The QLD Reds have broken an 11-game losing streak as they snuck past the NSW Waratahs 32-26 on home soil to kick off Vodafone Super Rugby AU.
The scores were locked up at 23-all heading into the final 10 minutes, before two James O’Connor penalties gave the hosts the win in a see-sawing contest.
After a week of pot-shots in the press, Liam Wright opened the scoring for the Reds in a fiery opening stanza before Harry Johnson-Holmes barged over just minutes later.
The Reds would then cross the line twice through Daugunu and McDermott to stretch their lead, built off the back of a dominant scrum led by Taniela Tupou.
Rob Penney’s men absorbed the pressure and patiently worked there way into good position, with Will Harrison showing his wares with the kicking tee – knocking over two penalties to keep the Waratahs in touch before halftime.
It was a strong start to the second half for the Waratahs, highlighted by a wonderful try to Jack Maddocks courtesy of a clever piece of play from Lachlan Swinton.
Both sides traded penalty goals as the clock wound down in the second half, as James O’Connor stepped up to ice the game for the Reds.
It was a big night for a few young Waratahs with Will Harris, Joey Walton, Tom Horton and Tiaan Tauakipulu all making their professional debuts.
Match Centre: click here
NSW Waratahs: (1-15) Angus Bell, Robbie Abel, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Lachie Swinton, Michael Hooper, Will Harris, Mitch Short, Will Harrison, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Joey Walton, Alex Newsome, James Ramm, Jack Maddocks.
Reserves: (16-23) Tom Horton, Tetera Faulkner, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Tom Staniforth, Jack Dempsey, Michael McDonald, Ben Donaldson, Tepai Moeroa
Tries: H. Johnson-Holmes 10’, Maddocks 48’
Conversions: W. Harrison 11’, 34’ (p), 40’ (p),43’ (p) 49’, 68’ (p)
Yellow Cards: Bell 27’
Red Cards: Nil
Qld Reds: (1-15) Harry Hoopert, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Taniela Tupou, Angus Blyth, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Liam Wright, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O'Connor, Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jock Campbell, Bryce Hegarty.
Reserves: (16-23) Alex Mafi, JP Smith, Josh Nasser, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Scott Malolua, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Josh Flook
Tries: Wright 6’, Daugunu 18’, McDermott 28’, Wilson 64’
Conversions: Hegarty 7’, 30’, 65’ & O’Connor 75’, 80’
Yellow Cards: Tupou 67’
Red Cards: Nil
6’ | TRY Reds | A short-ball from McDermott sees Wright slip through from close range and open the scoring (7-0)
10’ | TRY Tahs | Harry Johnson-Holmes barges over for our first try of the night! (7-7)
18’ | TRY Reds | A long ball from O’Connor releases Daugunu out wide who beats Nawaqanitawase to go over in the corner (12-7)
28’ | TRY Reds | McDermott catches our defence napping with a quick tap and slides over for the Reds third (19-7)
48’ | TRY Tahs | WHAT A BALL LACHY SWINTON! Maddocks goes over under the posts and we take the lead (19-23)
64’ | TRY Reds | Wilson barges over for the Reds as the reclaim the lead (26-23)
75’ | PENALTY Reds | O’Connor takes over the kicking duties and gives the Reds the lead (29-26)