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Live: NSW Waratahs v Bulls

Fulltime: That was a terrible result for the Australian conference. Both the Tahs and Rebels could have/should have beaten the Bulls, but the South Africans have two wins on the trot and the taks of two teams from the Australian conference making the finals has just got tougher.

81st min: The scrum sets and the Tahs turn on the power but the Bulls eek the ball into touch and it's a heartbreaking loss.

80th min: Tahs win the re-start but then cough up possession. That will be the ball game, with 40 seconds on the clock. No advantage for the Bulls and the scrum has been re-set. Dumb decision by Chris Pollock. The Bulls were clearly winding down the clock and advantage should have been over.

78th min: TRY to Werner Kruger! The Bulls pick and drive from the scrum and the Bulls finally dive over. Thiscould be heartbreak for the Tahs. What does Nicole Richie think? Steyn kicks the conversion. WARATAHS 24 BULLS 27.

76th min: Tahs win the scrum but Lopeti Timani is drvien back in-goal. Bulls feed five metres out.

75th min: Another penalty. Benn Robinson ruled offside trying to stop the lineout. Steyn kicks for touch but the throw was not straight. Momentary relief for the Tahs.

74th min: Lopeti Timani concedes the penalty - he was clearly not supporting his own weight at the breakdown. Robinson on for Kepu. Carter for Halangahu. And Steyn has kicked for the corner. Huge pressure for the Waratahs.

73rd min: Newsflash - Tahs resort to aimless kicking. I've seen that movie before.

72nd min: Newsflash - Tahs retain possession from re-start.

71st min: Mr 89 per cent, Brendan McKibbin steps and kicks the three points. WARATAHS 24 BULLS 20.

70th min: The Timani brothers are stepping up, charging into the defensive line and the Bulls concede a penalty right in front of the sticks. And Benn Robinson is coming back on. Good sign for the Tahs.

69th min: Free kick to the Tahs and they opt for the scrum re-set. I betcha Joel Maddens lovin' that.

68th min: Both teams need to go to re-start school. This time it's Bulls that knock-on. Credit to Dean Mumm for spirited chase and challenge.

67th min: Kirchner makes a halfbreak and the Tahs concede the penalty at the breakdown. Superboot Steyn makes no mistake and it's a one-point ball game. WARATAHS 21 BULLS 20.

62nd min: TRY to Atieli Pakalani! He carries on after he scores by dumping the ball on the head of JJ Engelbrecht. There's a bit of push and shove. The Tahs piled on the pressure with pick and drives and McKibbin snipes. Eventually they win the numbers battle and Barnes's cut-out pass finds Pakalani who scores in the score - it also nearly found Basson who would have scored under the posts for the Bulls. Barnes misses the conversion. WARATAHS 21 BULLS 17.

60th min: Palu is off as is Pretorius and Elsom. Dave Dennis, Brendan McKibbin and Lopeti Timani on. Tahs on the attack after the re-start.

59th min: TRY to Akona Ndungane! The Tahs had to crack eventually. Players were sprawled on the ground, including Wycliff Palu from a heavy collision, and the Bulls streak down the blind side. Steyn kicks the conversion. Bulls in front. WARATAHS 16 BULLS 17.

58th min: Bulls still on the attack. The Tahs have conceded two penalties in the red zone. The yelloow card may come out soon.

56th min: The Bulls are beginning to win the arm wrestle, they are certainly winning the game of forcings back. Barnes kicks down the throat of Kirchner who clamly finds touch 10 metres out for the Tahs line. And the Bulls win the lineout!

54th min: Some injury concerns for the Waratahs. A bit of blood on Berrick Barnes's face after he was involved in aheavy collision.

51st min: The game is getting a bit sloppy now. Both teams are being patient and not committing too many men to the breakdown. Space is hard to find.

47th min: The Tahs on the attack. They never looked like breaking the Bulls defence but they got the next best thing - a penalty in front. Barnes kicks it. WARATAHS 16 BULLS 10.

46th min: Benn Robinson is off with some concern over a leg injury.

42nd min: Joel Madden and Nicole Richie are watching on from the sideline. Joel Madden declares he is having an awesome time at his first rugby game. He got lucky, it is a Tahs game after all.

41st min: Play has retstarted, can the Tahs bring home the bacon. Zane Kirchner thinks so. He drops a sitter as Barnes puts a kick down field. Scrum feed 30m out from Bulls line.

Other news: Drew Mitchell has been declared fit for the tour of South Africa. But will he be named in the 26-man squad. We will find out at 11pm.

Georgina "Ged" Robinson's halftime report: Sometimes - not nearly enough this season, but sometimes - the Waratahs can be good little soldiers, doing exactly as coach Michael Foley directed them all week to earn them a three-point lead at the 40-minute mark.

A glorious zig-zagging dummy run worthy of a YouTube upload from new centre Adam Ashley-Cooper sucked in two Pink Bulls defenders and opened up a gaping hole through which outside centre Rob Horne - fresh from a two-week suspension for naughty tackling - dashed to give the Waratahs a seven point lead mid-way through the half.

Serial penalty conceder Dean Mumm remains a big worry for the Waratahs. His sin-binning effectively helped Bulls halfback Francois Hougaard score a five-pointer to equalise the scores. Although Robinson and Elsom's poor defensive attempt didn't help. I am bullish on the Tahs all of a sudden! If it wasn't for their trademark third-quarter capitulation I'd be pouring my rental bond on to the boys in blue.

Halftime: The Tahs head into the break with a narrow lead, but in truth they have been more dominant. As with last week against the Brumbies and their game against the Chiefs, they have not converted possession into points. Rocky Elsom is having an absolute belter of a game - and Dave Dennis is on the bench!

39th min: The Tahs scrum is dominant and they have one final chance to attack on the back of a penalty but John Ulugia's lineout throw is awful and the Bulls in possession.

37th min: Bulls having their longest stretch in possession with 11 phases but an absolutely awful forward pass which even Wayne Barnes would have called, ends the play. Tahs have the scrum feed 25 metres out from their own line.

35th min: The Bulls collapse the scrum and Berrick Barnes steps up and lands a long-range penalty goal. WARATAHS 13 BULLS 10.

33rd min: Tahs surprisingly holding their own with 14 men, How will they fare now that Dean Mumm is back on the field? Someone we will not see again is Deon Stegman of the Bulls who looks like he has done his shoulder.

31th min: Anyone pre-game who thought flyhalf Daniel Halangahu may be a bit suspect at fullback will not be pleased to see his attempted clearance that went about 10 metres.

30th min: Some good and sloppy play by the Tahs. Elsom is having a whale of a game and his tap down from the 22m re-start puts John Ulugia in space and Benn Robinson makes a break. But Palu drops the ball from the ensuing breakdown and the Bulls are off the hook.

26th min: Halangahu injects himself into the game for the first and it is a kick straight down the throat of Morne Steyn who casually calls for the mark.

24th min: Try to Hougaard! Dean Mumm were you watching? The Bulls pick and drive until eventually Francois Hougaard snipes from the base of the breakdown and like a little pinball bounces off Benn Robinson and Rocky Elsom before picking crashing through only bloke smaller than him on the field - Sarel Pretorius. Steyn converts. WARATAHS 10 BULLS 10.

22nd min: SIN BIN! Dean Mumm is delivered a yellow card for tacking out the man who was lifting the Bulls lineout catcher. Morne Steyn kicks for the corner rather than shooting for goal. Dumb, dumb play by Mumm.

21st min: Tahs still on the attack. Bulls defend grimly and do not commit too many men to the breakdown and eventually the penalty is conceded for the Tahs going off their feet.

18th min: Great work by Adam Ashley-Cooper who stole the ball at the breakdown and as the Bulls attempt to counter, counter-ruck, they concede the penalty. Tahs on the attack.

16th min: TRY! To Rob Horne. How easy was that? Elsom wins the lineout and Barnes runs to the line and with Ashley-Cooper and Kingston providing the dummy runs, Barnes unleashes a beautiful face ball and Rob Horne runs nearly 40 metres without a hand being laid on him. Barnes converts. WARATAHS 10 BULLS 3.

14th min: The Tahs knock on from the re-start, they must not have watched the video from the past two weeks. The Bulls let them off the hook thanks to their own knock-on.

13th min: Barnes kicks it. WARATAHS 3 BULLS 3.

12th min: Penalty to the Tahs and Rocy Elsom grabs the ball before Sarel Pretorius has any ideas of a quick tap. Berrick Barnes will shoot for three with McKibbin on the bench.

11th min: A mistake from the kick-off by the Bulls with Tahs feeding an attacking scrum. But what else is new in this match?

10th min: No mistake by the Steyn and with about 10 per cent of possession, the Bulls have the lead. WARATAHS 0 BULLS 3.

8th min: Sloppy play by both Kane Douglas and Tom Kingston. Deon Stegman steals the ball from Douglass while the Tahs were on the attack while Tom Kingston inexplicably allows the ball into touch and it's a Bulls throw to the lineout. Penalty to the Bulls and Steyn will shoot for the sticks, 22 metres out.

6th min: The Tahs are up to their 11th phase and must have just about 100 per cent of possession so far, but at last relief for the Bulls with Tom Kingston pinged for holding on. Paul Cully's man Morne Steyn fails to find touch.

4th min: A penalty this time and the Tahs take the quick tap.

3rd min: TRY perhaps? Free kick from the scrum. Sarel Pretorius takes quick tap and Barnes almost crashes over but is held up. Another scrum.

2nd min: The Tahs pick-and-drive but play is stopped just two metres short of the line and a scrum with a Waratahs' feed will be set. A good test for Tahs without TPN in the front-row.

1st min: Elsom already in the action with a steal that puts the Tahs on the attack. New No.12 Adam Ashley-Cooper races down the left flank. He is brought down, but the Tahs are still in possession.

Preamble: For the first time this season, Rocky Elsom leads the NSW Waratahs onto the field but its Joel Madden from Good Charlotte/The Voice/Nicole Richie's husband fame who is stealing the limelight.

Join editor of RugbyHeaven for tonight's crunch game between the Tahs and Bulls. Kick-off 7.40pm.


Last meeting: Round 16, 2011 - Bulls 23 bt NSW 17 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria.
Played 17 Waratahs 8 Bulls 9
In Sydney: Played 8 Waratahs 6 Bulls 2
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)
Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet:
NSW $1.80 Bulls $1.95

Greg Growden writes: The Waratahs looks more threatening with Adam Ashley-Cooper at No 12, and the pack, even without Tatafu Polota-Nau, has an edge. Without several key players, the Bulls look vulnerable, and if the Waratahs are to show they are serious finals candidates, this is the night.

AAP writes: Waratahs skipper Rocky Elsom will make his first start of the season among seven personnel changes and three positional changes for this must-win match. Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is missing after two head knocks with John Ulugia his replacement. The Bulls had to work hard to get full points against the Rebels but remained cool and composed under pressure. Five-eighth Morne Steyne did a superb job directing them around the park and four tries before halftime should have put the Tahs on notice. The loss of Jacques Potgieter in the backrow is a blow with Deon Stegmann to cover.

WARATAHS: Daniel Halangahu, Tom Kingston, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Atieli Pakalani, Berrick Barnes, Sarel Pretorius, Wycliff Palu, Chris Alcock, Rocky Elsom (c), Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, John Ulugia, Benn Robinson. Reserves: John Mann-Rea, Jeremy Tilse, Sitaleki Timani, Lopeti Timani, Dave Dennis, Brendan McKibbin, Tom Carter.

BULLS: Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Johann Sadie, Francois Venter, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Pierre Spies (c), CJ Stander, Deon Stegmann, Juandré Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Dawie Steyn. Reserves: Willie Wepener, Rayno Gerber, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Jano Vermaak, Louis Fouché, JJ Engelbrecht.

5 comments so far

  • I can't understand why NSW keep persisting with Mumm. He is one of the most penalised players in the game, too many handling errors and yellow cards. Timani is a better player and has hardly got any game time this year, I know that he missed the start of the season because he was playing in Japan, but he should be getting more time now that he is back.

    I'm glad Mumm is leaving at the end of the season.

    Date and time
    May 11, 2012, 8:36PM
    • Next Year once again - can't close out a match

      Date and time
      May 11, 2012, 9:20PM
      • Just back from the game. Disappointing result yet again.

        The commitment looks better but frankly we just are not good enough. An exciting first try with depth in the backs and every other attacking attempt seemed to be so flat. No variety in play and the dumb mistakes ultimately costing them the match. No X factor players in the side apart from Pretorius who was well covered - even when they were offside ! Can't blame the ref but he was ordinary as well.

        Well it took me 72 years to see the Swans win the flag so guess I'll be back again next year.

        a don
        Date and time
        May 11, 2012, 10:20PM
        • As a die hard Tahs fan i just can't take this anymore - Pretorius didn't throw a decent pass all night - the back line was woeful for most of the game - no inspired play - no vision - it was like watching 15 blokes play hot potato - the try by Horne looked like dumb luck and they were lucky to pull it off... Where are the back line moves? where are the set pieces? the forwards (most of them) have every right to fell let down - they played quite well and Ulugia had a blinder..

          M - your dead right Mumm has to go - not only does he get penalised all the time but it always seems to come at a crucial stage in the game...

          Barnes was ok although he needs to learn how to kick a ball in to touch.. All in all another very disappointing game and i just can't seem them getting their act together for quite some time... Shame as they were once a great team... Think ill have to start backing the Force

          The Burbs
          Date and time
          May 11, 2012, 10:24PM
          • The backs lack penetration, contrasting them with the Reds yesterday was chalk & cheese. Halangahu & Barnes in the same backline guarantees that possession will be kicked away twice as much as it should be.

            Results show that the teams performance is just not good enough - back to the drawing boards for next year.

            Date and time
            May 14, 2012, 11:26AM

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