made mistakes and they did and there was lots of contested loose ball ... I thought we handled those situations and the transitions better."

Leading 10-3 at halftime, the Waratahs extended their lead almost immediately after the break when Elsom crawled over to make it 15-3.

But the home side couldn't put the Wellington franchise away and blew chances for a bonus point earning fourth try in the 78th, 79th and 80th minutes.

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