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Halangahu sinks the Blues

FLYHALF Daniel Halangahu scored a try among his 17 points as the New South Wales Waratahs beat the Auckland Blues 27-22 in Super 14 rugby yesterday.

Halangahu, standing in for Wallaby Kurtley Beale who missed the match with tonsillitis, scored the first of three tries for New South Wales and kicked three conversions and two penalties - five goals from six attempts. His sound tactical play also played a role in breaking a midseason run of two losses for the Waratahs and consigning the Blues to their second straight loss, putting their playoff chances in jeopardy.

The win was the first for the Waratahs at Eden Park in the 13-year history of Super rugby. The win moved them into first place with five other weekend matches scheduled.

Halangahu scored and converted the Waratahs' opening try after seven minutes, then added a 13th-minute penalty to give them an early 10-0 advantage.

Auckland hit back with a try to All Blacks winger Anthony Tuitavake in the 18th minute, which went unconverted as flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth missed two early kicks at goal.

Wallabies halfback Luke Burgess scored an intercept try in the 28th minute.

Halangahu's conversion pushed New South Wales out to 17-5 lead, trimmed to 17-8 when Gopperth landed a penalty before halftime as Waratahs No. 8 Wycliff Palu was sin-binned.

Auckland fought back strongly through the second half, cutting New South Wales' lead to 17-15 with a 46th-minute try to Onosa'i Auva'a.

Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau scored a critical try for the Waratahs midway though the half, linking with prop Ben Robinson in a forward surge from an untidy lineout.

Halangahu's conversion and a 61st-minute penalty pushed the Waratahs to a 27-15 lead but the Blues fought back again with a try to replacement center Michael Hobbs.


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