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Live: NSW Waratahs v Sharks

Wycliff Palu of the Waratahs. Click for more photos

Waratahs and Sharks put on a show

Attacking rugby returned to Sydney under dazzling blue sky at Allianz Stadium Photo: Dallas Kilponen

The NSW Waratahs host the Sharks on a sunny afternoon in Sydney. Stephen Samuelson, editor of RugbyHeaven, is in the chair.

Fulltime: That was one of the best advertisements for rugby you can get. A beautiful day in Sydney, a fast track and two teams prepared to attack. The Waratahs got the points but the Sharks could have easily won as well. It was an enjoyable game but by no means perfect. The majority of errors came through attacking endeavours and while there were defensive lapses in the game, both defensive units were strong.

Now, all we need is more matches like this. Ring to the TV companies and ask for more afternoon games. Yes ratings may go down initially but if more matches are played like this, then that worm will turn for the long-term good.

80th min: Pretorius kicks it out and the Tahs win. Magnificent game and the Sharks were an equal contributer to a marvellous spectacle.

80th min: What a time for the Waratahs to destroy the Sharks's scrum. The push is on and the Sharks collapse and Pollock lifts his arm in favour of the Tahs. They kick for touch and win the lineout. The Tahs need to hold on for 15 seconds.

78th min: They work it for eight phase until the ball does not come out and Chris Pollock awards the feed to the visitors.

77th min: Sharks have the ball from the re-start.

75th min: TRY!. Great play by the Timani brothers and then Tatafu Polota-Nau barges on to the pull and then offload creates the sapce for Tom Kingston to dive over in the corner. Bonus point for the Waratahs. Barnes kicks from the sideline. WARATAHS 34 SHARKS 30. Penalty out of the equation for the Sharks, they need a try.

74th min: End-to-end stuff. This is what the punters want. The Tahs win the re-start, the Sharks turn it over and the eventually nearly nab Berrick Barnes two metres out and somehow within one phase Dean Mumm is pulled down 20 metres from the Sharks' line. It's a knock-on by the Sharks and the Tahs have the feed.

71st min: Great play for a turnover but in the next phase the Tahs concede another penalty as Tom Carter fails to release. Daniel Keegan fights for possession fairly but Meyer Bossman is lying all over Carter. Lambie kicks it. WARATAHS 27 SHARKS 30.

70th min: Another penalty to the Sharks. They are dominating that stat against the Tahs 10 to five. The Sharks have the ball 30 metres out.

67th min: The Sharks and tahs are trading errors but the Sharks have the field position at the moment and Waratahs need to spend more time up the other end. Lopeti Timani receiving attention.

64th min: Some errors slipping into the Waratahs game as Barnes kicks out on the full from the re-start. There will be more points in this game as both teams are tired from the frenetic pace.

63rd min: Timani announces himself with the a killer hit in the midfield. Chris Pollock eventually awards a penalty in front. I thought I heard him "trip" but to be honest do not know what the penalty is for. Lambie kicks it and it is all square. WARATAHS 27 SHARKS 27

62nd min: Pretorius is on for McKibbin as this game goes from end to end. Sharks win a lineout 30 metres out from the Waratahs tryline.

57th min: TRY! A quick tap is taken and one phase later Carter crashes over under the post with a hrad, straight run. Tahs in front and McKibbin converts. WARATAHS 27 SHARKS 24. Both teams need one more try for a bonus point.

56th min: McKibbin is having his day in the sun. There's a turnover and he kick down field and Whitehead is caught two metres. And the penalty is given.

53rd min: The Tahs hit back straight away. TRY! It's Bernard Foley who scores but it was brilliant, patient play by the Waratahs from the re-start. The Sharks fumbled the kick off and the Tahs worked through the phase with players such as Timani, Robinson, Palu and Carter crashing over the gain line. Eventually they catch the Sharks short on the left and Foley capitalises on the overlap to score untouched. McKibbin converts. WARATAHS 20 SHARKS 24.

50th min: And this time it is a TRY! The fourth flanke come hooke, Bismarck du Plessis busts through the rolling maul and crashes over. Lambie converts. WARATAHS 13 SHARKS 24.

49th min: Another penalty to the Sharks and Chris Pollock is beginning to get itchy. There may be a card soon. Paddy Ryan on for Sekope Kepu. Another attacking lineout.

48th min: Another penalty to the Sharks as Dean Mumm is pinged for coming in from the side to disrupt the rolling maul. Attacking lineout again for the Sharks.

48th min: Dave Dennis is off with a head wound and Sitaleki Timani is on.

47th min: Great goalline defence by the Tahs. They hold the Sharks out for 11 phases and Bernard Foley is penalised for offside as he attempts an intercept. The Sharks opt for the attacking lineout again.

45th min: A couple of close calls that could have gone either way have gone the Sharks's way and as a result they have a rolling maul from an attacking lineout.

44th min: Was it the breeze or was it just Tatafu being Tatafu, but the lineout throw is crooked and the Sharks have the scrum feed.

43rd min: Box kick by McKibbin is a good 'un and pressure from Tom Kingston sees the Sharks fumble the ball into touch.

41st min: The second half is underway and the Sharks have already stretched the Waratahs defence.

Halftime: The most substantial conclusion from the first half is that there must be more afternoon games in Australia. The TV companies hate it but sunny conditions produces the best rugby and this has been a thoroughly entertaining affair. The kick-run-pass statistics for both five-eighths is overwhelmingly in favour of attacking rugby and while it is fair to say the Sharks were clearly the better team in the first 25 minutes - even if the scoreboard did not reflect it - the Tahs have clawed their way back in the contest and it's the proverbial anyone's game in the second half.

39th min: Brilliant play by Meyer Bosman at the breakdown sees the tahs concede a penalty so the Sharks have one final shot to score points in the first half. But a knock-on from the lineout ruins that plan.

35th min: Some poor play by Adam Ashley-Cooper who not only was cauight with the ball, he threw a bad pass and was then penalised for playing the ball on the ground. Lambie looks to the posts and misses the penalty goal. Lambie does kick the ball awfulyl high for a place kick.

34th min: The Tahs are beginning to make inroads now, with Tom Kingston put on some footwork before the line and nearly craks the Sharks. The ball is dropped in the subsequent phase as Barnes and Douglas got muddled with an inside ball.

32min: Bombed tries on two counts. Bernard Foley cracks the line. He could not quite draw the fullback and put Kingston away but from the next phase a near miracle ball by Tatafu Polota-Nau is put down by Adam Ashley-Cooper with the tryline wide open. It's a scrum five metres out and the touchie also said the pass was forward.

30th min: Bad news for the Tahs. Sekope Kepu is receiving treatment after making a telling tackle to stop a Sharks raid. He is gingerly jogging back to play.

27th min: The Sharks concede the penalty from the re-start and this time the Tahs do shoot for goal. McKibbin kicks it. WARATAHS 13 SHARKS 17.

25th min: It's not all square for long. TRY to the Sharks and it's Keegan Daniel who crashes over from the rolling mau. Sloppy work from the re-start gifted possession and territory to the Sharks and they took full advantage. Lambie converts. WARATAHS 10 SHARKS 17.

22nd min: TRY! Brendan McKibbin in under the posts. They won the lineout, but as the Sharks looked like they were coping with the forward rushes, but a short ball to Adam Ashley-Cooper sees the winger pulled down just short of the line and McKibbin dives over from the base of the breakdown. McKibbin converts. All square. WARATAHS 10 SHARKS 10.

20th min: The Waratahs show they have some attacking spark of their own. Carter bursts through on the fringes of the ruck and he is brought down five metres out. Penalty for offside and the Tahs opt to go for the try. Some injury concern over Pat Lambie as he copped an accidental knee to the jaw after Foley caught a high ball.

18th min: Bosman and Mvovo are carving up the Waratahs on the left. The pair create space and Mvovo's kick through for himself nearly results in a try. Every time the Sharks move the ball left, they create trouble.

17th min: Pat Lambie boots the penalty. WARATAHS 3 SHARKS 10.

15th min: Both scrums look solid as the Waratahs again look enterprising in attack but all the good work is undone as the Tahs go straight off their feet at the breakdown. My guess at the crowd so far is about 15,000.

12th min: Good work from the re-start by the Tahs and they run it from inside their own 22. A crash ball to Kepu sees the prop bend the line but his pop-up ball to Mumm was a shocker and the Sharks have the feed in a good field position.

11th min: First full-arm penalty of the match and it goes to the Waratahs. Marcell Coetzee stripped the ball from Dean Mumm but does not release when he hits the turf. McKibbin kicks the penalty goal. WARATAHS 3 SHARKS 7.

9th min: Berrick Barnes hoofs the ball downfield to relieve the pressure. Hint of a knock-on as Mvovo cleans up. He kicks down field and instead of counter-attacking Foley kicks the ball down the throat of the Sharks who take the mark.

8th min: Mvovo is tormenting the Sharks. He is away down the left flank but Berrick Barnes's intercept saves the Tahs from a certain try. There will be bouns points today.

7th min: First scum of the match results in a Sharks free kick on a Waratahs feed. Sharks on the attack.

5th min: The Tahs are stuggling to maintain possession, this time they lose it on the advantage line in heavy contact. The Sharks counter-attack and are rewarded with a lineout throw just inside Waratahs territory.

3rd min: TRY! And this time Lwazi Mvovo is away but it's some great play between Tim Whitehead and Meyer Bosman. Whithead's inside ball put Bosman through the gap, he draws Foley and Mvovo scores untouched under the posts. Conversion kicked. WARATAHS 0 SHARKS 7.

2nd min: The tahs are showing early enterprise and are certianly running the ball ... and so are the Sharks as a great cut out ball nearly puts Lwazi Mvovo away down the left flank.

1st min: Berrick Barnes puts boot to ball and the game is underway.

Pre-game: It is a magnificent day in Sydney and there is no excuse for negative tactics. Waratahs assistant coach Alan Gaffney told The Herald yesterday that the team will run, run and run.

RugbyHeaven's snout at the game tells us that the crowd is not a biggie. Benn Robinson leads the Waratahs out on the field.

FoxSports say the Sharks have won frive from six under Chris Pollock.

PREVIEW

Last meeting: Round 15 2011 - Sharks 26 bt Waratahs 21 at ABSA Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 17 Waratahs 10 Sharks 6 drawn 1
In Sydney: Played 9 Waratahs 7 Sharks 2
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZL)
Odds: Waratahs $1.60 Sharks $2.25

Greg Growden writes: The Sharks are enjoying the scenery at Coogee, while the Waratahs are still trying to work out whether they have 15 fit bodies to confront them. This is a dangerous game for the Waratahs because if they lose their second straight home game in a row- they could be an Australian conference also-ran, playing in front of only one fan- Tah Man.

AAP writes: NSW have responded to last week's humiliating loss to the Western Force by shaking up their line-up. There's a new-look halves pairing, and while Berrick Barnes' move to No.10 is understandable, Brendan McKibbin's promotion to starting No.9 is a little harder to fathom. Star South African recruit Sarel Pretorius has been demoted to the bench, and will likely be injected against his countrymen in the back end of the match. With the Sharks fielding a typically physical side, Wycliff Palu is a timely inclusion for the Waratahs at No.8, while the Timani brothers, Sitaleki and Lopeti will provide some extra size from the bench. The Sharks haven't had much luck in Sydney in the past, but will see a great opportunity to strike the Waratahs while they're down. The Durban-based team came from behind to topple Queensland last week and should take plenty of confidence from that showing.

NSW WARATAHS: Bernard Foley, Tom Kingston, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Chris Alcock, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson (capt). Reserves: John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan, Sitaleki Timani, Lopeti Timani, Jono Jenkins, Sarel Pretorius, Daniel Halangahu, Peter Betham, Brackin Kauraria-Henry (two to be omitted)

SHARKS: Riaan Viljoen, Odwa Ndungane, Tim Whitehead, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Charl McLeod, Keegan Daniel (capt), Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Jandre Marais, Anton Bresler, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Dale Chadwick. Reserves: Craig Burden, Nick Schonert, Steven Sykes, Jacques Botes, Frederic Michalak, Marius Joubert, Louis Ludik.

 

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