Sydney - The Waratahs were made to work hard before claiming a 19-13
victory over the Western Force in their Super Rugby opener in Sydney on
As it happened: Waratahs v Force
In a tightly contested affair, both sides crossed for a try
apiece although on the balance of play the hosts deserve this result as they
took control of proceedings as the game progressed while the Force went off the
boil particularly during the second half.
The slippery underfoot conditions as a result of earlier
rains in the day meant the teams battled to get going and both sides committed
a plethora of handling errors which meant this was not an entertaining
With Bernard Foley withdrawing from this match due to a head
knock earlier in the week, Reece Robinson took over the goalkicking duties for
the Waratahs and the flyer impressed in his new role, finishing with a 14-point
haul courtesy of four penalties and a conversion.
The opening quarter was a dour affair with hardly anything
exciting to report as both sides delivered little enterprising play on attack.
The Waratahs held a slight edge during this period thanks to
two penalties from Robinson inside the first 10 minutes.
The Sydneysiders suffered a setback in the 22nd minute,
however, when Sekope Kepu was sent to the sin bin for deliberately collapsing a
maul on his five-metre line.
The match came alive in the 27th minute when, after an
extended period of play where they were camped inside the Waratahs' 22, the
Force opened their account when Jono Lance crossed for a deserved try after
running onto a pass from Ryan Louwrens close to the hosts' try-line.
Lance kicked the conversion which meant the Force held the
lead but Robinson put his side back in front when he slotted his third penalty
in the 34th minute.
That lead did not last long, however, as shortly afterwards
Lance added two penalties in quick succession which meant the Force led 13-9 at
The Waratahs upped their game in the second half and five
minutes into the half Will Skelton ran onto a pass from Nick Phipps deep inside
the Force's 22 and burst through a couple of tackles before crashing over for
his side's only try.
The rest of the match was a war of attrition as both sides
battled to gain the ascendancy and we had to wait until the 74th minute for the
next points to be scored when Robinson landed his fourth penalty.
The Force's frustrations were compounded five minutes later
when Richard Hardwick was yellow-carded for a tip tackle on Israel Folau.
Robinson lined up a shot at goal from the resulting penalty
and although he was off target, the final whistle went shortly afterwards.
The Waratahs have beaten the Force 19-13 in their opening Super Rugby match at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.
Waratahs - Tries: Will Skelton. Conversions: Reece Robinson. Penalties: Reece Robinson (4).
Force - Tries: Jonno Lance. Conversions: Lance. Penalties: Lance (2).
15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Heath Tessmann (captain), 1 Pek Cowan
Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau 17 Ben Daley 18 Tetera Faulkner 19 Matt Philip 20 Isireli Naisarani 21 Michael Ruru 22 Ian Prior 23 Alex Newsome