March 7, 2015
The Waratahs continued their recent dominance of Queensland-New South Wales derbies as they beat the Reds 23-5 in Brisbane on Saturday.
Having thrashed their traditional rivals in both games last year, the defending champions outscored their hosts two tries to one while Bernard Foley finished with a personal haul of 18 points.
Although they will not rate it as a great performance, Waratahs had dominated in every department as their rock-solid set piece laid the platform for the backs to run free.
By contrast, the advantage line was rarely breached by the home side who, based on this performance, will surely finish in the bottom half of the standings this year
Waratahs flyhalf Foley scored all the points in the first half as the visitors took a 13-0 lead into the break thanks to the Wallaby playmaker's try, conversion and two penalties.
The opening period was a scrappy affair, riddled with errors, as the Reds in particular failed to find any rhythm. James O'Connor's faulty radar from the kicking tee didn't help either. He finished with a record of zero from three.
And the trend continued in much the same way after the break as 'Tahs wing Peter Betham added his name to the scorecard.
Lock Marco Kotze snatched a consolation try for the Reds in final minute, but they were well beaten.
The Reds announced a major reshuffle of their starting XV at the last minute. O'Connor shifted from flyhalf to fullback, with Nick Frisby taking over at 10. Chris Feauai-Sautia went to outside centre as Lachie Turner shifted from 15 to the left wing. James Horwill was ruled out so Kotze started in the second row.
Foley opened the scoring for the Waratahs following a scrum penalty and the fly-half doubled the lead after Adam Thomson was pinged for hands in the ruck.
Matt Carraro broke clear down the the touchline and Foley stretched his team's lead when he latched onto the pass inside for the long-range try before adding the conversion.
A couple of missed penalty attempts from O'Connor left the Reds empty handed as they headed to the changing rooms at the interval with plenty of work to do.
Foley added this third penalty of the night to stretched the lead to 16 after the break.
The Reds were handed a chance to get back into the game when Tatafu Polota-Nau saw yellow for pulling down the maul but it was the 'Tahs who scored during the sin-bin period
Nick Phipps spilled the ball with the tryline begging but a few minutes later Betham struck from inside his own half against the run of play to end any doubt over the final result.
The game went from bad to worse for the Reds as Turner left the scene on a stretcher with his neck in a brace although Kotze's late try from short range at the death saved some blushes.