Reds vs Waratahs: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

A rare shootout between the Reds and Waratahs was enthralling to watch at Suncorp Stadium.

What are we talking about after the 52-41 result?

1. Foley subscribes to Ella theory

Bernard Foley was at his very best on Saturday night, carving the Reds up and guiding his side to a big win. Both he and Kurtley Beale are hunting second touches off carries running straight, hard lines and post match, Foley said that they were trying their best to employ the Mark Ella theory. Staying in the game and keeping the ball alive was one of Ella's greatest traits and the Waratahs/Wallabies 10-12 could do worse than follow in his footsteps.

2. Reds can produce points

Duncan Paia'aua was impressive for Queensland. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Reds produced a season high 41 points tonight and it would have been more if not for the wayward radar of flyhalf Hamish Stewart. He could only manage two conversions from straight in front - missing his five other shots - which cost the Reds dearly. But while Stewart's goal kicking left plenty to be desired his combination with Moses Sorovi has enormous potential. Sorovi gave the Tahs headaches all night, binning the box kick in favour of a more expansive attack. The resulting tries from inside Queensland's half showed just what this team is capable of producing.

3. Shootout sets crowd alight

Moses Sorovi caused some headaches for NSW. Photo: Getty ImagesThere were only 14,452 fans in the house to watch this derby but they certainly got value for money. The 93 points scored between the two sides is the most ever in a QLD-NSW clash and the aerial artistry of Israel Folau was worth the price of admission alone. The Reds scored their fair share of breathtaking five pointers and while some will ask whether the defence was up to scratch, there were several bone rattling hits dished out, too. The skills on show were outstanding.

4. Timu's terrific Wallabies audition

Michael Hooper and David Pocock are locks to start in the Wallabies backrow in seven days time but the final spot is up for grabs. Caleb Timu certainly did his chances no harm with a spectacular second half cameo. His 34 minutes included seven runs for 26 metres, two tackle busts, a line break and a try assist. His pop passing over the top of Tahs defenders created plenty of space for those outside him, too.

5. Fantastic Folau steals the show

Folau's aerial artistry proved so unstoppable Foley resorted to midfield bombs just to send shivers down the Reds' spine. His take over the top of Jayden Ngamanu to score on the stroke of half time had to be seen to be believed. The Ireland brains trust will have been watching closely, with the first Test just seven days away.