Waratahs Open with Impressive Win
October 17, 2004

A New South Wales side filled with newcomers demolished Salta in the first game of their Argentinean tour

Not even a 5pm kick-off gave the Waratahs reprieve from the hot weather with the mercury sitting on 34 degrees when the game got underway.

With 10 uncapped players in the New South Wales line-up the home side went into the match confident of victory. But the young Waratahs matched the physicality of their passionate Argentine rivals. Captain Lachlan MacKay opened the scoring with a penalty kick right in front of the uprights.

Ten minutes later Tom Carter calmed any lingering nerves he had going into the match with a try in the left corner to put the Waratahs ahead 8-nil.

The Waratahs bombed a certain try just metres from the line 26 minutes in but only two minutes later Eastern Suburbs colt Lloyd Jones joined the 'first cap, first try club' which seemed to be the theme for the day.

Another rookie Alex Kanaar completed a powerful surge down the right wing highlighted by a bulldozing run by vice-captain Matt Hodgson. A superb conversion by MacKay gave the Waratahs a 22-nil lead at the break.

The second half didn't go all the way of New South Wales outfit as Salta battled back into the game through penalties and three tries including a penalty try. But the home side could do little to counter the pace and strength of players like Chris Siale and Arthur Little in the Waratah backline.

Little scored a brilliant solo try in the left corner to show he's still got plenty to offer. Skipper MacKay supported by his scrumhalf Chris O'Young showed genuine pace and leadership in the number 10 jersey.

The forwards were tested in the scrum but were dominant in the lineout. Manly prop James Lakepa was a strong performer in the front row while James Campbell pulled off some punishing defence and a try of his own on debut too.

The final score of 51-25 was a fair reflection on the game which drew a vocal 5 500 strong crowd including a small band of Australians.

The only serious injury to arise from the Salta match is a corked leg to hooker Al Manning.

Tries: Arthur Little, Tom Carter, Rex Tapuai, Lloyd Jones, James Campbell, Alex Kanaar, Wise Kativerata
Cons: Lachlan MacKay (5)
Pens: Lachlan MacKay (2)


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