The New South Wales Waratahs scored a 41-13 bonus-point win over South Africa’s Golden Lions in Sydney yesterday to maintain their push for a Super Rugby playoff.
The Waratahs scored five tries to one, with a brace to winger Rob Horne, as they kept the Lions scoreless in the second half after leading 17-13 at halftime.
The five competition points took the Waratahs to fourth place overall behind competition leaders the Coastal Sharks and within one point of the ACT Brumbies at the top of the Australia conference.
While it was an emphatic victory for Michael Cheika’s Waratahs, it was a messy performance with 27 turnovers, 14 of them handling errors.
Flyhalf Bernard Foley had an impressive match ahead of this week’s Wallaby squad selection for three home Tests against France. He scored 21 points from a try, as well as five conversions and two penalties out of his seven shots at goal.
The Lions had looked to be well in the match after a try by blindside flanker Jaco Kriel off a rolling maul in the 13th minute and steady goalkicking from flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff.
However, the Waratahs stormed away from the Johannesburg-based outfit in the 10 minutes after the resumption with tries to Horne and Wallaby center Adam Ashley-Cooper to kill off the game with a 31-13 lead.
Horne scored his second try after the full-time siren after Wallaby fullback Israel Folau went close to scoring.
The result continued the Lions’ losing run on their Australasian tour with three losses before their final tour game against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.
The Lions, formerly the Golden Cats, have not won in 10 trips to Sydney and have only beaten the Waratahs twice in 17 encounters.
“We started the first half with a lot of intent, but it probably got a bit loose in that last 30 minutes with a bit too many turnovers, but overall a pleasing result,” Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis said. “We knew the Lions were strong finishers, they’ve proven that over the last couple of weeks and it was crucial that we started the second half well and to put them out of the game was a good result.”
Lions captain Warren Whiteley rued a disappointing result, with his team seemingly unable to play out a full 80 minutes.
“The previous week it was the second 40 minutes that we performed well and this week in the first half we were in it. But a great performance from the Waratahs, especially in the second half,” he said.
The Waratahs have just a five-day turnaround before facing the Rebels in Melbourne.
AP, CAPE TOWN
The Stormers lifted themselves off the foot of the Super Rugby table by bringing down the high-flying Western Force 24-8 on Saturday.
The Force had won seven of their past eight games by bossing the breakdown and being clinical on the counterattack, but they found that gameplan blocked out by a hungry Stormers outfit, who opened up a 24-3 lead in the first 47 minutes.
Tries by Juan de Jongh and Ruan Botha were supplemented by a penalty try as the home side dominated possession and territory for the first 60 minutes before shutting up shop.
Although Matt Hodgson scored with 10 minutes to go after the hosts were reduced to 13 men by two yellow cards, the Force never looked like overcoming the deficit.
The Cheetahs withstood a furious fightback by the ACT Brumbies to triumph 27-21 in a scrappy Super Rugby encounter on Saturday.