Waratahs edge Brisbane arm-wrestle

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:00

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley kicked five penalties to seal a hard-earned 29-26 win for the Waratahs over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

It was not a game of great skills, with both sides guilty of making too many errors.

However, Foley's 19 points - two conversions to go with his five penalties.

It was the Waratahs' seventh consecutive derby win over the Reds, who have now lost 10 derbies against Australian opponents and seven of their last eight games this season.

The Reds tried desperately to grab a draw with a closing passage of 27 phases, before Will Skelton dived on a loose ball and the ball was kicked out after the full-time siren to see out the win.

It was a turnaround for the Waratahs, who crashed to an ignominious 26-24 loss to South African strugglers Southern Kings in Sydney last week.

"It was a massive contest, the crowd was into the game and it was great for rugby to still have such great rivalry in sport," Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper said.

"I am really proud of the guys for putting in that effort off a couple of tough weeks."

The win was crucial for the Waratahs as they aim to overhaul Australian conference leaders the Brumbies while the Reds slumped to 2-7.

Queensland's poor discipline cost them dearly in conceding 16 penalties to give the Waratahs their chance.

"It's disappointing. We wanted to come out and do the Queensland fans proud, but we made too many silly mistakes and our ill-discipline piggy-backed them," Reds skipper Samu Kerevi said.

Back-to-back tries from Lukhan Tui and Izaia Perese put Queensland 12 points ahead in the 32nd minute.

But Wallaby flanker Hooper scored a try just before half-time for the Waratahs to trail 19-17 at the interval.

Perese was yellow-carded from the kick-off to the second half for taking out an airborne Dean Mumm.

Foley landed a penalty while he was off the field but the Reds struck back just as Perese returned through Stephen Moore, who scored off the back of a rolling maul for his first try since returning to the Reds.

Foley closed it out for the Waratahs with his three penalty goals.

Man of the match: In an error-riddled match of low skills levels, the outstanding players were among the forwards - where high workrate was the key. The best in this battle was the Reds' Wallaby legend George Smith and his Waratahs counterpart Michael Hooper. However, the one back that had a match-winning influence was Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley - who kicked five penalties and two conversions to seal the win for his team.

The scorers:

For the Reds:
Tries:
 Hunt, Tui, Perese, Moore
Cons: Cooper 3

For the Waratahs:
Tries:
 Phipps, Hooper
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 5

Yellow card: Izaia Perese (Reds, 40 - foul play, shoulder-charged a player in the air)

Teams:

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi (captain), 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sef Fa'agase.       
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Campbell Magnay.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 David McDuling, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Bryce Hegarty.

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0