Waratahs squeeze past spirited Reds

Date published: March 27 2016

The Waratahs bounced back from successive losses to beat the Reds 15-13 in a hard-fought derby in Brisbane on Sunday.

The Sydneysiders outscored their hosts two tries to one with Israel Folau crossing for both his side's five-pointers.

Wet conditions did nothing to dampen the quality of play, as both sides went at each other hammer and tongs for the full 80 minutes in a real tussle, typical of these derbies.

Their Round One defeat to the Waratahs, further losses to the Western Force and Rebels and last weekend's draw with the Blues has left the Reds season in disarray, while the Waratahs knew that victory would keep them in touch with the Brumbies and Rebels at the top of the Australian Conference.

The win means they are still in third place on their conference table, albeit three points adrift of the second-placed Rebels and with a game in hand, while the Reds are still languishing at the bottom of the standings just a point behind the Force, who are in fourth place.

The Reds made a bright start and dominated the early exchanges. They held the upper hand at scrum-time and their dominance at the set-piece was rewarded in the 12th minute when referee Ben O'Keefe awarded them a penalty try, after they shoved the Waratahs off the ball at several scrums close to ther visitors' try-line.

The Waratahs soaked up the early pressure and when they eventually gained possession for an extended period, they made it count with Jed Holloway setting up their first try with a superb 40-metre break.

His progress was halted deep inside the Reds' half and from the ensuing ruck, the 'Tahs shifted the ball wide to Folau who got over the whitewash.

Despite that setback, the Reds had most of the possession with Liam Gill and Samu Kerevi prominent as ball carriers but the home side couldn't convert their dominance in the possession stakes in to points.

The closing passage of the opening half was played at a fast and furious pace, with the Reds on the attack inside the Waratahs' half, after the half-time hooter had gone. However, Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper then affected a turnover close to his 22-metre line which led to a crucial score for his side.

After Hooper's steal, the Waratahs took the ball through the phases and were soon deep inside the Reds' 22. With the home side's defence in disarray, Nick Phipps threw a long pass to Folau, who got over for his second try.

Foley slotted the conversion which meant the Waratahs led 12-7 at the interval.

The Reds were fastest out of the blocks in the second half and after McIntyre charged down a clearance kick inside the Waratahs' 22, Curtis Browning pounced on the loose ball, before going over the try-line but the TMO ruled that he was held up.

The hosts were then reduced to 14 men, when Andrew Ready was yellow-carded for foul play, but that didn't have an influence on his side's performance as two further penalties from McIntyre gave them a 13-12 lead by the 50 minute mark.

The rest of the match was an attritional affair as both sides gave their all in a bid to clinch the result, but it wasn't to be for the Reds as a Foley penalty in the 67th minute sealed the win for the Waratahs and also secured them bragging rights over their hosts for another year.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Try: Penalty try
Con: McIntyre
Pens: McIntyre 2
Yellow card: Ready

For Waratahs:
Tries: Folau 2
Con: Foley
Pen: Foley

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Junior Laloifi, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Sef Fa’agase
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Ayumu Goromaru

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 David Dennis (vc), 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Matt Carraro

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
Assistant Referees: Graham Cooper, Damien Mitchelmore
TMO: George Ayoub