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Waratahs win, Chiefs halt losing run

FORMER rugby league international Timana Tahu scored a try with 15 minutes left to give the New South Wales Waratahs a 15-11 win over the Queensland Reds in yesterday's annual grudge match between the two Australian Super 14 teams.

It was the fifth win in a row by New South Wales over their northern state neighbors. The Reds still narrowly hold the advantage in the overall Super record between the teams, having won eight times in 14 matches with one draw.

It was also the fourth straight win by the Waratahs to open the season, leaving them in first place, and their 10th win in a row at home.

New South Wales prop Benn Robinson scored in the fourth minute, barging over between the posts on a try that had to be confirmed by the video referee. Queensland narrowed the score to 3-7 on Ben Lucas' penalty in the 17th minute, then cut the margin to one point when Lucas hit another penalty two minutes later. Kurtley Beale restored the Waratahs' four-point margin with a penalty.

The Reds took an 11-10 lead on the stroke of halftime when test winger Peter Hynes scored his 16th Super 14 try as the siren sounded. Hynes took the fourth pass off a Queensland scrum win about 15 meters from the New South Wales line, but Lucas missed the conversion from a wide angle.

Hynes was involved in the Tahu try, being stripped of the ball as he took a kick, and Tahu raced 40 meters to the tryline untouched.

Got away

Waratahs captain Phil Waugh said his team was lucky to get the win.

"It's a game on the calendar we look forward to ... we got away with it," Waugh said. "We didn't play very well. We put ourselves under a lot of pressure on defense. That (Reds) try before halftime was more our error than their execution."

Reds captain Berrick Barnes was left to rue some wasted opportunities. "We killed ourselves by not putting points on the board in the second half when we had our chances," said Barnes. He refused to blame a five-day turnaround for the loss - the Reds played last Sunday, beating South Africa's Cheetahs 22-3.

"We prepared pretty well," Barnes said. "We played the 80 minutes well but we hurt ourselves with the turnovers. We'll go back and look at that and see where we can improve."

In Hamilton, New Zealand, Waikato Chiefs scored tries in the first and last minutes to end their luckless start to the Super 14 season with a 31-13 win over Australia's Western Force.

The Chiefs had narrowly lost all three of their matches this season but finally came out on the right side of the ledger with a comprehensive victory over the Force.

Waikato made the perfect start when left winger Lelia Masaga crossed in the opening minute, before scrumhalf Brendon Leonard and center Richard Kahui added tries to give the home side a commanding 21-6 lead at the break.


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