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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
The Waratahs almost repeated their efforts of Round Five in their Friday night clash against Wellington outfit, the Hurricanes. Unfortunately falling short at a 38-28 scoreline in what ultimately was a try-fest, the Tahs came out firing in the second half to almost mount another memorable comeback performance.
The momentum of the first half swung immediately in the favour of the home side, with the first points of the match coming to the hand of Ngani Laumape in just the opening minute.
The following ten minutes saw tries to both Barrett brothers as they made quick work of capitalising off Waratahs mistakes.
With the score 21-0, the Tahs worked hard to get the ball deep into enemy territory. Our efforts were quickly rewarded with Ned Hanigan touching down a five-pointer for the Waratahs off the back of a Beauden Barrett yellow card.
With Bernard Foley adding the extras, the home side hit back in the form of a Wes Goosen try, followed by another one from Mark Abbot.
The men in sky blue headed into the break 33-7, and had a lot of ground to cover with forty minutes still to come.
In the opening minute of the second half, fullback Bryce Hegarty managed to sneak his way to the line in the corner, with the boot of Foley pushing the scores closer together at 33-14.
Just five minutes later, rookie halfback Jake Gordon cut the defence in half as he slipped through the line behind a ruck 22 meters out, to kick start what all of New South Wales was hoping to be another comeback for the ages. Foley added the extras no problem.
Not long after, the Hurricanes put on another five pointer and extended their lead to 38-21 after failing to convert afterwards.
Ten minutes of arm-wrestling play ensued, with both sides going hammer and tong at each other as the Waratahs bench made their way onto the field one by one.
The next points didn’t come until the 71st minute, where Andrew Kellaway crossed the line off the back of a solid scrum in the opposition 22m. Bernard Foley, once again, was cool with the boot and slotted his kick from the sideline to reduce the scoreline to a ten point deficit; 38-28.
The visitors looked certain to cross again, however a second deliberate Beauden Barrett yellow card was given for a clear knock down and the All Black pivot was shown a red card for his troubles.
With an upset well and truly in the visitors grasps, the Hurricanes side fought hard keep the New South Welshman out from securing a bonus point and successfully held replacement Irae Simone up when he was almost a certainty to touch it down.
The current Super Rugby Champions held on until the death, keeping the score to 38-28 in what was well and truly a much improved second half from the New South Wales Waratahs.
The Tahs now head into a bye week just in time for the Easter weekend, and return to Allianz for Round Nine when they take on the Southern Kings on Friday the 21st of April.
Hurricanes 38 (Tries Laumape 2, B. Barrett, J. Barrett, Goosen, Abbott; Cons, J Barrett 4) def. NSW Waratahs 28 (Tries Hanigan, Hegarty, Gordon, Kellaway; Cons Foley 4)
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Shute Shield clubs will receive an injection of NSW Waratah players ahead of round 12 of the Sydney competition. At the same time that several of their New South Wales team mates pull on the Wallaby gold, the remaining available Waratahs will take to club land.