A shaven-headed Wakaito Chiefs team bided their time before smashing the New South Wales Waratahs in the second half to win their Super Rugby clash 30-13 in Hamilton, New Zealand, yesterday.
The Chiefs players, sporting shorn heads to raise money for charity, scored two tries after the break and conceded only three points to notch their fourth win of the season from five matches.
The Waratahs held more than 72 percent of the territory in the first half, but still found themselves trailing 13-10 at the break.
Winger Tom Kingston put the visitors on the board in the fifth minute with a try, slicing through a pack of players to take a quick inside pass and reaching his arms behind him to plant the ball on the line.
However, the Chiefs made the most of their few chances and leveled at 7-7 after live-wire winger Tim Nanai-Williams cut the Waratahs defense to shreds with a breathtaking run through midfield.
Nanai-Williams’s incursion allowed the Chiefs to spread the ball wide, where fullback Robbie Robinson crossed in the left corner.
Aaron Cruden slotted a 47m penalty kick to cancel out one from Brendan McKibbin a few minutes earlier and the All Blacks flyhalf drilled a second after Wycliff Palu strayed offside directly in front of the posts.
The Waratahs were frustrated by several fruitless drives to the line in the final minutes of the first half and had the wind taken out of their sales minutes after the break when Sona Taumalolo crossed for the Chiefs’ second try.
Sonny Bill Williams dribbled a poor kick straight into a defender’s legs, but the deflection cannoned into the path of charging outside center Richard Kahui, who scooped up the ball and fed it wide to prop Taumalolo for a soft try in the right corner.
Cruden slotted his third penalty kick in the 62nd minute to stretch the advantage to 10 points and flanker Liam Messam delivered the match-sealing try five minutes later after a demoralizing turnover by the Waratahs.
Replacement Sam Cane intercepted a pass out of a ruck intended for Sarel Pretorius and fed Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who sprinted down the right wing before passing inside to Messam for an easy try.
Cruden converted to maintain a perfect 6-of-6 kicking game and a fatigued Waratahs side never looked like clawing their way back into the game.