Reds destroy Waratahs in Sydney
SUPER RUGBY AU REPORT: The Queensland juggernaut shows no signs of slowing, the Reds consigning the Waratahs to a fifth consecutive Super Rugby AU loss in a bruising and entertaining affair in Sydney.
The unbeaten Reds regained top spot on the ladder from the Brumbies with a comprehensive 46-14 victory at Stadium Australia on Saturday.
The Reds were too slick, too strong and too clinical, running in seven tries to one for a bonus-point triumph.
Despite the blowout scoreline, there were finally some signs of life for the winless and greenhorn Waratahs, who clearly benefited from a mid-week visit from Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and other members of the Test set-up.
The Tahs’ intensity was up and they brought added physicality, only to once again come unstuck with fundamental errors.
“We came out of the blocks pretty well and got off to a nice 6-0 lead. A disappointing finish,” said NSW’s injured captain Jake Gordon.
“We find ourselves in a good position on the field and compound errors with either a knock-on or an offside penalty.
“Obviously our discipline needs to be better. We need to hold the ball to get any result against the Reds.”
Returning from suspension, Izaia Perese provided the Waratahs’ midfield with some much-needed punch and his explosive duel with Hunter Paisami would have excited Rennie ahead of his naming on Sunday of a 40-man squad for a mid-season camp next month.
The Waratahs enjoyed all the territory and possession in the opening 10 minutes and quickly found themselves up 6-0 through a pair of penalties from Will Harrison.
The Reds were lucky not to be down to 14 men after prized recruit Suliasi Vunivalu tackled Jack Maddocks in the air.
But Harrison kicked out on the full, then Perese clumsily knocked on in his own quarter to gift Queensland an attacking scrum, and the game turned.
Livewire scrumhalf Tate McDermott did it all himself for the game’s opening try, darting from the scrum base and beating five defenders to score next to the posts.
The Reds’ second try also came from their deadly set-piece, with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto burrowing over after a rolling maul from a line-out deep in Tahs territory.
In a coach killer for Rob Penney, Filipo Daugunu strolled over from James O’Connor’s cross-field kick on the stroke of half-time as the Reds seized a 22-9 lead at the break.
NSW were still in it, trailing 14-27, when Will Harris crossed in the 53rd minute but a late hat-trick from the Reds’ replacement hooker Alex Mafi was an ugly finish for the Waratahs.
Pens: Harrison 3
For Queensland Reds:
Tries: McDermott, Salakaia-Loto, Daugunu, Tupou, Mafi 3
Cons: O’Connor 2, Hegarty 2
Waratahs: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome (captain), 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Izaia Perese, 11 James Ramm, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jack Grant, 8 Will Harris, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Sam Caird, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Te Tera Faulkner, 2 David Porecki, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Jeremy Williams, 20 Max Douglas, 21 Henry Robertson, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase.
Queensland Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Seru Uru, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Dane Zander.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Richie Asiata, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Harry Wilson, 20 Sam Wallis, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Bryce Hegarty.
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant referees: Jordan way & Amy Perrett
TMO: James Leckie