The St.George Queensland Reds have defeated the New South Wales Waratahs 28-19 in Dalby in the side’s final pre-season hit-out ahead of the 2020 Vodafone Super Rugby season.
After a tightly contested opening half, the hosts ran in the opening three tries of the second-forty to secure an unassailable lead, before the visitors hit back with two five-pointers in the final 10-minutes to bring the margin to nine-points.
Harry Wilson, Jock Campbell, Liam Wright and Moses Sorovi all crossed for tries in front of a strong crowd on the Darling Downs.
Head coach Brad Thorn said: “It good to have another hit-out.
“I thought the calibre of play was different this week from the Waratahs, which helps the flow of the game.
“It was good to see some skills on display and some opportunities to work hard in defence.
“Dalby has been awesome, this is traditional Rugby and we’re really pleased to have played out here.
“I love regional trials, they’re great opportunities to get out there and I really hope people feel like we have a real interest in Rugby across the state,” Thorn said.
The Waratahs opened the scoring early through prop Tom Robertson, with Will Harrison’s conversion giving the visitors a 7-nil lead.
The Reds responded with a try of their own in the 16th minute, after Harry Wilson bulldozed his way through the defence and across the line on the back of a strong Queensland scrum. Bryce Hegarty slotted the conversion to even the ledger at 7-all.
Angus Blyth was shown a yellow-card for a high tackle with 13-minutes remaining in the first-half, however the Waratahs weren’t able to capitalise on their one-man advantage, as both sides failed to make the most of their attacking opportunities for the remainder of the first half in a gritty battle.
Queensland were first to score in the second stanza, claiming their first lead of the match as a bulldozing Hunter Paisami bumped off a number of Waratah defenders to provide Jock Campbell with space to score under the posts. Campbell converted his own try to make the score 14-7 in the 49th minute.
Captain Liam Wright then burrowed through the defence from close to the line in the 51st minute for a third try to the hosts, before Campbell’s second conversion increased the Queensland advantage to 21-7.
Another Queensland try followed in the 63rd minute after a Brandon Paenga-Amosa turnover close to the halfway line put Sam Wallis into the clear, before the University of Queensland backrower found Moses Sorovi who streaked away to score. Campbell again converted to stretch the score to 28-7.
The visitors hit back with two tries in the final ten-minutes, Harrison and Mark Nawaqanitawase crossing, while Wallis also was yellow-carded as Queensland claimed a 28-19 win.
The Reds head to Canberra next week to face the Brumbies in the opening round of the 2020 Super Rugby season.