Newly appointed captain Jake Gordon, led his side from in front to help guide a new look NSW Waratahs side to 45-33 win over Queensland Reds at the pre-season trial match in Narrabri
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Both sides are in regional New South Wales as part of the Santos Rugby Festival, with tonight’s trial match the main draw card for local rugby fans.
While the Reds were quick off the mark to put the first points on the board in the opening three minutes, the Tahs responded just minutes later courtesy of Michael Woods to have the Tahs within two points 5-7.
It was just before half time that the locals were given a big treat, with Captain Gordon delivering a stunning aerial try to put the Tahs ahead 19-14 at the 40minute mark.
A balmy 29 degrees provided tough conditions for both sides.
Coming out of the break it was the Reds who were able to get the first points on the board. But another try from Gordon kept the Tahs in front.
Alex Newsome was next over for the Tahs and while the Reds left nothing to chance taking the lead by two points 31-33 with 15minutes left on the clock. But it was an impressive two late tries from centre Joey Walton and a perfect night out for Will Harrison kicking that saw the Tahs get their first win of the year.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Rob Penney said after the match: “It was a very positive start (to the year) and I’m wrapped with the commitment level and the intensity the boys brought to the event.
“Obviously being so early in the season there were going to be errors and a little bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of performance.
“But I think there were far more ups than downs and the downs were in our grasp to recover from and fix quite rapidly. So all in all, a really positive hit out,” he said.
The NSW Waratahs will now travel to Brisbane on 19 February to take on the Queensland Reds in the opening round of Super Rugby AU.