The QLD Reds beat NSW Waratahs 32-7 while the ACT Brumbies edged Western Force 22-20.

The NSW Waratahs have gone down to an impressive Queensland Reds outfit 32-7 at the Santos Festival of Rugby at Gallas Fox Park, Roma.

Buoyed a parochial home crowd, the Reds started the match strongly and whilst Hunter Paisami had a try disallowed due to a double-movement, the boot of Harry McLaughlin-Phillips soon opened the scoring for Queensland with a penalty goal from close range.

The Waratahs went within a whisker of hitting the front when an unlucky bounce off a sneaky Tane Edmed chip kick only just evaded the waiting grasp of Dylan Pietsch.

Unfortunately for NSW, Paisami made no mistake with his next scoring opportunity, diving over after swift hands down the right-hand edge to give Queensland an 8-0 lead.

Dylan Pietsch was issued a yellow card after a collision with Jock Campbell, and it was the dashing Reds fullback who then made the most of their one-man advantage to cut through the middle of the field from 40 metres out to extend his side’s lead.

With Pietsch still off the field, the Reds enjoyed a plethora of momentum as hooker Matt Faessler muscled his way over from close range. McLaughlin-Phillips’ conversion making it 22-0.

A lapse in discipline again cost the Tahs on the cusp of half-time as Miles Amatosero was issued with a yellow card, and Faessler scored another to extend Queensland’s advantage out to 29-0 at the break.
Disappointed with their uncharacteristic first-half performance, NSW started the second stanza with a point to prove, and their efforts were rewarded with a penalty try to make it 29-7.

Both sides gave their reserves plenty of game time throughout the final 40 minutes, enabling several youngsters to gain some much-needed experience.

A final penalty goal from close proximity to replacement flyhalf Tom Lynagh ultimately sealed a 32-7 victory for Queensland.

Experienced tighthead prop Harry Johnson-Holmes was disappointed in the result but believes that valuable lessons will be learned as the side builds towards a Round 1 rematch with their traditional rivals.

“It’s obviously a bit deflating,” Johson-Holmes said. “The scoreline got away from us early and the Reds played really well and took their opportunities.

“Momentum is a hell of a thing in rugby, and they really capitalised on the penalties we were giving away and the ball we were turning over.

“We’ve got to tidy some stuff up before Round 1, but that’s what trials are for. They’re all really fixable areas.

“We’ve got to learn our lessons from this trial and make sure we get them right for when it matters in Round 1.”

Queensland Reds 32 (Matt Faessler 2, Hunter Paisami, Jock Campbell tries; Harry McLaughlin-Phillips 3 / 4 goals, 1 penalty goal, Tom Lynagh 1 penalty goal) NSW Waratahs 7 (penalty try) 

The Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies have come away with a narrow 22-20 win over the Western Force at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Brumbies were off to a brisk start, making quick yardage down field from the kick off. After much controlled possession in the opening Stanza, outside centre Len Ikitau got his side on the board inside 4 minutes. The Canberra-based outfit taking advantage of an overlap down the left edge to lead 5-0.

Western Force flyhalf Ben Donaldson opted for the posts at the 8th minute mark. The playmaker slowing down the Brumbies momentum to slot the penalty goal and decrease the deficit to 5-3.

After both sides traded attacking sets, it would be the Force's No.8 Will Harris who would break free from halfway. Linking up with Donaldson in support who would crash over the line. The flyhalf converting his try and stealing the lead 5-10 after 22 minutes.

With a few minutes remaining in the half, the Brumbies pack started to hit the advantage line consistently in the opposition's half. Lachlan Lonergan tearing down the right edge and popping the ball back on his inside to Luke Reimer who would go within inches of squaring up the match.

The Brumbies dominant end to the half was rewarded when the captain Ryan Lonergan chanced his arm and took the blindside off the scrum. Corey Toole diving in the left corner with the visitors going to the main break at 10-all.

It took 22 minutes into the second half for either team to break the deadlock. Billy Pollard crashing over from the back of a Brumbies' maul to steal the lead 15-10.

However the lead was short lived, the Force replying almost immediately with left winger Ronan Leahy taking a cutout ball to streak down the left edge to dot down. The scores levelled at 15-15 after the missed conversion.

The Brumbies started the last quarter of the match in good field possession with the clock winding down. Toole popping up when needed most to put in a kick behind the Force defence for Andy Muirhead to regain the lead for the Brumbies. Declan Meredith stepping up to convert, creating a healthy 22-15 lead with little time on the clock.

With the hooter sounding in the background, the Force had other ideas with ball in hand. Former Brumby Reesjan Pasitoa cutting through the Brumbies defence. With the Brumbies retreating, Leahy attacked the opposite edge to set Henry O’Donnell free to setup a potential draw. Max Burey unable to convert allowing the Brumbies to hold on to a nail biting 22-20 win at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday evening.

Safeguard Global ACT Brumbies 22 (Tries: Andy Muirhead, Billy Pollard, Corey Toole, Len Ikitau; Goals: Declan Meredith) def. Western Force 20 (Tries: Ben Donaldson, Henry O'Donnell, Ronan Leahy; Goals: Ben Donaldson; Penalty: Ben Donaldson)