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Betham inspires Waratahs win

Peter Betham scored a brace of tries as the Waratahs held on to impose a first Super 15 defeat of the season over the table topping Hurricanes with a 29-24 victory at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

The New South Wales-based outfit claimed further tries through Will Skelton and Israel Folau with Bernard Foley converting three and adding a 57th-minute penalty as they moved into the top six.

The Hurricanes, who claimed two bonus points from the loss, staged a mini fightback midway through the first half as tries from Conrad Smith and Beauden Barrett put them ahead. Brad Shields then crossed over after 37 minutes and TJ Perenara scored their fourth deep into the second half, while Barrett added the extras.

The visitors took the lead as Betham crossed over for his first after 13 minutes and Foley converted before the Hurricanes hit back with two tries in the space of three minutes from Smith and Barrett to put the hosts 14-7 up after the latter was on target with two goals.

Skelton reduced the deficit just after the half-hour mark before Shields maintained his side's seven-point lead just before the break, but Australia's 26-year-old wing Betham claimed his second on the stroke of half-time as Foley levelled matters.

The second half was a much quieter affair and it took over 10 minutes for either side to add to their score.

It was the Waratahs that broke the silence as Folau crossed over before Foley's conversion and penalty handed the Australian side a greater advantage.

The Hurricanes narrowed the gap following Perenara's 69th-minute effort but the visitors held on for their fifth win of the season to move above the Stormers, who defeated them last weekend, into sixth.

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