The Hurricanes managed to grind out a narrow 20-19 win over the Waratahs on Saturday.
The Hurricanes without their star player Beauden Barrett outscored the Waratahs two tries to one.
The Australian side led most of the match and took a 12-10 lead at the break. However, lack of composure and a 78th minute missed penalty kick by Bernard Foley proved costly for the home team.
The Waratahs took a 9-3 lead after 15 minutes of the play. Both sides failed to build some rhythm and exchanged early penalty kicks. Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley got his team infront with three successful kicks, while Jordie Barrett managed to bag three points for his team.
With nine minutes left of the first half, Hurricanes had a five-metre line-out, the side piled the pressure on the Waratahs’ defence before feeding the backline. After multiple phases, the side was still could not find a way through.
Eventually, the Hurricanes won a penalty and opted for the scrum which proved to be a good decision, as they build a few phases before Ardie Savea burst over the line from close range.
Barrett added the easy extras for a 10-9 lead.
Just before the break, Waratahs were rewarded with a penalty, and what became the Australian side’s theme of the match they again opted to go for posts. Foley made no mistake to add the three points for the 12-10 as they head to the dressing rooms.
Waratahs picked up were their left off and eventually had their first try in the 47th minute. Ned Hanigan sealed the ball inside on the 50-metre mark followed by quick hands – including a perfect pick-up by Israel Folau – which set up Curtis Rona for the five-pointe out wide. Despite a very difficult angle, Foley added the two points with the conversion, 19-10.
The visitors got their first points of the second half via a successful penalty kick by Barrett. The fullback reduced the deficit to six points.
Hurricanes created the opportunities and found their way behind the Waratahs’ tryline, however, referee Angus Gardner along with the TMO ruled NO Try on both occasions. First Du’Plessis Kirifi was penalized for a forearm to the throat to Waratahs Michael Hooper and on the second occasion, Ben Lam was hand was on the touchline.
With five minutes left of the clock and after relentless onslaughts, Hurricanes finally took the lead when Du’Plessis Kirifi burst through a narrow gap for the five-pointer. Barrett added the extras for the 20-19 lead.
To make things worse for the hosts, Wallaby star and Waratahs iceman Foley, whose boot was flawless for 78 minutes, missed his first kick of the match which proved very costly for the side.
Man of the match: Despite the missed kick Bernard Foley was impressive for the Waratahs, while captain Michael Hooper also produced a noteworthy performance in the pack. Ned Henigan was a nuisance at the breakdown. For the Hurricanes TJ Perenara’s leadership was vital as he kept a cool head however our nod go to Ardie Savea who was one of the better performance in the pack. His work rate was amazing and made vital tackles.
Pens: Foley 4
Tries: Savea, Kirifi
Cons: Barrett 2
Pens: Barrett 2
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Cam Clark.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Ben May, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Wes Goosen.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)
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