Waratahs hold on for clumsy victory over Sharks

The Waratahs held on to beat the Sharks 33-18 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney and move up to the top of the Australian Conference and into second place overall.

The Waratahs have played 12 and won eight but could be overtaken later in the round by the Brumbies if they beat the Lions in Johannesburg.

The loss is the Sharks sixth in a row which makes their current losing streak their worst in fifteen years. The Sharks have now played 13 matches this season and won four.

The final scoreline was distorted a little in favour of the Waratahs as Bernard Foley scored a converted try from a fumbled Sharks ball two minutes from time.

Minutes earlier the Sharks had a try disallowed for a knee in touch by the television match official.

The Waratahs got the perfect start as Adam Ashley-Cooper scored in the first minute which meant that the Sharks had to chase the game throughout.

The win didn’t come without some controversy with the Durban-based Sharks missing out on a try in the corner while trailing 26-18 only for the video referee to rule that winger Sibusiso Sithole’s knee had come in contact with the sideline in the process of diving over to score.

The Sharks were still chasing the win when fly-half Lionel Cronje fumbled a pass from a lineout win presenting Foley with an unimpeded 40-metre run to the try-line.

The Waratahs scored three tries to two with Foley not missing a kick and finishing with 23 points from a try, three conversions and four penalty goals.

It was a far from convincing win for the Waratahs, who made 12 handling errors and conceded 18 turnovers.

The Waratahs got away to a flyer with a try inside the opening minute from Adam Ashley-Cooper, but both sides traded penalty goals for the home side to lead 13-6 at halftime.

The Sharks caught the Waratahs napping when Cronje angled his quickly taken free kick for winger Odwa Ndungane to score in the 49th minute.

The Sydneysiders hit back minutes later when giant winger Taqele Naiyaravoro carried Sithole over the line to be awarded a try via the video referee before the Sharks fought back with their second try.

Cronje got away a pass as he was tackled for Francois Steyn to score and trail the Waratahs 20-18 with over a quarter of the match remaining.

Foley gave the Waratahs breathing space with two penalties before his last-minute try blew out the final margin.

The Sharks have now not won in Sydney since 2000.

“The Sharks played well, they stuck to their strengths, there were a lot of kicks and didn’t give us much opportunity in their 22,” Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis said.

“And when we got down there we were probably a little bit too impatient and turned the ball over, but pleased to get the result in the end.”

Sharks skipper Marco Wentzel said his team couldn’t keep the pressure on the Waratahs.

“We lost a lot of ball through turnovers and they scored. They are a quality side and if you make mistakes they punish you,” he said.

Next week the Sharks move to Brisbane where they will take on the Reds at Suncorp Stadium and the Waratahs host the Crusaders in Sydney in a rematch of last year’s final.

Final Score Waratahs 33 (13) Sharks 18 (6)

Scorers

Waratahs 
Tries – A.Ashley-Cooper, T.Naiyaravoro, B.Foley
Pen – M.Foley 4
Con – M.Foley 3
Drop – 
Cards –

Sharks
Tries – O.Ndungane, F.Steyn
Pen – F.Steyn 2
Con – F.Steyn 
Drop – 
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2:Will Houston
TMO : George Ayoub

Teams

Waratahs

1.Benn Robinson , 2.Tolu Latu,3.Sekope Kepu,4.Will Skelton,5.David Dennis (C),6.Stephen Hoiles,7.Michael Hooper (VC),8.Wycliff Palu,9.Nick Phipps,10.Bernard Foley,11.Rob Horne,12.Kurtley Beale,13.Adam Ashley-Cooper,14.Taqele Naiyaravoro,15.Israel Folau (VC)

Replacements: 16. Hugh Roach,17. Jeremy Tilse,18. Paddy Ryan,19. Mitchell Chapman,20. Jack Dempsey,21. Pat McCutcheon,22. Brendan McKibbin,23. Matt Carraro,

Sharks

15. Lwazi Mvovo , 14. Odwa Ndungane , 13. JP Pietersen , 12. Frans Steyn , 11. S’bura Sithole , 10. Lionel Cronje , 9. Stefan Ungerer , 8. Renaldo Bothma , 7. Willem Alberts , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Marco Wentzel (C) , 4. Stephan Lewies , 3. Jannie du Plessis , 2. Bismarck du Plessis , 1. Dale Chadwick

Replacements : 16. Franco Marais , 17. Matt Stevens , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Giant Mtyanda , 20. Etienne Oosthuizen, 21. Conrad Hoffmann , 22. Andre Esterhuizen , 23. Waylon Murray

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