Belfast Telegraph

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Tahs rout Reds to claim second spot

The Waratahs secured a home semi-final by tying up second place in the Super Rugby standings with a convincing 31-5 victory over the Reds.

Bernard Foley's penalty gave the hosts a slender lead heading into the break but the floodgates opened in the second half with Dave Dennis, Jacques Potgieter, Brendan McKibbin and Dean Mumm all touching down before Quade Cooper spared the Reds' blushes with a late score.

The victory means the Waratahs can no longer be caught by the Stormers, who face the Sharks in their final match of the regular season.

A barren opening half was only punctuated by Foley's successful kick from the tee on 18 minutes, after Cooper was pinged for not rolling away from a ruck.

The Reds would go on to enjoy the lion's share of the possession for a while, but the sin-binning of Adam Thomson for a professional foul would have dire consequences for the Queensland side.

When Wycliff Palu was stopped just short of the line in the 53rd minute, the Waratahs recycled the ball to get Dennis over the line.

Foley extended his team's lead with a conversion and four minutes later Potgieter got over for his first try of the season to put the hosts firmly in control.

Israel Folau did the leg-work, beating four defenders before being stopped, and Potgieter seized the ball out wide before dotting down. Foley converted.

The third try arrived in the 68th minute as McKibbin snaffled Foley's offload before darting between the uprights and, four minutes after the latter converted, Mumm got over from close quarters to make it 29-0.

Foley added the extras to complete the Waratahs' scoring for the day and the Reds were finally able to break their duck two minutes from time as Cooper gathered a kick ahead from Matt Carraro deep inside the hosts' 22.


From Belfast Telegraph