Waratahs v Reds: Five things we learned

Sat, Mar 27, 2021, 11:00 AM
by AAP
Big Tongan Thor tried a goose step that would made David Campese proud.

The Reds rolled the Waratahs in Sydney to go back to the top of the table, running in seven tries to one in the process at Stadium Australia.

Alex Mafi notched a second half hat-trick while others impressed, but what else did we learn?

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Tate Wallabies number 9?

It was another A-grade performance from Tate McDermott. It feels like he has been around for a while now, after bursting onto the scene with the Australian Sevens squad more than five years ago. McDermott was untouchable at times in the opening half, scoring tries and putting it on a platter for teammates too. Have to think he's right in the mix for Dave Rennie's number 9 jersey.

Reds scrumhalf Tate McDermott finds a way when others can't.

Seru Uru - did we learn this though?

Speaking of Wallabies - is Seru Uru a bolter in 2021? Another star showing for Uru, this time at number 8 after previously seeing him in the second row. Maybe his versatility will help him, but maybe it will hinder him as Coach Rennie firms up his forward specialists. We may find out as soon as Sunday afternoon when he get a first glimpse at the Wallabies camp squad.

Izaia Perese stands up

We have had to wait more than a few weeks to see the very best of Izzy Perese after his silly lifting tackle saw him suspended in the Tahs opening round clash with the Reds, but his performance at Stadium Australia was impressive. Sure, the Tahs got beat - and badly - but Perese can hold his head high. Was hard to handle for the Reds defence and showed a great turn of speed to chase down Filipo Daugunu during a second half break.

Tahs improvements

Can't wait to read some of the social comments after this one.. but really, the Tahs WERE better tonight (yes, I know, a record loss).. The Waratahs defence is quite clearly letting them down but there were some sharp periods of attack in both halves, most notably the build-up to Will Harris' try. Perese's return will no doubt help Will Harrison inside him, while the Tahs will sweat on Lalakai Foketi's fitness after the outside centre showed positive signs as well.

Tahs number 8 Will Harris gets a try following some sharp lead-up play by NSW

Suliasi concern and what about Petaia?

On the injury front - Suliasi Vunivalu didn't return in the second half because of a hamstring complaint which will have the Reds physios working overtime. Jordan Petaia was also treated in the second half. At first, it seemed just like cramp but the gun centre then trotted off which is sure to give Brad Thorn a headache although it may have just been precautionary.


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