Review: Canes burn Tahs in Cake Tin - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Review: Canes burn Tahs in Cake Tin

Review: Canes burn Tahs in Cake Tin

The Hurricanes scored three tries in a twelve-minute spell in the second half and deserved their 41-29 victory in Wellington and the bonus point that went with it. 

Big Jules the juggler

Big Jules the juggler

In the wet conditions both teams played some breathless, attractive rugby, often end-to-end, and the game ended in a gallant effort by the Waratahs to score a try in the corner that would have earned them two bonus points.

But it wasn’t to be.


The Match

The Waratahs shot themselves in the foot several times in the game and the Hurricanes used good thinking and great skill to take advantage and turn the opportunities into points.

After twelve minutes the Tahs passed the ball into touch then dropped a high ball box-kicked from the lineout. The Canes recovered the ball and dispatched it with good hands to Julian Savea who was in like Flynn. It was an omen of things to come.

But at 21 minutes Bernard Foley ran through a lot of his opponents as though he was covered in snakes and spiders to score under the posts for the Tahs, untouched. After the conversions and some penalty kicks the Hurricanes led the Waratahs 19-16 at half time.

It was noticeable that the Kiwis had more presence at the breakdown: not only in numbers, when needed, but also in the power of the effort.

Who's your daddy Michael?

Ardie Savea – wanted his ball back

19-year-old Ardie Savea, brother of All Black Julian, charged into Waratahs rucks as though he was obsessed with getting a ball back that belonged to him. By contrast most of the Waratahs’ forwards were like spectators; that is, when they got there soon enough to have a look.

But the Tahs looked good around the rucks with passes back and fro and bamboozled the Kiwis when the ball was kept alive.

Then after oranges there was a series of unfortunate events for the Waratahs, which were self-inflicted.

A dropped Tahs’ ball eventually led to some clever interplay of Beauden Barrett with Conrad Smith, who slipped the ball to LHP Reggie Goodes 20 metres out for him to run in and score.

Then a Tahs’ kick from the 22 did not go out; Julian Savea charged up the field with the pill and soon after Barrett grubbered it precisely  for hooker, ‘Motoring’ Moto Matu’u, to score in the corner.

Covered in spiders

Foley – covered in snakes and spiders

Then a Sonny Bill-style pass by the Tahs that was never ‘on’ went forward. Seconds later TJ Perenara chipped perfectly for Julian Savea who juggled the pill like he was in a circus, and was in for his second try. This meant that at 55 minutes the Hurricanes lead 38-19.

After Adam Ashley-Cooper and Israel Folau had scored unconverted tries for the Tahs, and the Canes had slotted a penalty goal, it was Hurricanes 41-29.

There were six minutes left for the Tahs to score a try for two bonus points. Michael Hooper went for the corner but got bundled into touch. Game over.

The Hurricanes deserved their win. They were better in all aspects of the game excepting set pieces. In particular, they were more accurate in kicking from hand and at goal, in their variety and execution of restarts, dominating tackles, and getting numbers to the ruck when it was necessary.

Full marks to the Waratahs for coming back in the last quarter and showing what might have been.

The Game Changer

In the second half the Waratahs turned the ball over seven times in a 20-minute spell.

In brilliant style three of those turnovers were turned into tries by the Canes, in the space of twelve minutes.


For the Waratahs Bernard Foley was dangerous but made his share of blunders.  Hooper was the best of the forwards but he was edged byArdie Savea on the night.

Conrad Smith was like the conductor that the Waratahs lacked and 21-year-old Beauden Barrett had a commanding performance at first-five, and kicked his goals.

But the G&GR MOtM goes to the agile, juggling, fast All Black winger Julian Savea.

Wallaby watch

Folau did enough to confirm that he should be in the mix for a Wallabies Spring Tour squad by the end of the season.

All the props did the job against a Kiwi scrum but not a lot else. Hooper should have stepped inside at the end of the game instead of backing himself to score in the corner, but would have kept his place in Deans’s pecking order, whatever that is.

Ashley-Cooper is firming as the Wallabies’ outside centre and Drew Mitchell has his hand up.

The Details

Crowd:  13,000

Score & Scorers

Hurricanes:  41
Tries:  Julian Savea (2), Reg Goodes, Moto Matu’u.
Conversions:  Beauden Barrett (3)
Penalties: Barrett (5)

Waratahs:  29
Tries:  Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Israel Folau
Conversion:  Brendan McKibbin
Penalties: McKibbin (4)

Cards & citings



Referee:  Jonathan Kaplan


  • Tahs are back!

  • Rex Munday

    Folau has not done anything to justify Wallaby selection. Nothing. It’s about time people stop trying to find excuses

    • Barbarian

      Rexxie boy, it sounds like you have already made up your mind there that nothing he can do is good enough for Wallaby selection. Which in my opinion is a bit misguided, as he is one of the few outside backs in Aussie rugby at the moment who is threatening the line with every touch. He has done plenty to justify Wallaby selection- not for the Lions, but maybe for later as his game continues to develop.

      • Redsfan1

        It’s hard to tell Barbarian. To be fair Folau is behind one of the, if not the most, hopeless forward packs in the competition. I recall your boasting of the pre-season training at the Tahs. The backs did it but clearly the forwards, except Ex-Brumby Hooper, are still unfit.

        • Barbarian

          The Tahs forward pack is ‘hopeless’? Please. They weren’t good in this game but are far from the worst in the comp. And I can’t recall my ‘boasting’ about the Tahs pre-season, except maybe to say I was happy they are doing fitness work (you may be referring to my face/off thing before the Reds game, where my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek). But I do agree they still have a bit of work to do there, too much walking for my liking.

        • Ah the Face off! I was completely serious.

        • Redsfan1

          The only positives were that AAC, Mitchell , Folau have strengthened Wallaby claims. I can’t believe you rate Robinson- his work rate is not good enough.

      • Attack looks great. His defensive position is none existent.

      • Rex Munday

        Completely untrue that I’ve written him off for good. If he has a couple of good solid seasons then, yes, he should be selected but at this point in time he’s shown no more than potential. If he was anyone but Israel Folau in a blue jersey he woud be nowhere near contention

        • redbull

          100% agree. The previous section argued that a few seasons of performance at top level should not detract from short-term form slumps and should overrule current patches of superior form from other players. But Folau does a couple of things in a couple of games and he is a wallaby? There are huge arguments when provincial fans put forward players in good patches of form to replace existing wallabies, but this guy gets an armchair ride? Bullshit…..

        • Barbarian

          How, may I ask, is Israel getting an ‘armchair ride’?

        • redbull

          Barbar, he has played 7 games of rugby and is being touted as a wallaby. What has he done that is so much more special than any other fullback? Don’t get me wrong here. Obviously he is a very talented rugby league winger and by all accounts a hard working and likeable guy. But the hype around him is bullshit. The two photos of the Tahs Hurricanes games in Rugby Heaven were of him! WTF!! Has he brought another 5k spectators to Waratahs games? ARU has done this before and it did not end well. In the end a mercenary is a mercenary. The fan base that follows individuals rather than codes or teams will not stay hooked on union once Folau leaves for somewhere else. The money spent on him is money wasted that could have been used to grow the game.

    • Lee Grant

      To be fair Rex I wrote:

      “Folau did enough to confirm that he should be in the mix for a Wallabies Spring Tour squad by the end of the season.”

      “Spring tour” and “in the mix” – don’t get your knickers in a knot.

  • Red Kev

    The Waratahs forwards were a disgrace to a man with the exception of Michael Hooper. Ardie Savea won the battle of the no.7s because his forward pack supported him and allowed him to do his work, Hooper had to do the work of all 8 forwards.
    There were about half a dozen instances of Waratah forwards standing around within 2m of a ruck and doing nothing (or in Benn Robinson’s case adjusting his headgear) while the Hurricanes and specifically Savea stole possession.
    I have never witnessed such a lazy group of forwards, not even in the third grade competitions I compete in.
    Hooper and possibly Palu and Ryan are the only Waratah forwards who should be close to Wallaby selection. Dennis is invisible, Kepu and Robinson are lazy, Douglas and Timani are ineffective and the less said about TPN the better.

    • Redsfan1

      Totally agree. But don’t go soft on Palu. The most over-rated forward in Australia. Lazy, injury prone, poor skill. His first action in coming on was to run straight into touch. How any of the Tahs forwards were Wallabies is a mystery. Benn Robinson is flat out fat & unfit. Don’t care if he can scrum- need to do more then that in the modern game.

      • Barbarian

        Short memory, Robinson was outstanding last week against the Force, and very good against the Blues as well. He is still the best loosehead prop in Australia.

        • Red Kev

          I’d have Sio, Slipper, Holmes and Anae in my team ahead of Robinson any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

        • Barbarian

          Hahaha thanks for giving me my Sunday morning laugh. Big Bert Anae coming atcha!

        • Merrow

          So what you’re saying is Robinson’s had two good games in seven? Great qualification for being a Wallaby.

        • Barbarian

          No it’s not. It’s that he has two good games in three. He has been good this season after Cheika put him on notice after the trials. As for Wallaby qualification, I think years of high-standard performances at the top level may be a little more relevant. Just a little.

        • Merrow

          No, at this point I don’t think it’s relevant. He offers little, other than his role in the scrum in my opinion.

        • Barbarian

          29 runs. 7 tackle busts. 1 linebreak. 45 tackles made with just 2 missed (96% success rate for those playing at home). 2 pilfers. These are his 2013 stats. This seems to contradict your assertion that he offers little outside the scrum.

        • Merrow

          When your team throws away much of their possession, I guess you do get to make a few more tackles than say, an attacking team. Dude, the Rebels beat the Force…telling me Robinson was very good against them doesn’t exactly give me any more confidence in him.

        • Barbarian

          Well it seems you have taken a set against him for some reason, so no statistics or arguments I can provide will change that.

        • Merrow

          No, not likely. Sorry mate, but I just don’t rate him.

        • Redsfan1

          Barabarian- you do no service to your beloved Tahs by talking them up when they are so sub-par. If they are as awesome as you say to the point that you laugh at the thought of a Reds prop displacing Robinson- then why has Cheika already written off their finals chances already?

        • Rex Munday

          Yeah. Shut up Kev. Only Tahs get selected off the provincial bench for the Wallabies. If Anae wants to play for Australia he needs to head south.

        • Who Needs Melon

          There’s a great couple of videos of the Franks brothers and their fitness regime on YouTube. I thoroughly recommend it. Watch it. And try to imagine Benn Robinson (or most of Australia’s other props) going through it.

  • Donk

    What they say is true, all queenslanders really are dickheads!

  • bill

    After watching the tahs attempt to hail down the bus instead of tackle him I’m starting to understand why noone can tackle Folau at training.

    Anyway enough gloating, the tahs do look a lot better for passing the ball, all this helter skelter stuff is all very well but until they can add ball security, discipline, defence and good decision making with ball in hand it’s at best hopelessly niave rugby.

    Certainly a lot better than their borefests of the last few years though.

  • wowjiffylube

    Ve-heh-heh-ry flattering review of the Tahs. In all fairness the Hurricanes (with the exception of Smuth and the colossal Matu’u) aren’t exactly known for their defence and are probably one of the weakest NZ sides. Admittedly their attack can be spectacular, but compared to the Chiefs or (on-form) the Blues or even the Highlanders, it’s merely pass-remarkable. The ‘Canes were subpar in defence and should have been exploited but the Waratahs seemed determined to make their own lives difficult.

  • Jimmydubs

    Best article title ever.

  • Blair

    Great game to watch!

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