Super Rugby: Waratahs race in five tries in win over Hurricanes
Last Updated: 03/05/14 1:59pm
The Waratahs moved up to fourth in the Super Rugby standings as they clinched a 39-30 win over the Hurricanes in a night of high drama at Allianz Stadium.
The New South Wales franchise usurped their New Zealand conference opposition after outscoring the visitors five tries to three in a thrilling Super Rugby encounter.
In an exhilarating first period the sides exchanged six tries in 36 minutes, before entering the break all square at 24-24.
Rob Horne fired the Waratahs in front with a try in the first minute but their lead was short-lived as Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, Beauden Barrett and Julian Savea all crossed as the Hurricanes seized the initiative.
Waratahs captain Dave Dennis forced his way over the whitewash on the half-hour mark, before Bernard Foley added and converted a third try and a penalty to restore parity.
Matt Carraro and Stephen Hoiles added two more Waratahs tries in the second half as they powered to a maximum points victory, while the Hurricanes left empty-handed as they fell nine short of the hosts.
It was a flying start for the hosts as Adam Ashley-Cooper made a break in the first minute, before offering a neat offload to Horne, who got the better of Cory Jane and raced over the whitewash.
Foley slotted the conversion but their attention was switched to defence as the Hurricanes found their rhythm.
When the Waratahs knocked out deep inside their own half, the Hurricanes seized their opportunity as Toomaga-Allen powered over the line off the back of the scrum.
Barrett added the extras before nudging the Hurricanes into the lead for the first time with his first penalty kick of the night.
As the Hurricanes continued to race through the gears, Andre Taylor pierced the Waratahs defence before releasing TJ Perenara and the try looked certain.
However, the scrum-half was pulled up just short of the line, but a spillage from Wycliff Palu dropped straight into the path of Barrett, who forced a touchdown before adding his own conversion.
Three minutes later, Dane Coles exposed a faltering Waratahs defence before spinning the ball wide to winger Savea, who raced home a third Hurricanes try as the visitors built a sizeable lead with 17 unanswered points.
The Waratahs riposte came courtesy of another break from Wallaby centre Ashley-Cooper, who was pulled up just short of the line.
Michael Cheika's kept the ball alive and Horne took the Waratahs to the verge of the whitewash, before Dennis completed the move and received the approval of George Ayoub.
Fly-half Foley, who controlled proceedings in the axis, slipped and twisted his way over to claim a second try in five minutes for the hosts.
Foley notched his own conversion, before kicking a penalty to send the sides into the break locked at 24-24.
Waratahs regained their advantage following the restart as a successful scrum allowed winger Carraro to cross in a bonus-point try in the right corner.
Hurricanes fly-half Barrett successfully landed two penalties in quick succession as the lead changed hands for a second time since the restart.
Waratahs replacement Hoiles touched down their fifth try two minutes later, before Foley slotted the conversion to give the hosts a six-point lead with 15 minutes to play.
Foley's second penalty five minutes from time gave the Waratahs breathing space with a nine-point advantage and in the process denied the visitors a losing bonus point.
Super Rugby 2014 Round 12
Queensland Reds prop James Slipper and Highlanders forward Brayden Mitchell both handed three-week bans.
The Bulls ended a four-match losing streak as they beat the Cheetahs 26-21 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Stormers moved off the bottom of the Super Rugby table as they edged the Highlanders 29-28 at Newlands.