The St.George Queensland Reds have surrendered the Bob Templeton Cup after falling 45-12 to the New South Wales Waratahs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The home side dominated the opening forty, racing out to a 38-nil lead by the half-time break before a more evenly balanced second half saw the Waratahs claim a 33-point win.
19-year old prop Zane Nonggorr made his Queensland debut in the loss.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “That was tough viewing and I imagine it was tough out on the field.
“We didn’t handle much at all in the first forty minutes – the conditions, our execution.
“A key sign was our defence, those one-on-one tackles, slipping off them from the outset.
“The Waratahs came out busy and credit to them, well done to them.
“The lads battled it out and that’s important because you can just throw the towel in, but they fought until the end.”
Waratahs flyhalf Will Harrison opened the scoring early with a penalty goal, before Jake Gordon extended the home side’s lead to 10-nil with a try in the ninth minute.
Gordon had his second quickly after through a sly tap and go five-pointer, with Jack Maddocks then crossing the line in the 23rd minute to put the score out to 24-nil.
Gordon completed his hat-trick five-minutes later, and an Alex Newsome try soon extended the Waratahs’ lead to 38-nil as the hosts dominated the opening half at the SCG.
A rolling-maul delivered the hosts their sixth try in the 52nd minute, Tom Horton the scorer.
Jack Hardy opened the Reds account in the 54th minute, after the winger crossed off the back of a pinpoint James O’Connor cross-field kick to make the score 45-5.
As the full-time siren sounded, O’Connor found the line for the Reds’ second try, after Tate McDermott sent the flyhalf through a gap with a crisp short ball. O’Connor converted his own try to finalise the scoreline at 45-12.
Queensland will return home next round when they take on the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium.