Queensland Reds have ended an 11-game losing streak against the NSW Waratahs, defying a second-half comeback to win 32-26 in Super Rugby AU’s Friday night launch.

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The Reds cruised to a 19-7 lead but suddenly looked like the team that hadn’t beaten their border rivals in seven years.

Crushed in scrums and without the sin-binned Angus Bell for 10 minutes, the Waratahs still found a way to collect regular points and finished the half behind by just six.

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Eight minutes into the second half they led by four when Jack Maddocks streamed on to a Lachie Swinton pass and through a gaping hole.

Harry Wilson sniffed out a five-pointer in reply though, before Taniela Tupou was sent to the bin for taking out a kicker for the second time.

NSW half Will Harrison drilled an equaliser for the visitors but James O’Connor stepped up with a penalty of his own with three minutes to play.

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The No.10 then repeated the dose on the buzzer to seal a four tries to two victory in front of 5590 fans.

Liam Wright and Fraser McReight combined well in their first start together in the backrow, while No.8 Wilson continued his strong pre-shutdown form.

Wright scored first and thought he had a second when he ran around the ruck to plant a loose ball in front of a sleeping Waratahs defence.

It was deemed offside though, as was a Tupou effort moments earlier as the Reds threatened to run away with the clash.

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Tate McDermott darted in from a quick tap, while Filipo Daugunu crossed in the corner and Harry Johnson-Holmes burrowed over for the Waratahs’ first-half try.

The visitors gave away 18 penalties to the Reds’ nine, with tougher policing of the ruck and the novel 50-22 or 22-50 kicking rules both impacting play.

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