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Waratahs player ratings vs Blues | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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For the final round of Super Rugby Pacific’s regular season the Waratahs welcomed the Blues to Leichhardt Oval in Sydney’s Inner West.

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Waratahs had all the possession early but pushed the pass one on too many occasions. The Waratahs had multiple cracks at the Blues goal-line defence in the first half but couldn’t break through despite the Blues being yellowed carded twice. 

It was the Blues who nabbed first points just before half time through a penalty goal. The Waratahs hit back through two tries to Mark Nawaqanitawase. The Blues ground their way back to lead late in the game, before Edmed nudged the Waratahs in front from a penalty goal with two minutes to go. The Blues were able to march down the field and put Zarn Sullivan in the pocket to snap a drop goal to give them 20-17 victory.  

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Here’s how the Waratahs rated:

1. Angus Bell – 6.5/10

Made eight carries for 24 metres. He was active around the park, hitting rucks hard and putting in a big defensive shift. Was solid at set piece, but he even struggled in the scrum at times, giving away a penalty on a Waratahs feed. 

2. Dave Porecki – N/A 

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Carried hard into contact in his first 10 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, came off for HIA and didn’t return. 

3. Archer Holz – 4

Had a hard night out at scrum time. Even when the Blues were down to a six man scrum, he was forced up in the scrum to give the Blues a huge relieving penalty. Dropped the ball in greasy conditions. Replaced at half time. 

4. Jed Holloway – 7

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Was excellent again, and his work rate has been a hallmark of this season. He carried seven times and made eight tackles, but it was his work off the ball that added extra starch to the Waratahs when they needed it. He was targeted nine times at the lineout and managed to steal a lineout. 

5. Ned Hanigan – 6

In first start of the year, Hanigan put his frame to good use in contact. Won a lineout against the throw and made six tackles. Was penalised for going off his feet when the Waratahs were right on the Blues try-line. Was pulled off earlier than expected as he works his way back to Super Rugby-level fitness. 

6. Charlie Gamble – 6.5

Battled at the breakdown all night. Won an important turnover early in the match. Made 13 tackles and complimented Hooper with his work around the park. 

7. Michael Hooper – 6.5

Tireless around the park as usual. He topped the Waratahs tackle count again with 20 tackles and won two turnovers. 

8. Will Harris – 6

He re-signed with the Waratahs this week and was ready for action, making 40 metres of four carries. Lurked out wide looking to break open the Blues defence. 

9. Jake Gordon – 6

The Waratahs skipper led his troops around the park valiantly, but besides a few purple patches after halftime, his backs struggled to get any go forward and his service from the base of the ruck was hampered by the Blues interference at the breakdown. 

10. Tane Edmed – 6.5

Put his backline players in motion and played out the back to get around the Blues rushing defenders. Combined with Pietsch to put Nawaqanitawase in for the Waratahs first try. Was perfect off the boot. 

11. Dylan Pietsch – 6

When he got the ball in his hands he looked lively but had to step through heavy traffic to make any in-roads. Threw a peach of a ball to put in Marky Mark to get the Waratahs on the scoreboard in the second half.  

12. Lalakai Foketi – 6

Got over the gain-line and made some tough metres through the middle. Had some loose carries in the first half. 

13. Alex Newsome – 6

Hit holes and broke the Blues defensive line open for some big metres, with a team-high 66 metres. 

14. Mark Nawaqanitawase – 7

Found space down the inside channels. Found himself in the open field but couldn’t get the ball away to his support. Was on the back of an excellent backline move to score the Tahs opening try. Followed it up with a spectacular finish in the corner to put the Waratahs further in front. 

15. Ben Donaldson – 6 

Worked in tandem with Edmed to work the Blues around in the backfield with his open field-kicking. Played up in the line as a second playmaker to provide service to his outside backs. 

Replacements: 

16. Mahe Vailanu – 5.5

Got into the game early as a replacement for Porecki. Was much better at his lineout throws but couldn’t get the Waratah’s rolling maul under control and constantly got caught with the ball at the back. 

17. Ruan Smith – 6

Came on to replace Bell in the 70th minute. 

18. Paddy Ryan – 5.5

Came on to relieve Holtz after half time. Won a big scrum penalty against the head to help the Waratahs tie the game up late. 

19. Hugh Sinclair – 5

Got in the game late but won an important steal in the lineout as the Blues were camped on the Waratahs defensive line. 

20. Jeremy Williams – N/A

Came on to replace Gamble in the 74th minute.

21. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco – N/A

Came on late but had a few good runs to rack up 23 metres. 

22. Jack Grant – N/A 

Didn’t play.

23. Jamie Roberts – N/A 

Entered the game with five minutes to go. 

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