Super Rugby

Super Rugby Pacific: Reds edge Waratahs in the rain




The Reds edged the Waratahs 16-20 in a sodden Super Rugby Pacific encounter at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney.

The Queensland Reds scored a two tries to one to register back-to-back Super Rugby victories over NSW Waratahs for the first time since 2013.

The Reds have now won 10 of their last 11 Super Rugby Australian derbies, while the Waratahs’ derby misery continues with a ninth defeat in a row.

Jordan Petaia and Ryan Smith dotted down for Queensland, while Will Harris netted New South Wales’ only try in the first stanza.

James O’Connor, in difficult kicking conditions, was razor sharp landing two penalties and conversions. The veteran standoff also had a hand in Petaia’s score with a pin-point chip-kick.

Ben Donaldson, who was equally good from the tee despite missing a kick, banged over two penalties, a conversion and drop-goal for 11 points.

Brad Thorn’s charges raced to a 10-nil lead after 21 minutes, but Darren Coleman’s men fouth back to level at 10-all two minutes before halftime.

The teams shared a converted try and penalty apiece in the persistant heavy rain.

Petaia dotted down for the Reds, while Harris barged over for the Waratahs.

O’Connor and Donaldson added to the scoreboard from the tee.

O’Connor put Queensland ahead seven minutes after the interval as both teams struggled in the Sydney deluge.

Another scrum penalty, however, allowed Donaldson to level for the second time in the match.

As the game entered the final quarter, Donaldson dropped back into the pocket to slot a drop-kick to put New South Wales ahead for the first time in the match.

The visitors finally found a way to convert pressure into points when Smith’s pick-and-drive debut Super Rugby try was awarded by the TMO.

O’Connor’s second conversion gave Queensland a slender four-point lead with 10 to play.

Despite a late charge from NSW, the Thorn’s men held on for a deserved win over their beleguered rivals.

Queensland take an early 10-point lead but New South Wales hit back in tight firsthalf

O’Connor opened the scoring in the second minute before a rare forage into enemy territory saw Petaia score after collecting the standoff’s accurate kick.

Donaldson missed a shot at goal as the home team eshewed another five metre scrum.

The Reds scrum, however, struggled. Taniela Tupou was ruled out with a chest injury 10 minutes before kick-off.

It meant a switch in the front row with Dane Zander coming in at loosehead and Feao Fotuaika going to tighthead.

The Waratahs dominated territory (75%) and possession (70%) in the first half, but could make their advantage count.

The hosts did, however, find a way over after Izaia Perese was held up.

Jake Gordon decided not to take the points, and his call was backed up by his forwards when Harris regathered from the base of the scrum to charge over. The conversion was good.

Donaldson levelled on the stroke of halftime.

Waratahs continue to dominate but Reds stay in the contest

The statistics continued to favour Coleman’s side. The Tahs, at one stage, had made 104 passes to 19 with fewer turnovers and handling errors.

NSW spent a staggering 20+ minutes inside the opposition’s 22, while the visitors managed just more than three minutes in the 22.

The Reds lineout was a mess, but so was the opposition’s as both teams lost four on their own throw.

The visitors also conceded more penalties, yet took an early second half 13-10 lead. Somehow, the Waratahs could only collect in threes.

Donaldson cancelled out an O’Connor penalty on 53 minutes before slotting a drop-kick 10 minutes later to go ahead for the first time.

The Waratahs continued their assault on the Reds’ goal-line, but it was the visitors who scored against the run of play.

Queensland made their way down the field in another rare second stanza attack on the home team’s line.

Eventually, the hosts gave way when Smith burrowed from the base of a goal-line ruck. O’Connor added the extras.

With time running down, the Tahs had a series of attacks in the opposition’s 22 following scrum penalties.

Moreover, New South Wales won a couple of penalties and kicked to the corner.

On the second attempt hooker Tom Horton underthrown lineout was knocked-on by Jed Holloway, and with that, the game was up.

Final Score: Waratahs 16 (10) Reds 20 (10)


Tries – Harris
Pen – Donaldson (2)
Con – Donaldson
Drop – Donaldson
Cards –

Tries – Petaia, Smith
Pen – O’Connor (2)
Con – O’Connor (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie



15 Alex Newsome, 14 Dylan Pietsch, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 James Turner, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Jeremy Williams, 5 Geoff Cridge, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

16 Tom Horton, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Max Douglas, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Jamie Roberts


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

16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Spencer Jeans, 22 Lawson Creighton, 23 Mac Grealy

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