Tahs Beat Blues in Sunday Thriller

Hugh Cavill March 24, 2013 21
  • JOC in a Swisse commercial
  • ALF in 'ALF'
  • Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun'
  • Alec Baldwin in '30 Rock'
  • Marlon Brando in 'The Godfather'

No GravatarBernard Foley kicked a penalty goal after the siren to deliver the Waratahs a much-needed home victory over the Blues, 30-27.

The Match

Allianz Stadium was bathed in beautiful Sydney Sunday afternoon sunshine, and Tahs fans young and old emerged from a hard morning of prayer (no turnovers, no turnovers, no turnovers) to cheer on their side. And it looked like their prayers would be answered as the Tahs started promisingly, shifting the ball left and right showing good basic skills. It paid off with an early try to Drew Mitchell after a beautiful wrap-around move involving Foley, McKibbin, Ashley-Cooper and Folau. Their joy was short-lived, however, with the Blues hitting back with a try to Tom Parsons after some scrappy work at the back of the lineout. It would only get worse for the Tahs, with the Blues striking twice in the space of a few minutes thanks to tries to Noakes and Piutau. After that promising start the Tahs went to the sheds behind 24-10.

Sun baked Sunday arvo

Sun baked Sunday arvo

The second half started well for the home side, chalking up first points thanks to a great try to Israel Folau after a break by Bernard Foley and a good last pass by reserve scrummie Matt Lucas. The Tahs had the weight of possession in the early periods once again, and levelled the score in the 60th minute thanks to a try from Bernard Foley. The ball control was much improved, and it looked like the Tahs had all the momentum. The Blues had their chances but caught a case of dropitis (not uncommon to pick that up on a visit to Sydney) and good attacking chances were repeatedly spurned through poor ball security. The sides traded penalty goals, and with five minutes left the score was locked at 27-27.

In from the side, of the head

In from the side, of the head

It looked like it would stay that way when Israel Folau couldn’t finish off after a break from Drew Mitchell, cut down late in a great tackle by Frank Halai. But the Tahs held the ball well, and Bernard Foley had the chance to finish it off with a drop-goal from 35 out, but he pushed it right. It looked like the draw, but the Tahs wanted more.

Dave Dennis stood up with a few bustling runs in centre-field, and slowly but surely the Tahs got into position. And then the penalty came, thanks to an errant Blues forward coming in from the side. Foley had the chance again – 35 out, right in front. This time he made it count: 30-27 final score, with the Tahs winning the second half 20-3.

After the game Blues coach Sir John Kirwan was effusive in his praise for the Waratahs, saying

They came out and showed courage and character. They scored the tries when they needed to and put us under enough pressure that we made those errors; so they’ve got to be happy. They did some really good things with the ball and their tournament is back on track, at least.


The Game Changer

The Waratahs’ third try came after a prolonged period of possession (14 phases), and levelled the scoreline after all looked lost at half time. It was set up by a great break from Rob Horne and finished off by Bernard Foley. It gave the Tahs a real kick, and a bucketload of confidence coming into the last 20 minutes.

The G&GR MOTM

Plenty stood up, but in the end I’d give it to Bernard Foley. Scored one, set up another and made the big play at the end to give the Tahs the chocolates. Honorable mentions to F. Saili, Ashley-Cooper and Ryan.

Wallaby watch

AAC responded to the doubters and turned in a very impressive display (including a number of nice passes). Sitaleki Timani had his hands on the ball and put in his best effort of the year, bar one lazy missed tackle. The scrum was dominant, which is a good sign for Paddy Ryan and Benn Robinson.


The Details

Crowd: 16,429

Score & Scorers

Waratahs: 30
Tries: Mitchell, Folau, Foley
Conversions: Foley 2, McKibbin
Penalties: Foley 2, McKibbin
Blues: 27
Tries: Parsons, Noakes, Piutau
Conversions: Noakes 3
Penalties: Noakes 2

Cards & citings

None

And there was much rejoicing

And there was much rejoicing

Discussion

  • Redsfan1

    Nice work Tahs! Thank God another Aussie team won!

    • Patrick

      Amen! Blues have been more dangerous than not this year, promising stuff for the Tahs to have beaten them.

      And as Gagger tweeted, how much would you pay for Foley’s second half speech???? Surely there’s never been as bipolar a team as this Tahs outfit in super rugby?

      • http://www.facebook.com/stinsmith Stin

        You mean Cheika’s halftime speech. I was gonna say, we can’t keep relying on his rev ups but maybe he should keep doing them, then we’ll keep winning. Thought the ref let the blues really slow things down. Annoying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DoctorDbx Ian Daley

    Phil Kearns says “The Tahs are back!”. How many times do we have to hear this? More like they fell over the line in a sloppy and scrappy game.

    • Barbarian

      In the words of a true Tahs fan- booooooo

      Feel the energy, feel the vibe. Their first half efforts were scappy, but the Tahs were very good in the second 40. Coming back from a 14 point deficit is hardly ‘falling over the line’.

      • Redsfan1

        Yes. I thought The old Tahs would never have come back. Took real character & they stood up today. Landing a blow on the cockey Kiwis is great

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.grouse Alan Grouse

    Unreal win, still cant believe they got it. Izzy looked good and i LOVE the idea of using him and his leaps to contest the restarts (even if it didnt work out today) more please. AAC and Shmoo were good (again, more please)

    Someone in the podcast was giving good wraps to Lucas? Well he looks ok but f*ck me he is either too slow or too complacent. The blues should never have scored their third try, he was badly at fault

    • Barbarian

      Yeah he had a nervous start but bounced back well in the second half I thought. His pass is lovely, really gets the backline moving.

      • Redsfan1

        I thought Matt Lucas’ passing game was unreal. Bullet pace & accuracy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alan.grouse Alan Grouse

        granted its early days for him so i’ll trust your word. Hope Chieka gives him a bollocking for not approaching that kick with a little more urgency!

        • SubjectZero

          It was a pretty poor error, but he’ll be better for the experience. He has a ludicrously sharp pass and can punch well above his weight when he runs the ball in traffic. Will be interesting to see how he develops and how much resulting game time he gets this season, especially with Phipps on his way north for next year and beyond.

      • http://twitter.com/martyaskew Marty Askew

        Very sharp passer

  • DT

    That was the best Tahs performance in years. I’ve been a fan long enough to know not to get too carried away just yet, but it looks like Cheika might be the goods.

  • SubjectZero

    Experienced the joy of watching this game from the “Tah Bar” with a mate from Auckland. Two quotes from said friend at half time that come to mind are: “If the ‘Tahs keep playing with this enthusiasm, we could be in trouble” and; “Why is Stan Walker wearing such a large t-shirt that it can be mistaken for a dress?” A very insightful individual, he is.

  • Nelse

    It was a tough close game. So happy the Tahs came away with a win. Good atmosphere too despite only 16000 odd people. But the numbers are climbing. One thing, I was at the stadium with the sports ears. By some sort of divine intervention, my budget sports ears which are only supposed to pick up commentary are only picking up the ref. The ref did the least amount of talking to the players I’ve probably ever seen in a professional game. He’d occasionally call out ‘Advantage’ but that was the extent of his chat during play. I think both teams suffered a bit and then tried to take advantage by creeping past last feet. But all in all good game

    • Barbarian

      Funny, I was on the sports ears as well and said exactly the same thing. I wonder if it was the language barrier, his English isn’t brilliant.

      • Nelse

        I’d say that had something to do with it. Just a shame, the game seems to flow a bit more if the ref is keeping control without the whistle.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stinsmith Stin

        Had Glenn Jackson reffed that game I reckon the Tahs would not have been behind by much if at all at half time. Blues were incredibly cynical. Slowing the game blatantly and negatively. Not to mention the drinks break issue….

  • http://www.facebook.com/stinsmith Stin

    Side note: very impressed with John Kirwan gracious words in defeat re Tahs performance.

  • TJL

    Just as well they have realised that 1st place is better than 2nd. i guess this comes down to how much this team wants to be first. nothing wrong with 2 if that is all you aspire to. not bad money foR 2nd place as is usually the case.

  • The Big Lebowski

    Just watched the highlights of Drew Mitchell’s try and I noticed two stand outs aspects of that move.

    1. Tom Carter was not part of it.
    2. Adam Ashley-Cooper actually passed the ball (although he still almost passed it behind Izzy).

    Things are certainly looking up in Tahland.

Close