Super Rugby
Waratahs ease to victory in sloppy affair
ESPN Staff
March 7, 2015
Report Match details
Date/Time: Mar 7, 2015, 18:40 local, 08:40 GMT
Venue: Lang Park, Brisbane
Queensland Reds 5 - 23 New South Wales Waratahs
Half-time: 0 - 13
Tries: Kotze
Tries: Betham, Foley
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 3
The Waratahs' Kurtley Beale takes on the Reds' defence, Queensland Reds, Waratahs, Super Rugby, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, March 7, 2015
Kurtley Beale takes on the Reds' defence
© Getty Images

The NSW Waratahs have dined out on an embarrassing performance from the Queensland Reds, easing to a 23-5 victory on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium. The reigning Super Rugby champions were barely troubled against a dire Reds outfit that barely fired a shot in front of 27,199 partisan Queensland fans.

Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley scored 18 points for the Waratahs, crossing for a converted try in the first half to go with three penalties, before winger Peter Betham iced the contest with less than 15 minutes to go. And to cap off an awful night for the Reds, their bulging casualty ward may have claimed two more members in utility back Lachie Turner (concussion) and captain James Slipper (neck), who were both forced off with injury.

Foley's anticipated showdown with Queensland halves James O'Connor and Will Genia never happened, with Reds coach Richard Graham making a swathe of late changes to the team he originally named in an attempt to seemingly hoodwink NSW.

Only one was forced - Marco Kotze came in at lock for James Horwill, who was suffering from back spasms. The rest were part of a massive backline reshuffle that included Nick Frisby starting at flyhalf, O'Connor at fullback, Turner on the wing and Chris Feauai-Sautia at outside centre. Together the changes helped restore balance to the Queensland side, at least on paper - but on the paddock they were as disjointed as ever.

The Reds did almost nothing right as the Waratahs surged to a 13-0 lead at the break, and they never looked even remotely likely of surrendering it beyond that point. Again Queensland were their own worst enemies with ill discipline keeping them on the back foot.

They also committed a litany of handling errors in the first half - most notably, Genia's knock-on from a tap penalty, and Turner's embarrassingly overblown kick for touch - while their most dangerous player O'Connor had almost zero opportunity to make an impact on the game.

Foley consolidated NSW's clear advantage with his 25th minute try, finishing off a clinical team move that cut the Reds to ribbons on the right-hand side. Then in the 67th minute, Betham further demonstrated the gulf in class between the two sides with an effortless 80m try, stepping around a flat-footed Frisby to leave him in his wake. But the Reds did cross for a late consolation as Kotze barged over in the final minute of the match, restoring some semblance of pride on an otherwise forgettable evening.

Reds 5-23 Waratahs (video available in Australia only)
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