Queensland Reds produce strong attacking performance to down Waratahs

February 24, 2024 4:47 pm

[Source: Super Rugby/Facebook]

The Queensland Reds have started life under Les Kiss with a 40-22 win over the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

It was an entertaining contest between two of the oldest rivals as the hosts powered their way to victory.

Both teams were treated to wet conditions at Suncorp, setting up the physical encounter between a plethora of international-calibre talent.

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There were six lead changes in the first half following an early Tane Edmed penalty.

Reds centre Hunter Paisami tormented the Waratahs in the trials and this continued early in the game as he dived over for the opening try. It set up a great battle with Izaia Perese as they traded big hits before Perese departed for an HIA at half-time.

Les Kiss’ side looked to spread the ball freely although it backfired shortly after the opening try when Mark Nawaqanitawase intercepted Tate McDermott’s attempt at the short side raid, putting captain Jake Gordon over the line.

Regardless, the Reds remained calm and a booming penalty kick from Tom Lynagh on halfway found touch inside the 5m line, setting up hooker Matt Faessler at the back of the rolling maul.

They were denied a third try when Harry Wilson’s great flick pass to Fraser McReight was brought back by the TMO for a Lynagh knock-on.

This provided a chance for the Waratahs to strike and Max Jorgensen capitalised on a slip in the defensive line to put Dylan Pietsch over in the corner.

However, the biggest moment in the half came at the end when the Reds were awarded a penalty try after Jorgensen was deemed to have taken out Jordan Petaia in a try-scoring opportunity.

It started from a halfway scrum as winger Suli Vunivalu sprinted away, kicking back inside for Petaia, who was taken out by his opposite number a split second before he touched the ball.

The TMO ruled the contact was before Petaia had made contact with the ball, leading to the automatic seven-pointer and the yellow card to Jorgensen.

With a 21-15 lead heading into the break, the Reds kept applying pressure and turning down kickable penalties in the hunt for their fourth try, eventually coming via Faessler and their reliable rolling maul.

It was Faessler’s second and fourth in two games against the Tahs including their Roma trial.

The Reds rolled home as lock Seru Uru’s surprise kick caught the Tahs out, earning a 5m scrum for McDermott to score thanks to some Harry Wilson tunnel ball.

Pietsch’s second gave the Waratahs hope but a great line from Josh Flook put Fraser McReight over to seal the win with 15 minutes to go.