Bernard Foley contributed 25 points, which included two late penalties, to help the Waratahs secure a vital 40-32 win over the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday. JOHN GOLIATH reports.
This thrilling Australian Super Rugby derby temporarily lifted the dark cloud that is currently hovering over Australian rugby.
The match was played a day after former Waratahs fullback Israel Folau was stripped of his Rugby Australia contract following his controversial posts on social media. But there were no signs that the controversy disturbed the teams as they dished up quite a spectacle.
The teams contributed 10 tries, while some of the Wallabies’ star men really put their hands up for World Cup selection. The versatile Kurtley Beale played at fullback for the Waratahs and showed his class with his ability to attack from the back, as well coming in as a playmaker at flyhalf.
The Reds went into the break 15-14 up after outscoring the Waratahs three tries to two in the first half. Angus Blyth, Jock Campbell, Sefanaia Naivalu went over the tryline in the first half for the home team, while Foley and Michael Wells crossed the line for the visitors.
Beale contributed greatly to the Tahs’ attack, and had a hand in Wells’ second try and Alex Newsome’s score.
However, the Reds were just as exciting to watch. Bryce Hegarty scored a brace for the home side, while they took lead with 16 minutes to play when hooker Alex Mafi caught a cross-kick on the left wing to score.
However, the Waratahs would get to penalties in the last six minutes of the match to beat the Reds, while also denying them a bonus point.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) May 18, 2019
Reds – Tries: Angus Blyth, Jock Campbell, Sefanaia Naivalu, Bryce Hegarty (2), Alex Mafi. Conversions: Hegarty.
Waratahs – Tries: Bernard Foley, Michael Wells (2), Alex Newsome. Conversions: Foley (4). Penalties: Foley (4).
Reds – 15 Matt McGahan, 14 Jock Campbell, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (c), 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Angus Scott-Young, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith.
Subs: 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.
Waratahs – 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 (c), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Subs: 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.
Photo: Albert Perez/Getty Images