Waratahs sneak past Reds

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The NSW Waratahs have stretched their dominance over Queensland to six games, with a 15-13 win over the Reds.

In the closest QLD-NSW derby in three years, a 69th minute Bernard Foley penalty handed the southerners their second win of the season and relegated Queensland to their worst season start since 1997.

The Reds got on the front foot early on, wrestling the advantage through their typically dominant scrum.

Their annihilation of the Waratahs scrum earned the Reds a penalty try in the 13th minute and the first lead of the match.

Waratahs fullback Israel Folau had a first-half double with the Waratahs’ only five-pointers, nullifying the Reds’ set-piece advantage by the break.

Young backrower Jed Holloway lit up the Suncorp Stadium pitch with a 40-metre run setting up Folau for his first in the 19th minute before Folau exploited a Reds’ defensive hole to score after the half-time hooter and give NSW the lead for the first time.

Off the back of a hat-trick in Sydney last week, Holloway’s sprint put the Waratahs in a dangerous position, with Folau finishing off with a try in the corner off the next phase.

In an even opening half, the Waratahs’ defensive efforts proved pivotal across the board - halfback Nick Phipps and outside centre Rob Horne both had six tackles by the break.

A 44th minute yellow card to Andrew Ready put the Reds a man down,  but they narrowed their deficit to two points a minute later, with a penalty goal to Jake McIntyre.

A second in the 49th minute put the Reds back in front with half an hour to go, but they let a handful of chances go begging as the game went on, before Foley clinched the winner.

In a positive sign for the Reds, returning stars Liam Gill and James Slipper made it through their comebacks, playing a half each in the derby.

The Waratahs will have some injury worries, after Tolu Latu limped off in the 40th minute, leaving their already thin hooker stocks more depleted.

The result sets up a mouthwatering clash for the Waratahs with the Rebels next weekend, which could be critical in deciding the order of the Australian conference.

REDS 13 (Tries: Penalty Pens: McIntyre 2 Cons : McIntyre)

WARATAHS 15 (Tries: Folau 2 Pens: Foley Cons: Foley )