Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Waratahs labor to ugly Super 14 victory over Chiefs

AFP , SYDNEY AND WELLINGTON

The Waratahs’ Adam Freier, left, struggles to hold the ball as the Chiefs’ Brendon Leonard waits for his chance during their match in Sydney yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

The NSW Waratahs stretched their unbeaten home run to eight games in an ugly 11-7 Super 14 win over New Zealand’s Waikato Chiefs yesterday.

In a poor match of shoddy handling, both sides scored a try but the Waratahs scraped home on the back of flyhalf Kurtley Beale’s penalty goal and drop goal in a dire second half.

The victory kept the Waratahs unbeaten in this year’s southern hemisphere provincial championship following their 33-31 away win over the Otago Highlanders last weekend.

The Waratahs were expected to win comfortably against the injury-hit Chiefs but they struggled to put away the Kiwis.

The Waratahs looked to be set for a good night when a well-placed high kick for the corner was taken on the full by Timana Tahu, who scored what turned out the home side’s only try in the 16th minute.

But the Chiefs hit the front in the 27th minute when Arizona Taumalolo barged over for a try.

Stephen Donald’s conversion put the Chiefs in front 7-5 and they held the advantage until the 55th minute when Beale landed a penalty and four minutes edged the home side clear with a drop goal.

In yesterday’s other Super 14 match the Wellington Hurricanes scored two late tries ito beat the Otago Highlanders 22-17.

The two sides battled for 39 minutes before Daniel Kirkpatrick put the Hurricanes ahead with a penalty.

They moved to a 10-0 lead soon after the break when David Smith scored a try.

The Highlanders then scored two tries in two minutes which Daniel Bowden converted before adding a penalty to leave them 17-10 up.

The Hurricanes then put together a move that went through 16 phases before Jason Eaton crashed over for Piri Weepu to convert and level the scores.

Play had hardly restarted before Weepu started a 65m counter-attack with a chip kick which he recovered and sent Conrad Smith away for the match-winning try.

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