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New South Wales beat Lions 41-13 in Super Rugby, move up to 4th place

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SYDNEY - The New South Wales Waratahs scored two tries at the start of the second half to break open a tightly fought contest and to secure a four-try bonus point from a 41-13 win over the Lions in Super Rugby on Sunday.

The Waratahs took a 17-13 - two tries to one - lead to halftime after a first spell in which the Johannesburg Lions were fully competitive, especially at set pieces and from driving mauls.

They took control of the match in a 10-minute spell after the break when winger Rob Horne and centre Adam Ashley-Cooper scored tries, boosting their lead to 31-13.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley and inside centre Kurtley Beale scored first-half tries and Foley added five conversions and two penalties to finish with 21 points.

The Waratahs' lead reached 34-13 with Foley's second penalty in the 61st minute but stayed at that point for 19 minutes as both sides emptied their benches and the match lost some of its structure. Horne, who had a try disallowed in the first half, finally added to that tally with a try — his second — after the fulltime siren.

New South Wales was still able to post its ninth-straight win at home and the bonus point lifted it to fourth place on a crowded championships ladder, knocking compatriots the Western Force out of the top six.

"I thought our start in that first half was quite good. We played with a bit of intensity and stuck to our game," Waratahs captain Dave Dennis said. "Probably that last 30 minutes we got a little bit loose and gave up a few too many turnovers but, still, a pleasing result."

Dennis said the two tries at the start of the second half were crucial in allowing the Waratahs to secure the match.

"We knew the Lions were strong finishers, they've proved that over the last couple of weeks and it was crucial we started well in that second half," he said. "I thought our outside backs played very well tonight. To put them out of the game early was a good result."

Foley scored the opening try for the Waratahs in the eighth minute but the Lions hit back quickly with a try to Jaco Kriel from a rolling maul.

After Foley and opposite Marnitz Boshoff had exchanged penalties, Beale gave the Waratahs the lead with a 24th-minute try and they never gave up that advantage.

Horne scored in the third minute of the second half and Ashley-Cooper in the ninth minute, when the Lions were down to 14 men after the sin-binning of winger Deon van Rensburg.

Horne completed his double in the 81st minute, running off a pass from Israel Folau.

"It's really disappointing, it seems like we can't play 80 minutes," Lions captain Warren Whiteley said. "I think the previous week it was the second 40 we performed well and this week in the first half it felt like we were in it.

"But a great performance from the Waratahs, especially in the second half."

___

New South Wales 41 (Rob Horne 2, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper tries: Bernard Foley 5 conversions, 2 penalties), Lions 13 (Jaco Kriel try; Marnitz Boshoff conversion, 2 penalties). HT: 17-13.

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