Waratahs with work to do after Sharks attack

Waratahs fullback Israel Folau is wrapped up by the Sharks defence during their Super Rugby match at GrowthPoint Kings Park.
Waratahs fullback Israel Folau is wrapped up by the Sharks defence during their Super Rugby match at GrowthPoint Kings Park. Samuel Shivambu

THE Waratahs return home from South Africa this week with plenty of work to do after they were savaged by the Sharks in Durban.

The Sharks feasted on a string of NSW mistakes to register a 37-14 victory. The loss comes after the Tahs were trounced 55-36 by the Lions last weekend.

The Sharks only outscored the Tahs three tries to two but they banged over another 18 points in penalty goals and NSW gifted the hosts all three of their tries as well.

The Waratahs conceded 25 turnovers and two dropped passes in attack were scooped up by Sharks players, who raced away to score.

The other Sharks' try came after several poor box kicks from the Waratahs in the opening two minutes put them under immediate pressure.

The Sharks led 31-7 at the break and though the scoreline was 7-6 in NSW's favour in the second half, the Waratahs never looked like claiming victory.

The Waratahs were better in defence than last week but still missed 28 tackles and allowed plenty of offloads.

"It's been a tough trip to the Republic," Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said.

"Obviously two comprehensive losses. There were aspects of our game I really though we improved on but we really came unstuck in those first few minutes."

The result means the Waratahs remain mired in the bottom third of the Super Rugby ladder.

With the Brumbies winning and the Reds losing a cliffhanger against the Crusaders, NSW are still in touch in the Australian conference but have shown little to suggest they can be a contender this season.

Israel Folau scored twice for the Tahs but the NSW attack struggled badly in the face of a fast and aggressive Sharks defence.

Without much punch through the line, the Tahs attack was lateral and easy to contain.

In the second half NSW resorted to a kick-pressure game and though it yielded several scoring chances, on each occasion a Waratah player coughed up the ball or it was turned over at a breakdown.

"It's been a tough trip. The Sharks were really physical," NSW skipper Michael Hooper said.

"I thought in our defence we brought that but we couldn't deal with them particularly in the first half they were on top of us and kept pushing. It was a difficult game.

"It was probably pleasing to see the fight in the team on our second week over here. There is a lot to work with in this group, there is a bunch of guys willing to work hard."

Topics:  michael hooper sharks super rugby waratahs

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