Reds Off To Finals After Late Thriller In Sydney

Reds Off To Finals After Late Thriller In Sydney

A nerveless strike for penalty goal in the closing stages from replacement flyhalf Tom Lynagh sealed a 27-26 victory for the Queensland Reds in Sydney tonight.

The dramatic finish against the NSW Waratahs ensures the Bob Templeton Cup remains in Queensland and winning momentum is taken into the finals of Super Rugby Pacific.

The fifth-placed Reds will travel to Hamilton to face the fourth-placed Chiefs on Friday night with back-to-back victories and confidence in key areas of their game.

The Reds needed to repel wave after wave of Waratahs runners on full-time with stout tackling and discipline to avoid a match-turning penalty.

In the end, tireless flanker Fraser McReight seized a clutch pilfer to complete the win.

The Reds jumped to an early 19-0 lead but the Waratahs found the character to score four bounce back tries to honour departing players and last-game coach Darren Coleman.

When winger Dylan Pietsch scooted down the right touchline for a try at the 70-minute mark and young flyhalf Jack Bowen slotted the angled conversion, the Waratahs led 26-24 for the first time in the match.

Four minutes later, Lynagh stepped up to slot what proved the matchwinner from nearly 50m.

It was a moment with some history attached. The late Bob Templeton, who the cup is named after, would have been smiling from above. He was the famous coach who first picked Tom’s father Michael for Queensland back in 1982.

Reds head coach Les Kiss seized on the steely qualities shown as positives for the quarter-final in Hamilton.

“No scoreline is safe. I’ve found that in all forms of Queensland v NSW games,” Kiss said.

“We expected they’d find their mojo at some stage. They did but we were still good enough to get the win which is a real positive.

“We had to lean back on our defence to get the deal done and Tommy stepping up and putting the ball over from nearly 50m out.

“We’ve had a few tight ones not quite go our way this season. We’ve been through those experiences and started to understand what it takes to win tight ones.”

The Reds made a fast start with halfback Tate McDermott at the forefront. A 20m dart set up the field position for a patient pick-and-go sequence which finally produced a Seru Uru try.

After 18 minutes, McDermott scored himself from a quick tap 6m out which caught the Waratahs flat-footed.

The scoreline had inflated to 19-0 by the 21-minute mark with the best of the Reds tries. A wraparound play by flyhalf Lawson Creighton and his clever dummying put Jock Campbell into a hole. Ever-present linkman McReight was on the spot to throw the final pass to centre Josh Flook for the try.

Centre Hunter Paisami smashed over for a try on 49 minutes for 24-5 before the Waratahs dominated for the next 20 minutes.

McReight (27 tackles), co-captain Liam Wright (20), Joe Brial (19), Uru (19) and Hunter Paisami (14) lead the huge work in defence while replacement hooker Josh Nasser tallied 18 in just 30 minutes.

In all, the Reds made 249 tackles to 94.

Latest News