Waratahs 33 - 7 Highlanders


A brilliant hat-trick from centre Tom Carter helped the Waratahs coast past the Highlanders in a rain soaked encounter in Sydney.

Despite enjoying 60% possession the Highlanders couldn't trouble the resolute Waratahs defence which took everything the men from the south of New Zealand could throw at them.

Carter scored his the games first try after nine minutes, a fantastic counter attack by full-back Kurtley Beale took the Wallaby flyer deep inside Highlanders territory, Beale then put a precise grubber kick into the corner which Carter collected to score in the corner. Beale couldn't add the difficult conversion but the Tahs held a 5-0 lead.

The hosts once again crossed the line five minutes later producing one of the scores of the season. It was that man Beale who was again the catalyst, the full-back produced another scintillating attack from inside his own 22, he once again put a grubber kick round the defender which was collected by Luke Burgess, who offloaded to Tatafu Polota-Nau who run a great support line, he then passed to the hard-working David Dennis who crossed the line to finish a fabulous team move. Beale made no mistake with the conversion and the Waratahs held a 12-0 lead.

Despite the score line the Highlanders continued to dominate possession and territory and came close to scoring in the 20th minute but Tony Browns kick into the in-goal area was just too heavy for the chasers to reach.

Seven minutes later the Highlanders finally got the try they deserved, after several phases of play close to the Tahs line hooker Jason Rutledge managed to power his way past the fringe defence to score, veteran fly-half Brown added the extras to close the gap to 12-7.

But it was the home side who scored the last try of the half through Carter. The young centre picked a good line of fly-half Daniel Halangahu and crashed over the line, Beale added the simple conversion to make the scores 19-7 at half-time.

The second half was a dull affair dominated by handling errors and poor decision making from both sides. The Highlanders dominated possession but rarely made it past the Tahs 10 metre line due to unimaginative attacking play.

It took 33 minutes for the first score of the second half, the Waratahs pack carried the ball well and moved into the Highlanders 22, the ball was moved down the back-line and Carter scored his hat-trick try and the Tahs bonus point try. Beale added another conversion to extend the lead to 26-7.

New South Wales added more gloss to the score line with two minutes to go, Beale was once again the provider this time his deft chip over the defence was collected by replacement Josh Holmes who scored under the sticks. Beale added his third conversion to make the final score 33-7.

The defeat ended the Highlanders play-off hopes, the Waratahs are still in with a chgance of making the top six but need a victory against the Brumbies in their last game.

Man of the Match

Kurtley Beale