Waratahs vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs clinched the Australian conference lead and a bonus-point win against the Reds.

What are talking about after that clash?

1. Waratahs on top

They came into the season without much hype, but the Waratahs are consistently ticking off different records and milestones. On Saturday night, they put themselves on top of the Australian Conference for the first time in 2018, continued their best start in recent years. Their 37 points was their biggest tally against Queensland and extended their interstate streak to eight matches, and their Australian Conference derbies to eight of the past nine. They’re the only team to have beaten every other team in the conference so far and they’re quickly coming out from under the radar.

2. Reds’ round the world tour finally over

The Reds will be heading back to Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Getty ImagesThey’ve been around the world and back again, and the Reds will play their first home game since round four next week. The kilometres they’ve racked up on the road, even with spots of rest at home during the week, might be starting to show, Missing Taniela Tupou, especially, hurt them this week and they’re missing captain Scott Higginbotham. George Smith is still to come back into this side and his is an injection this youthful team is in desperate need of, just due to his experience.

3. Wells a workhorse

The Waratahs backrow made it through a mountain of work on Saturday night, but Michael Wells and MIchael Hooper were the standouts. Wells made 50 metres in attack, off five carries and finished with 13 tackles and one turnover. Hooper tacked up a lazy 19 tackles and two turnovers. Their backrow teammate Will Miller was no slouch either, with three turnovers and 10 tackles in defence as well. Wells and Miller both suffered injuries on Saturday night, and the Waratahs will be hoping they are able to rebound for Friday night’s clash with the Lions.

4. Daugunu a plus for Queensland

The  Reds had a tough night on Saturday but winger Filipo Daugunu was a positive for the Reds in Sydney. The speedster is growing every week and his solo try was a highlight for the Reds. Between he and Izaia Parese, who made it through unscathed against the Waratahs though he didn’t deliver anything spectacular, there is some X-Factor potential in this side.

5. A little bit of history hits the spot

It was a change of scenery for the Reds and Waratahs and with both sides donning their heritage jerseys, it was a nice spot of nostalgia for fans and players on Saturday night, and it was in a lot of ways an old-fashioned bruising contest.