JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Tahs stage greatest escape to down Reds


Rupert Guinness

The Waratahs set a new Super 14 benchmark for escaping from jail last night by coming from behind - and with one player in the sin bin - in the final minute of their season opener against the Queensland Reds to come out 30-28 winners at Suncorp Stadium.

In a game that was otherwise dominated by Queensland passion, initiation and physicality, the Waratahs were 23-28 down with 11 minutes to go and looking set be on the receiving end of their first loss to the Reds since 2004.

But a barging try by No. 8 Wycliff Palu - who had returned from the blood bin after a head clash with second-rower Will Caldwell earlier - suddenly brought the two sides level at 28-28, with only reserve five-eighth Daniel Halangahu's conversion on the bell need to seal the win.

The image of their former favourite son, Berrick Barnes, punching his fist in jubilation as their win was official would have only made Queensland's pain even worse.

But the look of disappointment and shock on the Reds, who led 10-6 at half-time, belied the reward they otherwise deserved for a game that saw them score three tries to two.

The Queenslanders started the second half with the same intensity and were rewarded with their second try by captain James Horwill at the 43rd minute from the back of the maul. He crashed over to score, leaving the Reds up 15-6 after Quade Cooper's conversion attempt went astray.

It was in an attempt to stop Horwill that Palu and Caldwell clashed heads in their attempt to stop Horwill crossing over.

Until then Barnes had kept the Waratahs in the match with his goal kicking. For the night the former Red kicked four penalty goals and one drop goal.

At the 65th minute, NSW were still only three points down at 18-21 after Halangahu, who had come on for Barnes, potted his first penalty attempt.

But then came the real heart-breaker at the 69th minute - a penalty try awarded to the Reds against NSW reserve flanker Ben Mowen for deliberately punching the ball into touch after a helter-skelter chase with Reds No.9 Will Genia. Converted, the Waratahs were then chasing an 18-28 scoreline.

Amazingly, NSW were still able to stay in the hunt, and their first try by reserve back Rory Sidey, while uncoverted, narrowed the score to 23-28. But as was the case all night for NSW, for every gain there was a loss. And Dean Mumm's yellow card at the 75th minute was their next major blow.

The match was scoreless after 18 minutes, although Queensland had the majority of possession and unleashed a bevy of runs and slick interplay between their support players. But NSW keeping the Reds out was a testimony to their strong defence.

The Waratahs were first to score with the meagre ball they had. Barnes kicked a drop goal in the 19th minute when referee Craig Joubert played the advantage for a Reds infringement. To a chorus of boos from the Reds crowd that Barnes heard all night, his clean kick put the Waratahs up 3-0.

The first half was a volatile affair from the start, as Barnes discovered when Reds loosehead Ben Daley finished off his tackle on him soon after kick-off by throwing a punch at the NSW No.10. Two metres away, a flurry of punches and shoves erupted among the two forward packs.

As expected there was plenty of niggle, and to the Reds' credit they too did well to keep NSW out when they ventured into their half.

The intensity mounted, and appeared to go to excess at the 20th minute - just after Barnes' drop goal - when Joubert stopped play to alert the Reds to an allegation of biting against Reds second-rower Adam Byrnes on Caldwell's finger. Joubert said he had not seen the alleged incident, but asked Byrnes and Horwill to look at Caldwell's finger.

''That's completely unacceptable,'' Joubert said to Horwill and Byrnes. ''If I see it [happen] it's a red card.''

The incident didn't dissuade the Reds though. In the 21st minute Daniel Braid ran from seven metres out and barged through Drew Mitchell and Tom Carter to score.

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers