MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The New South Wales Waratahs got their Super rugby season back on track with a 38-28 win over the Melbourne Rebels in an eight-try thriller on Friday.
The Waratahs rebounded from last weekend’s shock loss to the Western Force to grab maximum points against a vastly improved Rebels side, which upset the Canterbury Crusaders last week.
Both teams scored four tries each but it was the boot of Waratahs flyhalf Bernad Foley which proved decisive, as he landed three conversions and three penalties for the defending champions.
“We earned our way back into the game or ahead just through some old-fashioned grunt,” Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said.
“I was disappointed in our physicality last week and needed to see more.”
Kurtley Beale also booted a long range penalty for the Waratahs and played a key role in attack, setting up a try for Stephen Hoiles and scoring himself in the 73rd minute when the teams were deadlocked at 28-28.
NSW winger Taqele Naiyaravoro crossed for two tries but was also given 10 minutes in the sin bin for a deliberate foul when the Rebels were on the charge.
“Credit to the Tahs, they hung in there at the back end of the match,” said Melbourne captain Scott Higginbotham, who scored his team’s opening try. “We missed a few one-on-one tackles and that cost us.”