Waratahs suffer Super Rugby heartbreak

By Darren Walton, Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

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    The NSW Waratahs are crying foul after giving up the biggest lead in Super Rugby history in a heartbreaking 31-29 loss to the mighty Crusaders.

    Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson, himself a multiple championship winner with New Zealand’s powerhouse franchise, was full of praise on Saturday night for the Crusaders after they overhauled a 29-0 first-half deficit.

    But he rued no action being taken against Crusaders prop Joe Moody for taking out Waratahs centre Kurtley Beale in the lead-up to the home team’s first try in the 35th minute.

    “That’s an elbow to the throat of a player unprotected. It’s a red-card offence. The try should not be scored. The guy should not be on the field,” former Wallaby-turned-Fox Sports analyst Rod Kafer said in commentary.

    Gibson was unable to hide his frustration after the Waratahs had to settle for a losing bonus point to retain their Australian conference lead.

    “A couple of decisions proved really costly – obviously the Joe Moody incident with the elbow, which the referees missed,” he said.

    “In my book, it’s an elbow to the head so I’m sure the powers that be are looking at that.”

    The Waratahs led 29-0 after as many minutes following a dream start at AMI Stadium, only to concede five unanswered tries to fall painfully short in their bold bid to end a 14-year winless drought in Christchurch.

    The Crusaders’ epic escape also extended New Zealand teams’ winning streak over Australian opposition to 39 matches since the Waratahs beat the Chiefs in May, 2016 in Sydney.

    Waratahs five-eighth Bernard Foley had the chance to snatch victory late but missed a 40-metre penalty – 15 minutes after also hooking an easier attempt.

    Ultimately, though, the Waratahs paid the price for their ill-discipline with yellow cards for halfback Nick Phipps and winger Taqele Naiyaravoro either side of halftime leaving the visitors a man down for 20 minutes of the dramatic encounter.

    “It’s hard to beat these guys with 14 men,” said vanquished captain Michael Hooper.

    “We can stack points on quickly and play a really exciting brand of rugby and put a top team under pressure.

    “We know what we’re capable of and it’s disappointing we let that one slip.”

    The Waratahs had arrived across the Tasman on Friday to a protester confronting Israel Folau for his controversial online posts about homosexuality.

    But it clearly didn’t rattle the superstar fullback as he delivered a blinding first-half display that silenced the shellshocked home crowd until the Crusaders began to mount their incredible revival.

    Winger Cam Clark bagged NSW’s first try after a superb counter-attack sparked by Foley, who missed the conversion but added a penalty for an 8-0 start.

    A Naiyaravoro intercept try extended the Tahs’ lead to 15-0.

    It was 22-0 after 24 minutes when Folau started and finished his own spectacular try by soaring high in contact to retrieve a Crusaders bomb and combining with Beale.

    When Folau won another aerial contest to set up NSW’s fourth try through Curtis Rona, the Waratahs were flying.

    But the Crusaders turned the helter-skelter match with three quickfire five-pointers through Moody, Codie Taylor and a coach killer to Seta Tamanivalu, four minutes after the halftime buzzer following Phipps’ dismissal, to cut the deficit to 29-19.

    Winger Braydon Ennor crossed out wide while Naiyaravoro was in the bin, before the Crusaders finally hit the front in the 68th minute with a penalty try after repeated NSW scrum infringements on their own line.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (96)

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:01pm
      Ben said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

      Although the Waratahs lost, it appears Folau has lost nothing in the face of the hate that has been thrown his way!

      #TeamFolau

      • May 12th 2018 @ 10:49pm
        Dan said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

        You know what’d be awesome? If Izzy could occasionally take a breather from his Bible thumping and talk the game up… just given it’s kinda on its knees here and he’s our highest paid player and all, it just seems like the polite thing to do to try and support his employers for once rather than all this self indulgent preaching

        • May 13th 2018 @ 4:16am
          MH01 said | May 13th 2018 @ 4:16am | ! Report

          What contractual marketing obligations is he missing ?

          Ahhh right , you want him to do some OT to help his employer……..giving up his personal time , like the others players are doing ? Double standards much ?

          How much free work do you do for employer ?

          Him being the best performing SR player not enough ? Dan head on down to RA HQ tomorrow and do some free work for them, you would be prepared to do the same right ! Otherwise be very hypocritical suggestion to make

          • May 13th 2018 @ 2:57pm
            Dan said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

            How much free work do I do for my employer? Well I’m in the office on Sunday arvo, so I do plenty thanks Champ. It might be a foreign concept to some, but it’s not actually that big an ask to suggest your employees should do more than the bare minimum. Also, would you believe that I actually use my social media to talk up my employer and the events we’re involved in? I even do it after hours some times, and I’m not on a million bucks. Seriously, you’d think I was asking him to write, direct and produce a series about rugby for Netflix… I’m just asking him to post a couple prop rugby tweets for crying out loud

            At the end of the day Folau is paid the amount he is not just for his ability, but because of his previous appeal as an ambassador. He can keep his beliefs, however hypocritical and baseless they may be, but again given the game is basically a rotting carcass in Australia, is it really so much to ask that in between bringing the sport further into disrepute by self-indulgently dragging the code into this messy debate with him that he could use that mighty social media profile to try rev up some support for the game as well.

            If that’s really too much to ask for a bloke on millions of dollars that is causing so much strife for the game, then frankly I won’t be sad to see the back of him. He may be a great player, but he’s more up himself than any other player in the game at the moment and he clearly doesn’t care about the code as a whole.

            • May 13th 2018 @ 8:12pm
              MH01 said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

              I do my share of fee OT – my choice – I don’t demand it on others , nor judge them for it .

              Your assumption is that he does not care about the game cause he does not post about it? What if his contract has conditions about him postbig about his employer ?

              He is causing strife? Nah mate – people with agendas are causing the strife . Anyone critising the bloke who baited Izzy? Cause his intent was clear …..

              • May 13th 2018 @ 8:53pm
                Roos-Tah said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

                LMAO if conditions of his employer were a concern he wouldn’t be shoving his beliefs down everyone’s throats champ. I think it’s pretty clear the only one with an agenda here is Folau. The bloke seems to do nothing else but post about why all the gays are going to hell (but of course he has nothing against them personally lol).

              • May 13th 2018 @ 9:10pm
                Roos-Tah said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

                As for intent, you do know the difference between good intentions and good acts, right? The Australian government had good intentions when the abducted aboriginal kids, but that doesn’t make the act any less horrid.

            • May 13th 2018 @ 8:13pm
              Fred said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

              In the office but on The Roar lol

              • May 14th 2018 @ 7:42am
                Dan said | May 14th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

                LMFAO Fred!!! I was just going to type that………hahahaha!!!

        • May 13th 2018 @ 8:25am
          John said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:25am | ! Report

          Or he could politely continue outlaying higher performance levels on the field than anyone else, as he did all of last year.

          Best player in the world.

          • May 13th 2018 @ 9:22pm
            Roos-Tah said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

            He’s a back mate and not even a play maker. Seriously, he’s good at catching the ball in the air, but that’s not what wins rugby games.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 11:13am
          Ben said | May 13th 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          He’s said three things in the last nine months that have upset people. But even if he stated a thousand passages from the bible, that’s still his right.

          He owes his employer a good standard of rugby, that’s what he’s paid for. He doesn’t owe them his soul and rights.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 8:57pm
          Roos-Tah said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

          100%. Seriously, this bloke just massively needs to pull his head in. Yeah he has the right to free speech, but others have lost their jobs for less. Remember that Scott McIntyre soccer bloke who worked for SBS and lost his job because he called the ANZACs a bunch of rapists and war criminals? I sure as heck don’t remember people being so concerned about free speech with him, and frankly I thought SBS had every right to fire him for his stupid remarks. Yeah he’s allowed his opinion, but if his opinion is stupid – like Folau’s – and he bleats it self righteously and arrogantly to the point where he’s spitting in the face of his employer, then frankly they’re within their rights to show him the door.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 1:48am
        MH01 said | May 13th 2018 @ 1:48am | ! Report

        Thumbs up ! I give him a lot of respect .

        I’m with #TeamFolau

        Stay strong to your faith, and keep up the great performances on the field !!

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 9:26am
          jeznez said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          Love one another as I have loved you.

          A much better bible message than the one that keeps getting delivered.

          #TeamPeople

        • May 13th 2018 @ 9:19pm
          Roos-Tah said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:19pm | ! Report

          I’m with #TeamCommonSense, and #TeamLogic personally. Both seem to have passed Folau and is ilk by.

        • May 13th 2018 @ 10:07pm
          Roos-Tah said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

          Seriously though, what are you giving the thumbs up for here? Would you be saying thumbs up if he was some Islamic fundamentalist saying all apostates and non believers deserve to burn?

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:20pm
      Harry said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

      Tahs never looked like scoring a try in the last 50 minutes and could have easily conceded more. Despite some great efforts in the forwards, their bench depth was exposed when they had some injuries up front. Couldn’t get hold of the ball from 30 to 70 minutes and that told.
      Both Beale and Folau very good tonight.
      Still need to work out a way to stop the NZ teams when they get a roll on. The Jagueres managed it two weeks in a row.
      Crusaders were pulled thought by their captain Whitelock in particular and their ability to keep the ball and make offloads. Great team.

      • Roar Guru

        May 13th 2018 @ 10:28am
        PeterK said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        tahs can’t stop teams who use powerful forwards and a dominant scrum to get a roll on.

        They have mobile but weak forwards and a poor LHP. Once teams drive up the middle and attack the breakdown Tahs just don’t have the personnel to cope.

        Their structural deficiencies are too easy to expose.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 13th 2018 @ 2:57pm
        Martin English said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

        The playing style of the Waratah’s in the 1st and 2nd haves showed a marked contrast;
        in The 2nd half, they were slower in defense and attack, Folau and Naiyaravoro only rarely got the ball. Obviously, fatigue was a factor (2 yellows), but they had two chances in the second half to close it out with penalties.

        And seriously, whats with kicking away the possession ? In fact, what’s with the Foley kicking game ?He only seems to get 15 or 20 yards up the field from a penalty, he can kick penalty goals from all over the field EXCEPT when the pressure on.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:39pm
      Cynical Play said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

      Crucial calls from Okeefe once again decide a wonderful hard fought match. Not blaming just saying. When will neutral referees allow fair adjudication. Many examples of ‘perspective ‘ tonight. Saw neck roles and tip tackles and deliberate knock downs all go unpunished for the home side. Early engagements for Crus ingnored then Tahs nabbed for the same next scrum. Hard to keep up. Foley could have won it but why can’t we have a neutral fair adjudication.

      Tahs were wonderful. Courageous and bloody good.
      Crusaders are beatable. No doubt. And I expect are not going to hold the cup this year.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 12:05am
        Ex force fan said | May 13th 2018 @ 12:05am | ! Report

        I watched the game again and do think the officials,had a poor game and was not even handed. I also thought in the Rebels – Brumbies game there was a clear bias towards the home side.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 1:31am
        MH01 said | May 13th 2018 @ 1:31am | ! Report

        True – but no excuses for not getting the kicks over . Was there that be won at the end. Why does not Beale that the long ones.

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 10:29am
          PeterK said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          foley is the slushman

      • May 13th 2018 @ 6:38am
        P2R2 said | May 13th 2018 @ 6:38am | ! Report

        and punches by SImmons…..anything else??? just saying to quote your words….

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 10:29am
          PeterK said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          show me evidence, Simmons pushed him with an open hand to the shoulder.

          • May 13th 2018 @ 7:52pm
            Syd RFU said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

            Try around minute 33 and you will see the punch. and the props high tackle…you touch the head in Super rugby this year so far its automatic yellow, didn’t see Kepu binned….!!! Picking the decisions you want to match your story !!!!

      • Roar Rookie

        May 13th 2018 @ 7:00am
        One Eye said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:00am | ! Report

        Dry your eyes Shirley, the only reason the Tahs were up 29 points in that first 30 is he whistled the Crusaders scrum out, failed to impose an offside line on the blue defence, overlooked Folau being clearly 3m or so in front of Foley for his cross field kick that resulted in a try to Rona and simply failed to ensure the Tah’s forwards defended the lineout maul by joining from the back.
        Oh, and lets not talk about throwing punches without including Simmons…

        O’Keefe is without a doubt a poor ref, but to suggest he favours the Crusaders is just risable.

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 9:44am
          Fox said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          Yes one eye I also thought it interesting no one in Australian commentary team pointing out Folau being in front of the kicker with that try

          Funny how we all see with one patch on one eye – the refereeing was terrible across the board in that game.

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 10:31am
          PeterK said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          Folau was onside, so ready to take that back, so much for being clearly 3m offside.

          https://imgur.com/gallery/1oX6x2w

          • May 13th 2018 @ 7:54pm
            Syd RFU said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

            Anyone can Photoshop a angled line……

        • Roar Guru

          May 13th 2018 @ 10:31am
          PeterK said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          any proof of the punch, it looked an openhanded shove to the shoulder

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:40pm
      Malo said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

      Great effort guys. Hooper made a 1000 tackles was everywhere played all over Todd and Folau destroyed the opposition. Walk into the abs .

      • May 13th 2018 @ 8:51am
        bluffboy said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        He could walk straight into their changing rooms to clean up. Oh they do that themselves. Maybe he can’t then

    • May 12th 2018 @ 11:40pm
      John said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

      When Folau and Naiyaravoro received a lot of the ball the Waratahs looked dangerous in attack and they soon racked up 29 points. For whatever reason these two didn’t receive much quality ball over the next 40-50 minutes and suddenly the Crusaders had the lead.

      • Roar Guru

        May 13th 2018 @ 10:32am
        PeterK said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        the reason is crusaders stopped kicking , kept ball in hand, and foley kept kicking it back

        • May 13th 2018 @ 10:37am
          Fionn said | May 13th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          We now have no real option but Foley for the Wallabies unless foreign eligibility is changed, but this performance is exactly what I was expecting.

          Class up and under for Folau though. He definitely deserves credit there.

          • May 14th 2018 @ 5:59am
            Taylorman said | May 14th 2018 @ 5:59am | ! Report

            Geez dont bring that other 10 into it, weve managed a whole day without it, Moodys chuffed hes now more popular than that other guy!😀

        • May 13th 2018 @ 2:59pm
          Dan said | May 13th 2018 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

          That and the Crusaders were allowed to get away with taking out Tah defenders with forearms and elbows with impunity, whilst the Tahs were having players sent off for trying to catch passes. Such a bloody joke… no wonder people are switching over to the NRL and AFL in droves in Aus

          • May 14th 2018 @ 3:28pm
            Sydney Potae said | May 14th 2018 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

            They are switching because they havent had a win against NZSR teams in over 2 years i suppose thats the refs fault ?

    • May 13th 2018 @ 1:30am
      MH01 said | May 13th 2018 @ 1:30am | ! Report

      Geez 29 June – when tahs play rebels will be important for the conference . Tahs are playing well but have a few tough games coming up that might affect thier confidence .

      Right now tahs are Oz best team but only a point separates them.

      • May 13th 2018 @ 8:05pm
        cinque said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

        Given the evenness of the SA conference and the dominance of NZ, there is a good chance that two Oz teams will make the play-offs. That will happen if Tahs & Rebs do well against their bottom three.

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