Waratahs beat Reds and book home Semi-final

The Waratahs booked a home Super Rugby Semi-final and we week off in the play offs by beating the Reds 31-5 with a bonus point and securing second place in the final standings.

The Waratahs victory means that the Stormers can no longer overtake them regardless of the result against the Sharks in their final round match.

While the Waratahs will have next weekend off the Stormers will host the Brumbies in Cape Town and the winner will progress to face either the Hurricanes or Waratahs.

The Waratahs will host the highest ranked winner of the qualification play offs on Saturday the 27th of June.

It was the Waratahs’ 11th win of the season but the 12th loss of a disastrous campaign for the Reds, who won the Super Rugby title four years ago.

It was an ugly opening half with only a Bernard Foley penalty goal separating the two rivals at half-time, but the Waratahs stepped it up in the second term with four converted tries.

Skipper Dave Dennis crashed over off an inside pass from Foley in the 53rd minute and was followed five minutes later by South African flanker Jacques Potgieter after a tremendous bumping run by Israel Folau.

Replacement scrum-half Brendan McKibbin scooted over after lead-up play from Foley, and Dean Mumm came off the bench to score the bonus-point fourth try seven minutes from the end.

Quade Cooper scored a consolation try for Queensland in the dying minutes for his side’s only points.

“Our defence was really good. We were disappointed by our defence in Bloemfontein (against the Cheetahs) last week but tonight that win was off the back of some really good team defence,” Dennis said.

“They are a tough team. It’s always a hard slog against the Reds… and I think through our hard work and patience it paid off.”

The Waratahs have now won their last four encounters against the Reds by substantial margins — 32-5 and 34-3 last year and 23-5 and 31-5 this season.

Reds skipper James Slipper, who came off with a shoulder injury, said his team had played a poor second-half.

“Disappointing the way we finished in the second-half,” he said.

“I thought going into half-time we were right in the mix, but we came out a bit soft and we really didn’t create the opportunities. And they did.”

The Reds now face a period of soul-searching, with the future of coach Richard Graham in doubt and established players Will Genia, James Horwill and likely Quade Cooper heading to play overseas.

Final Score Waratahs 31 (3) Reds 5 (0)

Scorers

Waratahs 
Tries –  D.Dennis, J.Potgieter, B.McKibbin, D.Mumm
Pen – B.Foley
Con – B.Foley 4
Drop – 
Cards –

Reds 
Tries – Q.Cooper
Pen – 
Con – 
Drop – 
Cards -A.Thomson (49th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1:Matt O’Brien
Assistant Ref 2:Michael Hogan
TMO : Ian Smith

Teams

Waratahs

15 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 14 Israel Folau,13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Carraro, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 David Dennis (c), 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Stephen Hoiles, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Jono Lance.

Queensland Reds

1. James Slipper (C) , 2. James Hanson , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Rob Simmons (VC) , 5. James Horwill , 6. Adam Thomson , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Jake Schatz , 9. Will Genia , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Lachie Turner , 12. Samu Kerevi , 13. Karmichael Hunt , 14. Chris Kuridrani , 15. James O’Connor

Replacements :Saia Fainga’a , Pettowa Paraka , Sam Talakai , Ed O’Donoghue , Beau Robinson , Hendrik Tui , Nick Frisby, Ben Tapuai. 

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