The Waratahs kept their play off hopes alive for another week by edging Queensland’s Reds 32-40 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The result is the Waratahs 11th straight Super rugby victory over the Reds who have not beaten their opponents from New South Wales since July 2013.
The Reds outscored the Waratahs by six tries to four but Bryce Hegarty had an off night with the boot by missing five conversions while Bernard Foley was in form and converted all four Waratahs tries, kicked four penalties and scored a try.
In all Wallabies play maker Foley scored 25 of the Waratahs 40 points.
Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said that he was pleased with the result after three straight losses in the weeks prior to this match.
“It was a really enjoyable game. Both teams were riding waves and waves of momentum. I was glad we could wrestle it back,” he said.
“We’ve had trouble with some of our set-pieces, particularly our scrum, so a couple of penalties there at the death was a huge boost.”
The Reds conceded an early penalty for hands in the ruck and Foley lined up the posts for a penalty kick. He missed but a minute later he ran around Taniela Tupou and went over to score the first points of the match.
Foley missed the conversion but that proved to be the only conversion he missed for the rest of the match.
The Reds quickly hit back by sending tall lock Angus Blyth driving over the tryline from a scrum. The try was his first in Super rugby and he was a menace for the Waratahs throughout the first half.
The Reds went ahed minutes later when Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi burst through several Waratahs tackles and set up Jock Campbell for his first try in Super rugby.
The Waratahs pulled a try back with Michael Wells going over before Sefa Naivalu grabbed the ball from a grubber kick and scored the fifth try of the first half to give the Reds a 15-14 half time lead.
For much of the match neither side could pull more than a score ahead and the lead changed sides several times.
Within nine minutes of the start of the second half three tries had been scored. Two were scored by Reds playmaker Hegarty while Alex Newsome scored for the Waratahs.
Wells went over for his second try which put the Waratahs ahead with just over 25 minutes remaining.
The Reds pulled a try back to keep the contest a tight affair when Alex Mafi collected a wide kick on the wing and ran around Cam Clark to score the Reds sixth try.
With the match hanging in the balance the Waratahs tightened up and earned themselves three penalties which Foley slotted to seal the victory.
Next week the Reds travel to Hamilton to play the Chiefs on Friday while the Waratahs host the Jaguares at home in Sydney.
Final Score Reds 32 (15) Waratahs 40 (14)
Tries -A.Blyth, J.Campbell, S. Naivalu, B Hegarty 2, A. Mafi
Con – B.Hegarty
Tries – B.Foley, M.Wells 2, A.Newsome
Pen -B.Foley 4
Con – B.Foley 4
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2:Damon Murphy
TMO : James Leckie
1. JP Smith , 2. Alex Mafi , 3. Taniela Tupou , 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Angus Blyth, 6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto , 7. Liam Wright, 8. Angus Scott-Young , 9. Tate McDermott, 10. Bryce Hegarty, 11. Sefa Naivalu , 12. Samu Kerevi (c) , 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia,14. Jock Campbell , 15. Matt McGahan
Replacements : 16. Brandon Paenga-Amosa , 17. Harry Hoopert , 18. Ruan Smith, 19. Scott Higginbotham, 20. Caleb Timu , 21. Moses Sorovi , 22. Duncan Paia’aua , 23. Seb Wileman
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements : 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Curtis Rona