Sport

Bumbling Waratahs stunned by Kings in Super Rugby shocker

Michael Willemse of the Southern Kings celebrates after scoring against the Waratahs.
Michael Willemse of the Southern Kings celebrates after scoring against the Waratahs. CRAIG GOLDING

THE hapless Waratahs have sunk to rock bottom by falling to a humbling defeat at the hands of the lowly Southern Kings at Allianz Stadium.

In one of their worst ever losses, the Tahs let slip a 10-point lead at halftime and the South Africans - who have only ever won two games away from home in their history - came home over the top with 19 second-half points.

The Kings have conceded an average of 45 points a game this season but the bumbling Tahs couldn't manage to scrape together anything resembling an efficient attack, with horrific ball security, an awful set-piece and an overall lack of urgency and attacking strategy.

It was an embarrassing performance only matched by the night the Waratahs lost to the Cheetahs in 2011 and got duly booed off by their fans.

The fans didn't boo on this occasion but they must have been tempted.

To put the Kings' victory into context, the Eastern Cape side had only won three games in the last two seasons prior to Friday night at Allianz Stadium.

Two of those wins had come over the Sunwolves and one was against the Jaguares, and the Kings are being targeted for the axe from Super Rugby next year due to a lack of results.

They beat the Rebels in 2013 in Melbourne but the Waratahs are undoubtedly their biggest scalp.

NSW are a broken team and even with the Australian conference remaining wide open, they can't lay any serious claim to be a finals contender after losing to the Kings.

 

Rob Horne of the Waratahs beats the tackle of Wandile Mjekevu of the Southern Kings.
Rob Horne of the Waratahs beats the tackle of Wandile Mjekevu of the Southern Kings. CRAIG GOLDING

The amount of dropped ball was criminal, and against a team who had proven they would crack after three or four phases, NSW couldn't even get it that far.

They turned the ball over almost 30 times, and it allowed the Kings to camp in their half in the second half, and their scrum and line out defence was attacked mercilessly by the African visitors.

The Kings clawed back from a halftime deficit with tries to Masixole Banda and they took the lead with a rolling maul try to Michael Willhemse.

When the Tahs conceded a penalty try via a backpeddling scrum in the 77th minute, the humiliation was complete.

"It was a pretty embarrassing," Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said post-match.

"Our set piece was terrible. It will be a really tough week."

The Waratahs led 17-7 at halftime, their first surplus at the break in 2017.

It was more down to the Kings' ineptitude than NSW brilliance though, with the hosts' ordinary ball security and wobbly set-piece preventing them from putting on any sustained possession or territory.

The Kings' defence is the worst in Super Rugby and NSW had ample chances to score early but in the first ten minutes they turned over the ball four times in the Kings' 22; two via lost line outs.

The first try eventually came via big Taqele Naiyaravoro in the 13th minute when even a telegraphed cross kick to Izzy Folau - designed to isolate 172cm Kings fullback Masixole Banda - still worked, just about.

A bobbling deflection was picked up by Naiyaravoro, who scored in the corner.

Any hope of a stable set-piece went out the door with NSW's scrum getting repeatedly penalised, and even weight of possession couldn't be relied upon, with numerous breakdown turnovers in attack after a phase or two.

The Kings' mistake rate was just as high, though, so the potential for disaster was small.

Growing restless, the crowd finally got on their feet when Folau sparked a 95-metre try, running from his own line. He ran to the halfway line, flicked an inside pass to Bernard Foley and the No 10 found Rob Horne, who used the sight screen to evade a pacy cover defender just at the right moment.

The Tahs went a man down in the 32nd minute when Ned Hanigan wassinbinned for a professional foul.

The Kings attacked NSW's line but Foley' alert play saw him intercept a ball on his own line, and he fed Cameron Clark who ran 80 metres to score.

The Kings took advantage of the man up when prop Justin Forwood scored a try after Foley's kick was charged down in the 36th minute and they were unlucky to not score again at the halftime siren.

Also on Friday night, the ACT Brumbies fell to the defending champion Hurricanes 56-21 in Napier.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  nsw waratahs southern kings super rugby


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

The world is invited to Whitsunday SESsions

Gavin "Butto" Butlin, Ellie Hanlon, Rob Cole, Mark Connors, Troy Jones and Kieran McCarthy (back) and Courtney Anderson, Daniel Moss, Leigh Munro (front) are ready to rock for Whitsunday SESsions.

Whitsunday SESsions will be live streamed across the world.

Council counts the cost of Debbie

The Airlie Beach Lagoon was closed due to damage from Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March.

It's a high cost to get the lagoon back to its original state

A warm Whitsunday welcome to Today Show

HANDS UP: Today Show weather presenter Natalia Cooper with Airlie Beach locals at Abell Point Marina yesterday morning.

The Today Show was welcomed to the Whitsundays this morning

Local Partners

New design coming to Airlie Beach roundabout

WHEN the Airlie Beach main street roundabout was stripped of its starfish one year ago, the question arose of what would replace it.

Debbie's graveyard: Major auction to clear written-off cars

Auto Repair and Towing Service owner Shane Muntelwit at the salvage yard behind Mackay Airport, which has become a graveyard for about 150 vehicles destroyed or written off by Cyclone Debbie.

A salvage yard has become a makeshift graveyard

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Pirates in Whitsundays

ON SET: Pitaes of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, filming on Whitehaven Beach in July 2015.

The fifth instalment hits cinemas on Thursday

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

A warm Whitsunday welcome to Today Show

HANDS UP: Today Show weather presenter Natalia Cooper with Airlie Beach locals at Abell Point Marina yesterday morning.

The Today Show was welcomed to the Whitsundays this morning

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!