Crusaders beat Waratahs in trial match
February 14, 2013
The Waratahs star recruit Israel Falou was named man of the match. © Getty Images
NSW Waratahs knocked back a whopping nine kickable penalty shots at goal as they fell 16-14 to the Crusaders in a scrappy Super Rugby trial at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika stuck with his policy for the trials of not taking three-pointers as they looked to get their attack fine-tuned ahead of their Super Rugby opener against Queensland on Saturday week.
Young fly-half Ben Volavola had an indifferent night at the office for the Waratahs but showed glimpses of class and enough to please Cheika with playmakers Berrick Barnes and Bernard Foley in doubt for the Reds' clash.
Israel Falou was named man of the match as the star fullback made the most of his limited opportunities with several line breaks for the hosts who scored two tries to one.
Falou brought the small crowd to their feet everytime he chimed into the backline and showed enough to suggest he's in for a big year.
The Waratahs fought back well in the second half after trailling 13-0 at halftime.
Brendan McKibbin's injection at halfback for Grayson Heart in the 27th minute was pivotal for the Waratahs with the classy No.9 giving his side some much-needed direction.
NSW scored their first points of the night when back-rower Lopeti Timani charged onto a pass from McKibbin close the line with the big Tongan barging his way over on 60 minutes.
McKibbin slotted the goal from the sideline to make it 13-7.
The Waratahs hit the lead for the first time about seven minutes later when replacement hooker Luke Holmes scored after a rolling maul from a lineout close to the Crusaders' line with Brendan McKibbin kicked the conversion to make it 14-13.
The Crusaders hit back with a penalty goal to Tom Taylor to make it 16-14 much to the disapproval of the enthusiastic small crowd.
The first half of the match which was split into 20 minute periods didn't reach any great heights with the Crusaders scoring a try through prop Pa'ea Fununu off a rolling maul while the other points came from a conversion and penalty goal to star No.10 Dan Carter while replacement five-eighth Tom Taylor slotted kicked the first of his two penalties in the first half.
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