[close]

Waratahs lose trial match to Highlanders

Outside centre Lalakai Foketi has bagged a hat-trick for the Waratahs in their 59-38 pre-season trial loss to the Highlanders.

Waratahs lose trial match to Highlanders

Outside centre Lalakai Foketi has bagged a hat-trick for the Waratahs in their 59-38 pre-season trial loss to the Highlanders.

CAMERON CLARK of the Waratahs makes a break during the Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Jaguares at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
CAMERON CLARK of the Waratahs makes a break during the Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Jaguares at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The Waratahs were found wanting late in their opening trial match of the Super Rugby season, going down 59-38 to the Highlanders in Alexandra.

The Kiwi side ran in nine tries to six in a typically loose early-season hit out at the South Island holiday town on Friday.


A Waratahs side missing most of their Wallabies players led 31-14 midway through the second third but their defence was prised apart easily from that point on.

Outside centre Lalakai Foketi crossed three times while newly-signed hooker JP Sauni, winger Cam Clark and halfback Jake Gordon also bagged tries.

Former Queensland Reds back Karmichael Hunt made a sound debut at inside centre for the Waratahs, catching the eye of coach Daryl Gibson.

"Karmichael was excellent. He carried the ball strongly, was very strong on defence," Gibson said.

"It was his first game for a while so it was good for him to get those minutes and rugby into his legs.

"We were looking for our combinations, particularly in the backline, to try to work those out."

Mack Mason looked sharp at five-eighth while the various forward pack combinations employed by Gibson worked hard, although they struggled at scrum time.

Gibson singled out teenage backrower Will Harris and hooker Andrew Tuala as two to stand out in their first taste of rugby at that level.

The game was the first for South African second-row recruit Le Roux Roets.

Tevita Nabura bagged a hat-trick for the Highlanders, helping the Fijian-born winger brush aside the memory of last year's Super Rugby match against the Waratahs in Sydney, when he was sent off.

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories