Glen Innes’ Alex Newsome and Tamworth’s Paddy Ryan were both involved in pivotal plays as the NSW Waratahs secured a crucial and nail-biting 24-17 win over the ACT Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday night.
Newsome found himself injected into the game early after Israel Folau was forced from the field with a hamstring complaint inside the opening five minutes, but acquitted himself well.
"Alex Newsome came on, performed very well. We kept that same tactic, which we're employing with Israel and he took some nice high balls," coach Daryl Gibson told Rugby.com.au.
He had some good touches and most notably sparked the second of Taqele Naiyaravoro’s two tries with a scything run.
From within his own half, the winger (Naiyaravoro) had produced a bullocking run to score after the half-time siren and put the Waratahs on level terms. Bernard Foley added the extras to give the visitors a two point advantage at the break.
Foley, Newsome and Naiyaravoro combined to extend that to seven only a few minutes into the second half from a well-executed move off a scrum just inside Waratahs territory. Running a great line in behind Foley, Newsome sliced through the Brumbies defence.
With the tryline in sight the cover defence got to him, but the 23-year-old turned in the tackle and threw a one-handed offload to Naiyaravoro, who did the rest.
It was a decisive play with the Brumbies never heading the Waratahs from there as the contest descended into a game of mistakes and penalties.
Ryan helped ensure the Waratahs maintained their advantage, he and his front row cohorts winning a crucial scrum penalty with five minutes to go. Foley converted to push the Waratahs back out to a seven point lead.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak on the road for the Waratahs and keeps them in touch with the conference-leading Melbourne Rebels.
"If you do [win in Canberra], they're never easy like tonight," Waratahs captain Michael Hooper told Fairfax Media.
“A special night. We managed to put pressure on the Brumbies tonight. I'm so proud of the guys ... it's good times and we're off to Japan next week.”
Quirindi’s Sam Carter didn’t play for the Brumbies as he battles the aftermath of concussion. Despite completing a full contact training session on Thursday for the first time since March 9, the co-captain was ruled out with the Brumbies not risking his health.
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