The battle for the top six is down to seven clubs after Waratahs condemned Wagga City to the second division with a comprehensive win at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.
The Boiled Lollies were in touching distance in the first half, but couldn’t their effort before succumbing to a 48-17 loss.
In doing so Waratahs strengthened its chances of making the top tier, only needing a win over CSU next Saturday to book a spot.
While Waratahs were on top for most of the second half, they only took a seven-point lead into the break.
A nice pass from Euan Bonner found Steve Tracey to score shortly after the break and Bonner’s sideline conversion then penalty goal gave his team a 17-point buffer.
The Boiled Lollies hit back through a try from close range to Rambo Lagaali, which reduced the margin to 10, before the Waratahs scored another three tries to seal the win.
It was through the ‘Tahs forwards that most of the damage was done.
Only two of their six tries were scored by backs with the final three tries scored by forwards.
Dave Armstrong put James Daley into a gap before Joe Mullany scored from a rolling maul, where the Waratahs forwards were able to push over from 20 metres out.
Armstrong then crashed over from close range to ensure his team kept it top six chances alive.
After starting to win the arm wrestle, coach Will Mitchell was confident his team would finish off strong.
“When knew it was going to be a solid game physically but confident we could break them down in the second half,” Mitchell said.
“Once we played to our structures, which we did a lot better in the second half, we started to put some points on the board, even with blokes out of position.”
Injuries are a concern for Waratahs, who played without winger Richie Lamont and halfback Adam McPherson for most of the second half.
Lamont’s shoulder injury is the more serious, however Mitchell was pleased with how his team was able to overcome the loss of a playmaker, who’s ankle issue doesn’t too serious.
Tracey moved back into five-eighth as Bonner replaced McPherson at halfback and added an extra dimension to the attack.
Waratahs now need to defeat CSU, who are level on 24 points, in the last game before the split.
WARATAHS 48 (J Daley, J Mullany, M Meggison, D Armstrong, R Lamont, S Tracey tries; E Bonner 5 cons, pen, S Tracey con, pen) d WAGGA CITY 17 (R Lagaali 2 tries; S Stoltenberg 2 cons, pen)
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