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As it happened: Reds down Tahs on a very wet night in Leichhardt

Roar Guru
25th February, 2022
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NSW Waratahs

16

Match Complete

Queensland Reds

20

80
NSW16 : 20QUE

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Roar Guru
25th February, 2022
454
5326 Reads

NSW Waratahs

16

Match Complete

Queensland Reds

20

68J. O'Connor
68R. Smith
B. Donaldson62
B. Donaldson52
46J. O'Connor
B. Donaldson37
B. Donaldson25
W. Harris24
20J. O'Connor
19J. Petaia
1J. O'Connor

1
Tries
2
1
Conversions
2
2
Penalty Goals
2
1
Field Goals
0

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The Waratahs host the Reds on Friday evening at Leichhardt Oval, Sydney. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm (AEDT).

The home-town team had a big home-town win in New South Wales last week, over one of the two of the newest and most promising teams in the Super Rugby competition. It was played in fairly good conditions, marred by a dour downpour towards the end of the match.

The Reds also had a convincing margin over their opponents at home, which was sprinkled with rain before the match started.

The heavens opened up just after half-time, which dumped Suncorp Stadium (including me) with torrential rain. This led to a slippery pill and lots of slippery set piece.

Today is expected to be a wet match. The scrum and the lineout will be crucial for both teams. The Waratahs seemed to have a good lineout and maul. The Reds, conversely, had a weak lineout and maul defence.

The Reds’ scrum looked good mostly, which will worry the Waratahs. Their recruit, Ruan Smith, is a former Red and will bolster their second-half scrum.

Against Fiji, the Waratahs’ attack was fairly well thought out and executed. The Reds’, on the other hand, was somewhat lacklustre even during dry conditions.

This was surprising considering they had trial matches, continuity in the player roster, and the heralded Jim McKay is still in charge of attack.

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Defence for both teams will probably be where the fun is going to happen between the two teams, and it is expected to spark some legal violence in Australia’s oldest grudge match.

The Queensland back row will be up for some fiery action, along with at least half of the New South Wales pack and their centres.

The flyhalf battle between Ben Donaldson, the young Turk, and James O’Connor, the old bull, will be intriguing.

Donaldson is new but he is an able flyhalf specialist who is also a triple threat. JOC is a functional playmaker. This is not his natural position but he has grown into the role somewhat.

With an expected wet weather match, the positional decisions made by the playmakers may decide the game, along with the accuracy of penalty goals arising from the various infractions from the scrum and loose scrum.

The battle of the backs, especially with the expected brutal involvement of Izaia Perese, will be exciting if limited.

The Tongan Thor, Taniela Tupou, will make the most unusual back with a number three on his jersey. He will most probably return the favour with more violent metres in contact – maybe even a try or two.

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Prediction
The Reds are expected to continue their winning streak against Australian teams, although the New South Welshmen are expected to improve on their previous form in attack and defence.

While I have no idea regarding the outcome at this point, it’s hard to argue against an expected win by the visitors.

Match info

Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT)
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant referee: Angus Gardner, Matt Kellahan
Betting odds: Waratahs $2.88, Reds $1.44

Squads

Waratahs
Alex Newsome, Dylan Pietsch, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, James Turner, Ben Donaldson, Jake Gordon (c), Will Harris, Charlie Gamble, Jeremy Williams, Geoff Cridge, Jed Holloway, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Dave Porecki, Angus Bell. Reserves: Tom Horton, Tetera Faulkner, Ruan Smith, Max Douglas, Langi Gleeson, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Jamie Roberts.

Reds
Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, Josh Flook, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, James O’Connor, Tate McDermott (c), Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Angus Scott-Young, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Taniela Tupou, Alex Mafi, Feao Fotuaika. Reserves: Josh Nasser, Harry Hoopert, Zane Nonggorr, Ryan Smith, Seru Uru, Spencer Jeans, Lawson Creighton, Mac Grealy.

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