The Waratahs played a superb second half to come from a fourteen point deficit to steal a win against the Blues.
The Blues scored three tries in the first half to lead 24 -10 at the break, only for the Waratahs to win 30 – 27.
The match was littered with handling errors, which cost the Blues yet again as they managed to get over the gain line, but simply could not finish. The Waratahs scored two tries and two penalties in the second half while keeping the Blues to only a penalty. There was a late chance for the Waratahs to wrap up the match, but Israel Folau’s inexperience cost them the try. A cool penalty on the hooter by Bernard Foley saved his blushes and kept a ten year record for the Waratahs over the Blues in Sydney.
The Waratahs started strong, getting the first try of the match through Drew Mitchell, but the Blues hit back immediately, scoring against the run of play. Possession and territory stats were in favour of the home side, yet the Blues scored their second and third tries on turnover. The stronger team won the match though, as the Waratahs’ basics were much better and their set pieces worked well.
John Kirwan and his Blues charges will be concerned as this match was in the bag and they somehow managed to lose it. There was a clear lack of calm under pressure and the amount of handling errors in the second half alone was in the double figures. Their backline might be full of strong runners, but they cannot get very far without the ball.
For the Waratahs, they will be concerned that their goal kicker Brendan McKibbin went off with a shoulder injury, but Bernard Foley stepped up in his absence to prove he can kick. Drew Mitchell was full of running and Israel Folau is building in confidence as he is taking on the defence more and more.
The Waratahs next host the Force while the Blues take on the Chiefs in Hamilton in what is sure to be a cracking encounter.