The St.George Queensland Reds have fallen 37-16 to the NSW Waratahs at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday night.
The home side outscored the Reds four tries to one, while the boot of Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley kept constant pressure on the scoreboard.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “I thought we were disappointing tonight. We never really got into the game and struggled to build any pressure.
“We’ve battled a bit since we got back from our tour and if you’re not at your best in Super Rugby, it’s going to be a tough night at the office.
“I guess the positive is we’re heading home for the first time in six weeks and there’s an exciting challenge waiting for us at Suncorp Stadium next weekend.”
Foley opened up the scoring in the third minute, slotting his first penalty of the night, giving the Waratahs a 3-nil lead.
Foley slotted a further penalty in the 17th minute, before Reds scrumhalf James Tuttle posted his side’s first points with a penalty of their own to narrow the margin to 6-3.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute of the game that the first try was scored with Waratahs scrumhalf Jake Gordon crossing for the home side. Foley kicked the conversion, putting the Waratahs ahead 13-3.
Tuttle slotted his second penalty goal of the night just before half-time, sending the two teams into the sheds with the score at 13-6.
A third penalty from Tuttle closed the margin to 13-9 early in the second half, before Naiyaravoro snatched an intercept and ran 50-metres to score. Foley converted to put the home side ahead 20-9.
A further penalty from Foley in the 54th minute edged the Waratahs to a 23-6 lead, before Filipo Daugunu pounced on a loose ball to cross for the Reds’ first try of the night in the 58th minute. Lance kicked the conversion, narrowing the score line to 23-16.
Naiyaravoro crossed for his second try of the night in the 71st minute, which Foley converted to extended the Waratah’s lead to 30-16.
The Waratahs crossed for their fourth and final try through Harry Johnson-Holmes on the stoke of fulltime, Foley slotted the conversion to leave the final score at 37-16.
The Reds will play at home next week for the first time since Round 3, hosting the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 21 April. The ANZAC Round fixture will also be Queensland’s 1000th capped match.
St.George Queensland Reds 16 (Filipo Daugunu 1 try; Jono Lance 1 conversion; James Tuttle 3 penalty goals) defeated by NSW Waratahs 37 (Taqele Naiyaravoro 2, Harry Johnson Holmes 1, Jake Gordon 1 tries; Bernard Foley 4 conversions; Foley 3 penalty goals ) at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday 14 April 2018.