James O’Connor’s late double with his boot gave the Reds a long-awaited win over rivals the Waratahs in the Super Rugby AU opener.
The Australia-based competition has replaced the usual Super Rugby tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, kicking off on Friday.
The curtain-raiser certainly delivered as the Reds ended a seven-year, 11-match win drought against the Waratahs.
The two teams were neck and neck for much of the contest at Suncorp Stadium, with Will Harrison’s kicking keeping New South Wales in touch as the Reds scored three first-half tries.
Liam Wright touched down early on, before Harry Johnson-Holmes responded for the Waratahs.
Filipo Daugunu burst through for Queensland and then it was the influential Tate McDermott’s turn to score, while Angus Bell was sent to the sin bin for repeated scrum infringements.
— Queensland Reds (@Reds_Rugby) July 3, 2020
The Reds were less impressive after the interval and Jack Maddocks crossed for a brilliant try to give the Waratahs the lead for the first time.
But Harry Wilson soon went through and, although Taniela Tupou was shown a yellow card for a late tackle, O’Connor kept his nerve with two penalties in the closing stages to settle the clash.
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