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Waratahs lose to Sharks in spiteful affair

By Ben Horne,

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    The NSW Waratahs have missed a chance to go to the top of the Australian Conference after suffering a disappointing 32-10 loss to the Sharks in a spiteful Super Rugby encounter in Durban.

    Israel Folau’s absence at the back was telling on Saturday night, as the Waratahs failed to execute and build pressure in the first half, before ill-discipline saw the game get away from them.

    The tone was set for a fiery encounter when NSW winger Rob Horne struck Sharks No.12 Francois Steyn high with a swinging arm early in the first half, and escaped with a warning from referee Mike Fraser.

    Steyn retaliated with a late tackle on Kurtley Beale a short time later, where he swung the ‘Tahs playmaker to the ground like a rag doll, forcing him off the field for a short time for a concussion test.

    Fraser issued a warning for the growing number of off-the-ball incidents, but the niggling continued.

    It was the Waratahs who ultimately paid the price, when skipper Dave Dennis was yellow-carded for a push-and-shove at the scrum in the 48th minute – and the Sharks scored the match-turning try from the ensuing penalty to take a 19-3 lead.

    At the time of Dennis’ sin-binning, Waratahs coach Michael Cheika came to the sideline to exchange words with the assistant referees and his staff, and after hooker Bismarck du Plessis crashed over, he stormed back up the tunnel to return to his coaching box.

    The on-field chat continued as du Plessis got to his feet, before Waratahs stand-in captain Michael Hooper stepped in to order his players to refocus.

    However, the damage was already done, and the No.1 South African franchise closed the contest out in an expert performance, capped off by a 73rd minute try to replacement Keegan Daniel.

    A Bernard Foley consolation try came too little too late.

    “There were plenty of opportunities there,” said Dennis.

    “Discipline let us down and we couldn’t get rhythm through the game. There was too much drop ball.”

    NSW arrived at the Shark Tank with a clear plan to stand up to the competition heavyweights, and succeeded, with some bone-rattling hits from the likes of Horne and Jacques Potgieter inspiring one of the most physical matches of the season.

    However, the Waratahs were left to lament two missed penalty shots by five-eighth Foley in the first-half, which would have kept them within three at the break.

    But more importantly, the Waratahs handed over too much ball.

    NSW also struggled at the set piece, with props Benn Robinson and Sekope Kepu unable to stop the scrum from collapsing in the face of pressure from the giant Sharks front row.

    The Waratahs will have fingers crossed that Wallabies fullback Folau can return for the second leg of their South African tour against the Stormers next week in Cape Town.

    Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau left the field after 26 minutes, in another potential injury concern, and Horne may have a case to answer with the judiciary.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (196)

    • March 30th 2014 @ 5:03am
      Harry said | March 30th 2014 @ 5:03am | ! Report

      Tahs rolled easily tonight, Foley’s wayward goalkicking in the 1st half removed any hope and some of the forwards weren’t up to it. Start of the all too familiar implosion/slippery slope from the sky blues?

      • March 30th 2014 @ 8:33am
        eagleJack said | March 30th 2014 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Tahs lose to the top South African side in South Africa and their season is over. Brumbies lose to the worst side in the Australian conference and their season is still on track?!

        Love it.

        • March 30th 2014 @ 12:12pm
          Harry said | March 30th 2014 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Course their season isn’t over but it was a bad defeat and they were fairly easily seen off. The limitations of Foley (to give but one example) seen. Lets see how they go next week.

          • March 30th 2014 @ 6:48pm
            Al said | March 30th 2014 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

            Pathetic refereeing. Tahs copped 19 penalties. They hit behind after the ref wrongly awarded penalties against the Tah scrum. The yellow card for Dennis was a joke, nothing in it. They then scored from that.
            Foley is not a game changer but Beale needed to step up and organise straight runners off his side ways running. Folau was sorely missed there.
            Tactical kicking requires someone who can boot it down the field. Though top marks for the restarts but that shows the other side is scoring.

            • March 30th 2014 @ 8:29pm
              Cadfael said | March 30th 2014 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

              Kicking has been a problem since Mat Burke retired. We kick out on the full when it should stay in and keep it in when it should be licked out. Too often we have forwards seagulling out in the backline. This may not be too bad provided they don’t all do it together. One recent game saw a backline move with Foley to Ryan to a lock then out to a flying prop! The ref may have made a few blues but you can’t lay the blame on him. The Tahs can go on to bigger and better things but really this side should have been good enough to ignore the home side and play rugby.

            • March 30th 2014 @ 9:35pm
              jc said | March 30th 2014 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

              When the Sharks had the scrum feed, the scrum was completely immobile and it looked like you wouldn’t shift the Sharks front row with a tow truck. Every time the Waratahs fed the scrum, the front row folded quicker than a deck chair on the Titanic. Sure, good tactics, but not great to watch for the average punter. The penalties at scrum time are such a lottery that when there is a collapse (and geez, there are plenty), neither the players, the commentators or the fans know which way the ref will blow the penalty. For mine, that is pretty whacked-out. They have tried to de-power the scrum by bringing the front rows closer, unfortunately they also added a couple of counter-measures with new scrum feed laws to ensure a continuation of the confusion.
              1) Let the halfbacks put the ball in when they are ready (not on the refs instruction).
              2) Let the halfback feed the ball towards the hookers foot. Now I’m not saying feed the ball into the 2nd row, just marginally enough that there is a advantage to the attacking team. Ball comes out faster, less time for things to go pear-shaped and everyone is a winner.

        • April 1st 2014 @ 1:12am
          gregory said | April 1st 2014 @ 1:12am | ! Report

          Why is it that the SA teams get the favorable draw in superrugby? Last year it was the bulls with seven home games thus qualifying for playoffs.this year its the sharks who get the benefit.so out of a possible 40 logpoints they get maybe 35.and that for playing at home.when was the last time a SA team won superrugby? They want a SA team to win.you can see it in the reffereeing of games

          • April 1st 2014 @ 3:17am
            David Baker said | April 1st 2014 @ 3:17am | ! Report

            I escape SA blogs to avoid the nationalistic, conspiracy theory driven chaps..
            I forget they are everywhere.
            Since SA has a bigger population we just have more of them

            Or are you just a troll

            You are exhibiting the same bias
            Today you have
            – Complained that SA sides get the best draws –
            Every country has at least one side (usually 2) that tours very late
            last year the Reds only hit SA in Round 14. The Bulls crossed the ocean in Round 4 and played the Blues followed by 3 overseas games. The Waratahs and Sharks crossed in Round 11 and the Hurricanes in Round 12.

            – Complained that the SA sides get more lenient punishments. Yes lets just look at an analysis of offence vs punishment

            – Blamed t’he Sharks for the spiteful affair – Ok thats one opinion

            – Whats next gregory?

      • March 30th 2014 @ 7:09pm
        Fair go said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

        Rubbish. They were inaccurate. They were also sucked in to trivia. But they were certainly not rolled. Have another look.

        • March 30th 2014 @ 8:27pm
          Pete said | March 30th 2014 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

          I just watched the game, let’s get back to reality, the Tahs and Sharks played a great game of rugby, the saffas loved it and it was an exciting game to watch. I would take this loss over a win with our old style ANY day.
          We lost, who cares, the Tahs played with adventure and some grunt.
          Better luck next week against Stormers

          • March 31st 2014 @ 12:05am
            Eiger Enola said | March 31st 2014 @ 12:05am | ! Report

            here here… certainly missed the punch of Folau in attack and Horne should have been yellowed in the first half but Dennis shouldn’t have been sent so cancels out anyway. Thought they fronted up really well in defence and won many collisions against arguably the most physical pack in the comp… BDPlessis complaining like a girl was great to watch! Score was not true reflection of the match… plenty to work with from that performance!

        • March 31st 2014 @ 11:36am
          Richard Harvey said | March 31st 2014 @ 11:36am | ! Report

          Yes I think sone deal of credit is due to the Tahs for their fortitude and refusal to back down and give up.

          It was agreta old fgashiojne3d stoush and we eere to trivia but the scrum inferioroty, missed penalties and that last pass inability to finhish off in the first half in particulare, killed off their chances.

          I also do not believe that if Folau had played, Tahs would have won. Too much is being made of his absence in Durban although too much cannot be said of his ability, it is enormous!!

    • March 30th 2014 @ 5:38am
      Johnno said | March 30th 2014 @ 5:38am | ! Report

      Brumbies must wish they had Jake White still.

    • March 30th 2014 @ 6:24am
      Chris said | March 30th 2014 @ 6:24am | ! Report

      The February premiers aren’t looking so flash.

      • March 30th 2014 @ 7:30am
        Ruckin Oaf said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        The typical Warratahs season goes something like this

        – Marquee signings – Check
        – Enthusiastic new coach – Check
        – Adoration from the Sydney media – Check
        – a pronouncement that this year they are the “real deal” – Check.
        and then

        Reality Check.

        • March 30th 2014 @ 7:38am
          Johnno said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:38am | ! Report

          Sack Cheik

        • March 30th 2014 @ 3:02pm
          Marty said | March 30th 2014 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

          ha ha, well put.
          Same again next season check

          • March 30th 2014 @ 5:04pm
            Rob G said | March 30th 2014 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

            Those reds are playing exciting rugby.

    • March 30th 2014 @ 6:53am
      PiratesRugby said | March 30th 2014 @ 6:53am | ! Report

      Let’s see how the Sharks go when they’re on the road.

      • Roar Guru

        March 30th 2014 @ 7:01am
        biltongbek said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:01am | ! Report

        They face the Rebels, Brumbies, Crusaders and Blues, I would think two wins would be their minimum aim.

        • March 30th 2014 @ 3:37pm
          Chan Wee said | March 30th 2014 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

          @ biltongbek :

          I always wonder if it is better for SA to go to NZ first and then to OZ or vice-versa.

          If they go to OZ first, there is time to acclamatize, get over travel pains and used to the environment, BUT, when it comes to the end they may have injuries disrupting game-plans.

          which is better? becoz for any team playing in NZ is harder , IMO.

          • Roar Guru

            March 30th 2014 @ 5:58pm
            biltongbek said | March 30th 2014 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

            I don’t know Chanwee, either way it is 4 weeks.

      • Roar Guru

        March 30th 2014 @ 7:56am
        Argyle said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        For memory they travel reasonably well.

      • April 1st 2014 @ 3:01am
        gregory said | April 1st 2014 @ 3:01am | ! Report

        That’s what I’m for.when the sharks hit the road and theirs no comfort of home advantage and refs blowing visiting teams of the park.Another issue that I have been studying for some time now is the bias shown to SA players in comparison to NZ and AUS players.they(saffas) tend to get lenient punishments and the other sanzar teams get harh punishments.just go back in time and you will notice the trend.thats a worrying statistic.And where do bismarck get that attitude by telleng the ref that the chief of referees said he can ask questions.not a whole description of the rule book.He want ghe refs to hesitate when making a crucial descision that may go against his team.But we shall see when they go on tour.Jake White will cry in the news.critisizing the refs.just watch.now everything is smooth running in their camp and showing disrespect to the other camp by making fun of a coach.he’ time as is with all coaches will come.just ask blackadder of the crusaders!

    • March 30th 2014 @ 6:58am
      old mate said | March 30th 2014 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      And it begins….

      • March 30th 2014 @ 7:13am
        soapit said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:13am | ! Report

        boohoo they lost to the top of the table team away. losing games is unfortunately part of the journey for every team

    • March 30th 2014 @ 7:04am
      Johnno said | March 30th 2014 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      Watching the free-live feed on the IRB website. USA V Uruguay in Atlanta

      World cup qualifer winner takes all and qualifies for RWC 2015, it’s a free stream Uruguay lead 7-0 after 25 minutes, there dominating in the scrum. There like the pumas side, scrappy, plucky, good in the scrum but not much else.

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