Match report – The Waratahs fall short in Christchurch

Sat, May 27, 2023, 6:04 AM
Waratahs Media
by Waratahs Media

The NSW Waratahs fell short in a gruelling battle against the Crusaders in Christchurch, going down 42-18.

Darren Coleman’s side fought hard throughout the 80 minutes, but a strong Crusaders side was able to secure a win at home.

The Tahs were unable to get into a rhythm at Orangetheory Stadium, ball security and handling errors let the away side down.

Dylan Pietsch was a standout for the men in blue, alongside Captain Jake Gordon.

The Waratahs shot out of the gates, putting together multiple phases, and pressuring the Crusader's defence.

Six minutes in Donaldson was able to kick the opening points, through some ill-discipline from the Crusaders.

A huge blow to the Waratahs would follow as Max Jorgenson would be ruled out for the rest of the game with a knee injury. Whilst Jorgenson was down the Crusaders pounced, with an extra man David Havili was able to cross over for the Crusader's first try.

The Tahs would then score a try of their own through quick thinking from Captain Jake Gordon. Gordon became equal 7th in most tries for NSW and 6th most Waratah Super Rugby tries.

Gordon scooted to the blindside off the back of a rolling maul to dive over for the Tahs first 5-pointer.

The Crusaders would then put on a display of running rugby, scoring three more tries before halftime through, Taylor, Drummond, and Burke. Salt was rubbed further into the wounds with Walton being shown a yellow card late into the first half.

Mo’unga was able to kick all conversions giving the home side a 28-8 lead at half time.

Handling errors and poor discipline were repeating factors in the second half for the Waratahs Through some scrappy play the Waratahs were able to cross the line for their second try of the night. Dylan Pietsch went over untouched from a Gleeson offload.

However, the Crusaders would hit back through Richie Mo’unga, stretching their lead to 22 with 20 minutes left.

Coleman emptied his bench to give his side one last chance. The side heard the call and through an Edmed and Wilson break, Nephi Leatigaga was able to dive over for his first Super Rugby try.

The Crusaders had the last laugh through a rolling maul, to finish the game 42-18 victors.

Captain Jake Gordon said – “They put a lot of pressure on us at the breakdown tonight, we created opportunities, but that last pass hurt us.

“It’s important we freshen up coming into finals”.

It was a tough assignment, but the Waratahs move their attention to next Saturday, where they take on Moana Pasifika at Allianz Stadium.

CRUSADERS (1-15): Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Codie Taylor (c), John Afoa, Quinten Strange, Sam Whitelock, Christian Lio-Willie, Tom Christie, Cullen Grace, Mitchell Drummond, Richie Mo'unga, Dallas McLeod, David Havili, Leicester Fainga'anuku, Chay Fihaki, Fergus Burke

RESERVES: Brodie McAlister, Seb Calder, Reuben O'Neill, Zack Gallagher, Sione Havili Talitui, Noah Hotham, Pepesana Patafilo, Wil Gualter

WARATAHS (1-15): Te Tera Faulkner, Dave Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Hugh Sinclair, Taleni Seu, Charlie Gamble, Langi Gleeson, Jake Gordon (c), Ben Donaldson, Dylan Pietsch, Mosese Tuipulotu, Joey Walton, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Max Jorgensen

RESERVES: Mahe Vailanu, Nephi Leatigaga, Tom Lambert, Ned Hanigan, Will Harris, Harrison Goddard, Tane Edmed, Harry Wilson

Referee: James Doleman

Assistant Referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon