Get Newsletter

Waratahs Super Rugby finals hopes fade

FRIDAY WRAP: The  Waratahs’ finals hopes remain in tatters following yet another Super Rugby Pacific flop.


If it wasn’t evident already, the table-topping Hurricanes exposed the Waratahs as 2024 title pretenders with a 41-12 thrashing in Wellington on Friday night.

The Tahs’ latest crushing bonus-point defeat left them with a galling two-from-10 record, and the coaching staff at the one-time Australian benchmark outfit didn’t pull their punches in assessing the performance.

“We’re coming second, by a long way,” Waratahs assistant coach Chris Whitaker said of the Waratahs’ meek first-half effort at Sky Stadium.

“The contact area was pretty poor, both sides of the ball.

“We’re not tackling hard enough, not carrying hard enough. Speed around the field is probably not up to it either.”

Stinging from a first loss of the season last week to the Brumbies, the Hurricanes came out firing.


First-half tries to wing Billy Proctor, Brett Cameron, wing Joshua Moorby and No.8 Brayden Iose earned the hosts a virtually unbeatable 26-0 lead at the break.

A try-scoring double from electric replacement Salesi Rayasi put the issue beyond doubt, despite late second-half crosses for Waratahs duo Hugh Sinclair and Vuate Karawalevu.

An eighth loss of the season leaves the Waratahs languishing in the second-last spot on the ladder and needing to string a succession of wins together in the closing rounds to scrape into the top eight.

Melbourne’s drama-charged day has ended with a disappointing 38-11 defeat to the heavyweight Blues in their Super Rugby Pacific clash.


*The Rebels hosted one of the title favourites hours after a vote by creditors on the debt-ridden club’s future.

Rather than liquidate the club, the creditors voted to accept a proposal for survival from a consortium of investors, but the Rebels’ place in the 2025 competition is still far from assured.

Rebels players tried to put that aside to take on the second-placed Blues, who have only suffered one loss in nine games while the Rebels went into the match fifth on the ladder.

But the class difference proved far greater than the standings might suggest, with the Blues running in five tries to one, with All Black wing Mark Tele’a and reserve lock Sam Darry each grabbing a double.

For the most part, the Rebels matched the Blues and judging by statistics midway through the second half, should have been on top.

But the visitors’ ability to take advantage of their opportunities and some rock-solid defence proved the difference, delivering an emphatic win in the end, helped by two late tries.

The home side only trailed by a point after an entertaining first half, soured by the Blues losing Test back Rieko Ioane to a head clash just before the break.

The Rebles lost both centres David Feliuai (head) and Matt Proctor (head) at the same time, both leaving after 30 minutes.

While the Rebels repeatedly hammered the Blues’ try-line and came up empty-handed, the Aucklanders ran in four tries, with Darry’s double coming in the 74th and 77th minutes.

After three successive wins, the Rebels have now lost two straight after crashing to the Crusaders last round.

They face the Reds in Brisbane next Friday night.

Hurricanes 41-12 Waratahs


For Hurricanes:
Tries: Proctor, Cameron, Moorby, Iose, Rayasi 2, Perenara
Cons: Cameron 3

For Waratahs:
Tries: Karawalevu, Sinclair
Cons: Edmed


Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Josh Moorby, 13 Billy Proctor (captain), 12 Riley Higgins, 11 Bailyn Sullivan, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Richard Judd, 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Peter Lakai, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Caleb Delany, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 1 Pouri Rakete-Stones.
Replacements: 16 Raymond Tuputupu, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Jordie Barrett, 23 Salesi Rayasi

Waratahs: 15 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 14 Triston Reilly, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon(captain), 8 Langi Gleeson, 7 Hunter Ward, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Hugh Sinclair, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Julian Heaven, 1 Hayden Thompson-Stringer.
Replacements: 16 Jay Fonokalafi, 17 Lewis Ponini, 18 Brad Amituanai, 19 Miles Amatosero, 20 Charlie Gamble, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Vuate Karawalevu

Referee: Dan Waenga
Assistant referees: Paul Williams & Mike Winter
TMO: Richard Kelly

Rebels 11-38 Blues


For Rebels:
Tries: Louwrens
Cons: Gordon 2

For Blues:
Tries: Telea 2, Sheck, Tuipulotu, Darry 2
Cons: Plummer 4


Rebels: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 David Feliuai, 11 Darby Lancaster, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Rob Leota, 7 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Josh Canham, 4 Angelo Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Isaac Kailea.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Dobbins, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Maciu Nabolakasi, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Jake Strachan, 23 Lachie Anderson

Blues: 15 Cole Forbes, 14 Mark Tele’a, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 AJ Lam, 11Caleb Clarke, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Taufu Funaki, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Anton Segner, 5 Laghlan McWhannell, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 PJ Sheck, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ofa Tu’ungasfasi.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Joshua Fusitu’a, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Sam Darry, 20 Cam Suafoa, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Corey Evans, 23 Bryce Heem.

Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Matt Kellahan & James Palmer
TMO: Oli Kellett

Join free

Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby 2023/24 | Round 15 Highlights

New Zealand v USA | Pacific Four Series 2024 | Full Match Replay

Pieter-Steph du Toit, The Malmesbury Missile, in conversation with Big Jim

Australia v Canada | Pacific Four Series 2024 | Full Match Replay

Rugby Africa Women's Cup | Madagascar v Cameroon | Full Match Replay

The Antoine Dupont Interview

Fresh Starts | Episode 3 | Cobus Reinach

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 11

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Write A Comment