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Rebels fall to Waratahs, now face fight for finals berth

The dynamic Beale showed he could well be the Wallabies fullback at the World Cup while Foley’s poise and control plus his steady kicking boot proved the difference.

The Rebels didn’t take their chances when the ball was in their attacking half and it cost them.

“From a work ethic point of view I think we were good but we made too many errors,” Rebels coach Dave Wessels said.

“We just knocked on the ball too much, too many simple errors, two which gave them soft tries.

“You won’t win games of rugby against good teams with those basic errors.”

From the kick-off the Waratahs were on the front foot and attacking the Rebels at every opportunity.

The Waratahs celebrate their victory.

The Waratahs celebrate their victory.Credit:AAP

On six minutes they went ahead as Beale and Foley created a line-break for Alex Newsome on the left wing before he passed inside to Foley who found centre Adam Ashley-Cooper who scored the opening try.

A penalty from Cooper made it 7-3 but two more penalties from Foley put the lead out to 13-3 while the home side continued to fall foul of the referee.

In the lead-up to half-time the Rebels stirred as Jack Maddocks and Matt Toomua made a try-saving tackle on the left wing and then Marika Koroibete was sprung free down the other wing.

With only Curtis Rona to beat, Koroibete ran straight at Rona who tucked one arm in before colliding with the Wallabies winger.

Rona was only handed a penalty as his tackle was more awkward than malicious.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson thought that was the right decision considering Rona hadn’t tried to hurt Koroibete but Wessels was disappointed a penalty try wasn’t considered as Rona was the last man before the try line.

In almost five minutes of attacks near the try line the Rebels couldn’t find their way over the line, when Cooper finally did, the video referee found hooker Anaru Rangi had lost the ball forwards on the play before so the try was ruled out.

On 50 minutes Koroibete made a break, then as he was tackled handed off to Dane Haylett-Petty who ran to the line drawing the last defender and passing to Cooper who scored with his conversion making it 13-10 and bring the Rebels back into the game.

But a fumble after the restart gave the Waratahs good field position and on 55 minutes Ashley-Cooper beat two defenders on the left wing then threw a low pass back to Rona who toed it forward then regathered and scored a try giving his club a 20-10 lead.

Koroibete sparked the Rebels response as he made a pick and go 20 metres from the line then passed to Will Genia for a try, Cooper’s conversion missed to leave it 20-15.

Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.

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