Waratahs-Chiefs: Recap

Otto SaaymanContributor IFebruary 20, 2009

It started off as a ding-dong battle from one end of the field to the other. The Waratahs drew first blood when a cross-kick by Beale resulted in a try by Timana Tahu in the 15th minute.

Sitiveni Sivivatu was denied by the TMO, but minutes later the Chiefs struck back through Sona Taumalolo in the 24th minute and Stephen Donald converts. Sustained pressure forced the mistake in defence and created the opportunity for the prop to crash over.

Half Time: Waratahs 5 - Chiefs 7

Once again both teams are attacking and defending quite well. Thus the game was exciting although there were not many tries scored by the 47th minute. Plenty of mistakes in attack from both teams also kept scoring to a minimum.

The Waratahs kept up the pressure and Beale put the Waratahs back in front with a penalty. Again the Waratahs kept the pressure on and Beale took advantage of territory and kicked a low-spinning, but successful drop goal.

The new laws make it difficult to predict what will happen when the ball goes to ground, but we like watching anyway!

Both teams then resorted to kicking for territory as both defensive organizations seemed rock-solid. The Chiefs set pieces were not looking good—line-outs and scrums are a problem for them.

The Waratahs kickers let them down—they could have been safely away in front if they had fired.

As the Chiefs attacked from deep, forcing a hasty clearance they lost it at the line-out again a few metres from the Waratahs line—the story of the game for them.

Both teams then regressed into a comedy of errors—knock-ons, aimless kicks making it difficult for either team to exploit the other's mistakes.

If I were a coach for either of these teams there will be some harsh words spoken about players walking and jogging on attack!

The Waratahs triumph by 11 points to seven. It was a game we would all rather forget. The new laws really messed this one up. The Waratahs will be happy for the home win, but they will have to get themselves in shape if they want to be in another final this year.

So too the Chiefs could have run circles around the hapless men in light-blue. Their own mistakes and bumbling set pieces cost them what would have been an easy away win.