Super Rugby

Five Star Reds thrash Waratahs in Super Rugby AU opener

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The Reds thrashed the Waratahs 41-7 to open Super Rugby AU 2021 with a bang at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Queensland dominated the contest, scoring five tries and 41 unanswered points to claim a bonus-point victory – and a record largest win – against the Sydney franchise.

The Reds‘ 34-point victory margin eclipses the previous largest winning margin (NSW: 33 points last year) by any team in this fixture between the two sides.

Filipo Daugunu grabbed a brace on either side of the break, and James O’Connor was flawless from the kicking tee.

Jake Gordon scored the only try for Rob Penney’s men, Will Harrison converted, but that was as good as it got in a chastening Super Rugby AU opener.

The captain claimed 16 points (five conversions and two penalties), as Brad Thorn’s men dismantled the wasteful Waratahs.

The game was effectively over in the first half after Queensland raced into a 20-point lead.

The visitors had opened the scoring inside five minutes after skipper Gordon crossed in the corner.

The scrumhalf collected Jack Maddocks’ wonderful wraparound offload and beat Daugunu to score in the corner.

But the joy was short-lived as the Reds hit back. They scored three tries in nine minutes through Jock Campbell, Alex Mafi, and Daugunu.

Super Rugby AU Round 1 Video Highlights: Reds versus Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

The Reds’ first score came from a lineout inside their half.

The ball was switched by O’Connor to the short-side before some wonderful interchanging play between backs and forwards saw the stand-off send Campbell away to score.

Five minutes later, Mafi’s acrobatic spin-move beat two defenders, and the hooker dotted down while lying on his back.

The third try came after Daugunu finished off a sublime move from inside the Reds’ half.

Hunter Paisami beat the tacklers and sent a wonderful offload to Fraser McReight, who drew the last defender, sending the winger away.

Two O’Connor penalties kept the scoreboard ticking as the hosts raced away.

Izaia Perese’s red card three minutes before halftime, for tip-tackle on Paisami, did nothing for New South Wales’ chances.

The win is the Reds’ ninth in 10 games – and their seventh win on the trot – at home, while defeat is only the second for the Tahs in the previous 14 clashes against their arch-rivals

Disjointed second stanza as hot and humid conditions take their toll on the players, yet there were not many handling errors.

The players tired after the break, and the game became disjointed and stop-start.

Perese’s red card, curiously, did not cost his side any points.

Both teams struggled to maintain their first-half pace and intensity, which is to be expected in such humid conditions and so early in the season.

There were no points in the second half until the last nine minutes when the Waratahs’ resistance broke.

The Waratahs set-pieces both failed as their lineout became scrappy and the Reds pack dismantled them in the scrum. The pressure finally told late in the game.

Daugunu and Ilaisa Droasese both crossed to see the Brisbane side notch a forty-burger and record win after an impressive opening round performance.

Moses Sorovi, on for Tate McDermott, broke from the scrum and put Daugunu away for his second try with a lovely deft pass.

Droasese added the icing on the cake when he cruised in for his team’s fifth.

Final score: Reds 41 (27) Waratahs 7 (7)

Scorers

Reds
Tries – Campbell, Mafi, Daugunu (2), Droasese
Con – O’Connor (5)
Pen – O’Connor (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Waratahs
Tries – Gordon
Con – Harrison
Pen –
Drop –
Cards – Perese (Red, 37′)

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Brett Cronan

Teams

Reds

15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor (captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Seru Uru, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Feao Fotuaika, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Dane Zander

Replacements: 16 Richie Asiata, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Tuania Taii Tualima, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Ilaisa Droasese

Waratahs

15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Joey Walton, 11 James Ramm, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Will Harris, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Sam Caird, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Angus Bell

Replacements: 16 David Porecki, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Sio Tatola, 19 Jeremy Williams, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase

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