Super Rugby
Waratahs claim a week off and a home final
June 13, 2015
Date/Time: Jun 13, 2015, 19:40 local, 09:40 GMT
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
New South Wales Waratahs 31 - 5 Queensland Reds
Half-time: 3 - 0
Tries: Dennis, McKibbin, Mumm, Potgieter
Cons: Foley 4
Pens: Foley
Tries: Cooper

New South Wales Waratahs have claimed a fourth consecutive victory against Queensland Reds to secure a week off and a home semi-final.

Having won the Australian conference before kick-off, due to the Brumbies' loss to the Crusaders earlier on Saturday, the Waratahs needed to beat the Reds to eliminate the Cape Town-based Stormers from the top-two race. They kicked off two points clear of the Stormers, and a loss would have given the South Africans a shot at bumping them from second spot in their game against the Sharks in Durban. And that eventuality was a very real possibility at half-time, when the Waratahs led 3-0 after a dreadful opening 40 minutes.

The game opened up only 10 minutes after the break, with the sin-binning of Reds flanker Adam Thomson; the Waratahs scored a try soon two minutes later, when skipper Dave Dennis crashed over for his first try of the season after a lovely inside ball from five-eighth Bernard Foley.

The reigning Super Rugby champions scored again five minutes later, Jacques Potgieter opening his account for the season after feeding on a break from Israel Folau.

Foley was again the provider soon after, when he produced another nice inside ball to send replacement half-back Brendan McKibbin under the posts, and replacement lock Dean Mumm, playing his first game after returning to the Tahs from Aviva Premiership club Exeter Chiefs in England, sent the crowd of 26,746 wild when he crashed over from close range.

Quade Cooper scored a late consolation try when he regathered his grubbing kick to score in the corner.

Waratahs 31-5 Reds (Australia only)

The Tahs have outscored the Queensland 120-18 in the past four matches for the Bob Templeton Cup, and the latest result is sure to heap further pressure on Reds coach Richard Graham, who lost James O'Connor and James Slipper to injury as stalwarts Will Genia and James Horwill played their last match before continuing their careers overseas.

Waratahs captain Dave Dennis paid tribute to his team's defence, saying "we were disappointed last week in Bloemfontein but tonight that win was [on] the back of some really good team defence". Dennis said also that the improvement in the second half was built on hard "running straight and square".

Reds captain James Slipper was disappointed with his team's efforts in the second half, saying "going into half-time I thought we were right in the mix, but we came out a bit soft and we really didn't grab our opportunities when they came - and [the Tahs] did".


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