Rugby union: Waratahs beat Crusaders for first Super Rugby title win

New South Wales Waratahs centre Adam Ashley-Cooper makes a break through Canterbury Crusaders defence in the Super 15 rugby union final in Sydney on Aug 2, 2014. Bernard Foley kicked a long-range penalty goal in the last minute to clinch the New
New South Wales Waratahs centre Adam Ashley-Cooper makes a break through Canterbury Crusaders defence in the Super 15 rugby union final in Sydney on Aug 2, 2014. Bernard Foley kicked a long-range penalty goal in the last minute to clinch the New South Wales Waratahs' first Super Rugby title against the Canterbury Crusaders in Sydney on Saturday, Aug 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Bernard Foley kicked a long-range penalty goal in the last minute to clinch the New South Wales Waratahs' first Super Rugby title against the Canterbury Crusaders in Sydney on Saturday.

The fly-half landed the pressure 45-metre penalty to deliver the Waratahs a fighting 33-32 win over the seven-time champions and end a 19-year wait for a southern hemisphere provincial title.

It was the Waratahs' first Super Rugby title after losing both their previous finals to the Crusaders in 2005 and 2008.

It culminated a sensational finish to the season for the Waratahs, winning their last nine matches and going through the season unbeaten at home.

The Crusaders looked headed for their eighth Super Rugby crown when fly-half Colin Slade put them in front with a penalty goal in the 76th minute.

But the never-say-die Waratahs fought their way into the Crusaders' half and earned their winning kick at goal when All Black skipper Richie McCaw was penalised in a maul.

Foley's kick just cleared the crossbar to put the Waratahs back in front in the final minute, much to the delight of the record crowd for a Super Rugby final of 61,823.

He finished with 23 points from a conversion and seven penalties with Wallaby back Adam Ashley-Cooper scoring a try double for the Waratahs.

"The kick was right on my borderline, there wasn't much left in it and I had to give it everything, the rugby gods were smiling and it just snuck over," Foley said of his winning kick.

"We have been working on getting more distance in my kicking and normally Kurtley Beale takes the longer kicks but I was hitting them well and thought I just had to give it everything.

"To win it like that is a dream come true and it hasn't sunk in yet."

Slade finished with 20 points from a conversion and six penalties, while giant winger Nemani Nadolo scored a controversial try on a television match official adjudication and flanker Matt Todd scored in the first half.

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