Super Rugby: NSW Waratahs defeat rivals ACT Brumbies in Sydney
Last Updated: 18/05/13 3:18pm
An in-form New South Wales Waratahs took the derby bragging rights against ACT Brumbies 28-22 at the ANZ Stadium to keep their season alive.
Despite being 13-7 down at the break and 22-21 with six minutes remaining, the hosts fought back to seal an important four points which moved them up to seventh spot and kept them in play-off contention.
Meanwhile, the Brumbies, who have now suffered back-to-back defeats, remain in second spot in the overall standings, but still top the Australian conference.
Playmaker Berrick Barnes scored an impressive 12 points after coming on at the break to add to Michael Hooper's try, but it took a solo effort from winger Pete Betham in the closing stages to win the match.
Sadly, the clash was marred by a number of injuries on the eve of the announcement of the preliminary Aussie squad for three tests against the British and Irish Lions.
Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau fractured his forearm while flanker George Smith (knee) as well as centres Christian Lealiifano (leg), Rob Horne (eye) and Pat McCabe (leg) all left the field injured.
The Brumbies started the brighter and number eight Ben Mowen did his Wallabies chances no harm by crashing over the line to score the first try of the match after 22 minutes.
Centre Tevita Kuridrani then charged down Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell's defensive kick three minutes before half-time to send the visitors into the break 13-6 up.
Barnes came on as a replacement for Rob Horne, though, and had an immediate impact by drawing two defenders and drilled a brilliant pass to flanker Michael Hooper, who turned on the afterburners to score in the corner.
Barnes converted to square up the scores at 13-13 and then put the home side ahead with a penalty before Brumbies full-back Jesse Mogg converted three penalties in 10 minutes to give his side a 22-16 lead with 17 minutes to play.
However, minutes later Barnes glided through the Brumbies defence and crashed over the line under two tacklers to put the Waratahs within a point of the lead with his ninth Super League try before Betham sealed the win with six minutes remaining.
Skipper Dave Dennis said: "We were probably off in a few areas but still won the match, that's something we've been working on.
"It was always going to be physical so you were always going to get those sort of injuries."