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Waratahs player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
Jake Gordon and Jonah Lowe. (Photo by AAP Image/James Ross)

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To kick off the inaugural Super Round in Melbourne, the Waratahs played the Chiefs at AAMI Park.

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The game descended into chaos for the Waratahs early. Young prop Angus Bell was red-carded for a tip-tackle on Sam Cane, while hooker Dave Porecki was forced off the pitch with an HIA and didn’t return. The red card, which was followed shortly by a yellow card to Jamie Roberts, allowed the Chiefs to build a handy lead in the opening quarter.

The Waratahs showed plenty of fight to stay in the match and when they were back to full complement they wrestled their way back to within three points. The Waratahs’ woes continued with a shoulder injury to Will Harrison. When Tom Horton went off with an injury, the game was forced into uncontested scrums and the Waratahs had to get creative with their bench options.

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What the All Blacks squad could look like halfway through Super Rugby Pacific.
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What the All Blacks squad could look like halfway through Super Rugby Pacific.

The Chiefs pulled away after a decisive intercept from Jonah Lowe and from there the Tahs weren’t able to contain the Chiefs who ran out 51-27 victors.

Here’s how the Waratahs rated:

1. Angus Bell – 2/10
Was sent off within the first two minutes of the game after an ugly tip tackle on Chiefs flanker Sam Cane.

2. David Porecki – N/A
Went off for an HIA early in the game and never returned to the field.

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3. Harry Johnson-Holmes – 7
Took on the majority of the workload in the front row following Bell’s departure and was tireless around the park. He was a tackle machine with a team-high 20 tackles and had his fair share of carries. He even took over lineout throwing duties when Horton went off with an injury.

4. Jed Holloway – 7
Was excellent all night. Won a crucial turnover by holding Josh Lord up in the maul to give the Tahs a boost following Bell’s red card. Was put into space of an inside line and was able to offload to Jake Gordon to set up the Waratahs’ first try.

5. Hugh Sinclair – 6
Continues to be a workhorse for the Waratahs. He put Holloway in space with a perfectly timed cut-out pass which set up the Tahs’ opening try. He was a target in the lineout and helped to right the ship after a shuffle around in the forward pack.

 

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6. Charlie Gamble – 6.5
Shifting to the blindside to accommodate the return of Hopper, he continues to go strength-to-strength. Used his strength to bump off the Chiefs defence and send Alex Newsome in to score right on halftime. Was a menace at the breakdown and couldn’t be shifted once he was over the ball.

7. Michael Hooper – 5.5
Was an understated performance by the Waratahs talisman, but often took the right options in attack, straightening up and taking it in contact when the Waratahs looked flustered. Was all over the Chiefs at the breakdown but couldn’t snaffle much ball.

8. Will Harris – 5
The backrower wasn’t able to enforce himself for most of the match. He made 10 tackles including a try-saver when he held up Angus Ta’avao over the line.

9. Jake Gordon – 7
Skippering the side, Gordon held the team together as players around him dropped like flies. Ran off Holloway to collect an offload which opened the scoring for the Waratahs. Nabbed his second try by intercepting the Chiefs just as they looked to be building momentum. Followed up by peeling off an important 50/22. Showed his class at the base of the ruck.

10. Tane Edmed – 6
Kept a calm head as the Waratahs were thrown into chaos in the first half. His kicking options were good for most of the match and it helped steady the ship. He was instrumental in organising his forwards and directing his players around the park. Replaced in the 65th minute.

11. Alex Newsome – 6
Ran some great support lines and was rewarded with a try right on halftime. Shifted to fullback after an injury to Harrison and was solid in the air. He tried hard to get his backline going, but took some poor options and fumbled the ball late in the game.

12. Jamie Roberts – 5
Got the Waratahs over the advantage line with hard direct running through the middle of the field. He was yellow-carded for an attempted intercept after 15 minutes. Threw an intercept to Jonah Lowe that gave back momentum to the Chiefs.

13. Izaia Perese – 6.5
Was a destructive force in the midfield, bouncing out of Chiefs tackles all night. He put in a big shift in defence making 18 tackles and used his strength by holding up players in the tackle. Wasn’t afforded a lot of space but fought hard for every metre.

14. Mark Nawaqanitawase – 6
Opened up the Chiefs defence on a few occasions but couldn’t get his hands free to pop it to his support. Won the ball back off the kick-off which set up the Waratahs’ second try. Has was very good in the aerial contest, but fell off a few tackles.

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15. Will Harrison – 4
Was found out in defence a few times as he tried to cover holes in the Waratahs defence. Sustained a shoulder injury in the first half which ended his night in the Waratahs jersey.

Replacements:

16. Tom Horton – 3
On in the 2nd minute to replace Porecki. Struggled with a shoulder injury and left the field in the 44th minute, forcing uncontested scrums for the remainder of the game.

17. Te Tera Faulkner – 6
Came on two minutes into the game as cover for Angus Bell. Was able to hold up his side of the scrum despite missing a backrower and made 10 tackles during the game.

18. Archer Holz – N/A
Came on late in the game. Got in a few touches.

19. Geoffrey Cridge – N/A
Came on late. Was back-slammed in a heavy tackle.

20. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco – 6.5
Made a short cameo before returning to the bench as the Waratahs were forced to go to uncontested scrums. He made it back on the field replacing Harris and made seven carries to gain momentum back for the Tahs. Also won some important turnovers late in the game.

21. Jack Grant – N/A
Came on with eight minutes to go.

22. Ben Donaldson – 4
Entered the action in the 65th minute and stepped into the playmaker role. In a tight tussle, he wasn’t able to show off his skills.

23. Dylan Pietsch – 5.5
Got on the park and was active in defence. Almost went the full length of the field after putting in a chip and chase.

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