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Waratahs win Super Rugby thriller

Monday, May 05, 2014

SYDNEY - NSW coach Michael Cheika hailed his team's character and resilience after the Waratahs' razzle dazzle comeback win over the high-flying Hurricanes to reignite their Super Rugby season.

In a point-a-minute thriller, the Waratahs recovered from 24-7 down midway through the first half to rack up five tries for a crucial 39-30 bonus-point triumph on Saturday night.

A loss would have sent the Tahs crashing out of the top six but, instead, they leapfrogged the Hurricanes into fourth spot and nudged to within two competition points of Australian conference leaders the Brumbies after preserving their unbeaten home record in 2014.

Victory also ended the Hurricanes' four-match winning streak, bumping them off top spot in the New Zealand conference, and Cheika was full of praise for the steely manner of the win.

"Our identity is about never giving up," he said.

"I think over the last year and a half we've found ourselves in a few difficult situations and more often than not we've come out the right side.

"And this is probably the biggest hole we've been in and we were able to get ourselves out of it.

"I was very proud of them."

The match was in the balance before the Waratahs were rewarded for their attacking intent in the 55th minute when veteran winger Matt Carraro charged onto an inside ball from five-eighth Bernard Foley to score his long-awaited maiden try in Super Rugby.

Two penalties from Hurricanes five-eighth Beauden Barrett kept the visitors in striking distance before replacement back-rower Stephen Hoiles crossed and Foley slotted a decisive penalty five minutes from fulltime to clinch victory.

Foley was outstanding and finished with a personal haul of 19 points as the Waratahs finally rediscovered their attacking mojo after netting just five tries in their previous five outings.

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