Sport

Bumbling Waratahs stunned by Kings in Super Rugby shocker

Michael Willemse of the Southern Kings celebrates after scoring against the Waratahs.
Michael Willemse of the Southern Kings celebrates after scoring against the Waratahs. CRAIG GOLDING

THE hapless Waratahs have sunk to rock bottom by falling to a humbling defeat at the hands of the lowly Southern Kings at Allianz Stadium.

In one of their worst ever losses, the Tahs let slip a 10-point lead at halftime and the South Africans - who have only ever won two games away from home in their history - came home over the top with 19 second-half points.

The Kings have conceded an average of 45 points a game this season but the bumbling Tahs couldn't manage to scrape together anything resembling an efficient attack, with horrific ball security, an awful set-piece and an overall lack of urgency and attacking strategy.

It was an embarrassing performance only matched by the night the Waratahs lost to the Cheetahs in 2011 and got duly booed off by their fans.

The fans didn't boo on this occasion but they must have been tempted.

To put the Kings' victory into context, the Eastern Cape side had only won three games in the last two seasons prior to Friday night at Allianz Stadium.

Two of those wins had come over the Sunwolves and one was against the Jaguares, and the Kings are being targeted for the axe from Super Rugby next year due to a lack of results.

They beat the Rebels in 2013 in Melbourne but the Waratahs are undoubtedly their biggest scalp.

NSW are a broken team and even with the Australian conference remaining wide open, they can't lay any serious claim to be a finals contender after losing to the Kings.

 

Rob Horne of the Waratahs beats the tackle of Wandile Mjekevu of the Southern Kings.
Rob Horne of the Waratahs beats the tackle of Wandile Mjekevu of the Southern Kings. CRAIG GOLDING

The amount of dropped ball was criminal, and against a team who had proven they would crack after three or four phases, NSW couldn't even get it that far.

They turned the ball over almost 30 times, and it allowed the Kings to camp in their half in the second half, and their scrum and line out defence was attacked mercilessly by the African visitors.

The Kings clawed back from a halftime deficit with tries to Masixole Banda and they took the lead with a rolling maul try to Michael Willhemse.

When the Tahs conceded a penalty try via a backpeddling scrum in the 77th minute, the humiliation was complete.

"It was a pretty embarrassing," Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said post-match.

"Our set piece was terrible. It will be a really tough week."

The Waratahs led 17-7 at halftime, their first surplus at the break in 2017.

It was more down to the Kings' ineptitude than NSW brilliance though, with the hosts' ordinary ball security and wobbly set-piece preventing them from putting on any sustained possession or territory.

The Kings' defence is the worst in Super Rugby and NSW had ample chances to score early but in the first ten minutes they turned over the ball four times in the Kings' 22; two via lost line outs.

The first try eventually came via big Taqele Naiyaravoro in the 13th minute when even a telegraphed cross kick to Izzy Folau - designed to isolate 172cm Kings fullback Masixole Banda - still worked, just about.

A bobbling deflection was picked up by Naiyaravoro, who scored in the corner.

Any hope of a stable set-piece went out the door with NSW's scrum getting repeatedly penalised, and even weight of possession couldn't be relied upon, with numerous breakdown turnovers in attack after a phase or two.

The Kings' mistake rate was just as high, though, so the potential for disaster was small.

Growing restless, the crowd finally got on their feet when Folau sparked a 95-metre try, running from his own line. He ran to the halfway line, flicked an inside pass to Bernard Foley and the No 10 found Rob Horne, who used the sight screen to evade a pacy cover defender just at the right moment.

The Tahs went a man down in the 32nd minute when Ned Hanigan wassinbinned for a professional foul.

The Kings attacked NSW's line but Foley' alert play saw him intercept a ball on his own line, and he fed Cameron Clark who ran 80 metres to score.

The Kings took advantage of the man up when prop Justin Forwood scored a try after Foley's kick was charged down in the 36th minute and they were unlucky to not score again at the halftime siren.

Also on Friday night, the ACT Brumbies fell to the defending champion Hurricanes 56-21 in Napier.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  nsw waratahs southern kings super rugby


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

New rules may mean the end of Anzac Day re-enactments

Russell Tattam, who collects military equipment, says Anzac Day re-enactments across the state are under threat.

Anzac historians fired up over change to weapons law

Fight over poker machine was provoked - court

Court agrees Redbank Plains pub basher was provoked

UPDATE: Teen injured in horror crash shows 'positive signs'

Bruklan was injured in a two-vehicle crash on Thursday. Photo: Facebook.

“(We have seen) recognition of his parents' voices.”

Local Partners

Logies 2017: Dave Hughes roasts Channel Seven CEO

LOGIES host Dave Hughes takes aim at Channel Seven CEO, Karl Stefanovic, George Calombaris, and Grant Denyer among others in his opening address.

Logies 2017: Stars are dazzling as the night begins

Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinnson hit the red carpet.

Melbourne's rolled out the red carpet for tonight's Logie Awards

Logies 2017: Karl stays sober to keep his body a temple

After famously being accused of being a little worse for wear at previous Logies, Karl Stefanovic reckons he is staying sober because his "body is a temple".

He's laying off the booze because his body is a temple, he said.

Logies 2017: She's in white but they aren't in jackets

She's still claiming ownership of white, apparently.

LOGIES 2017: What the stars are wearing tonight

Who's wearing what on the red carpet.

Bachelorette 2017: Celeb bombshell ready to find love

She is pretty clear on what she doesn’t want in a guy.

Will Waleed Aly really win the Gold Logie once again?

The Project host Waleed Aly is a favourite to collect his second Gold Logie tonight.

Here’s who we think will take home a TV Week award:

What dodgy real estate ads really mean

This dilapidated house was described as an ‘Edwardian timber home, open to your imagination’. That’s a nice way of putting it.

Real estate writing is just outsourced lying, says one writer

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

DREAM HOMES: 10 properties with a million-dollar price tag

5 Lawson Street, Laguna Quays

10 properties in the Mackay region with a million-dollar price tag.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!