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Reds player ratings vs Waratahs | Super Rugby Pacific

By Nick Turnbull
Filipo Daugunu. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

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The Reds travelled south to take on their most ancient and fiercest rivals, the New South Wales Waratahs at the iconic Leichhardt Oval in Sydney on Friday night. In a weather affected affair, both sides were guilty of poor handling skills in the first half yet it was the Waratahs who won the all-important territory game in rain-soaked conditions yet somehow the sides went into the sheds at 10 points apiece.

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The second half was attritional. Both sides were physical on either side of the ball yet it was the experience of the Queensland Reds that saw them home 20-16 in the end. It wasn’t the greatest Queensland performance but one of absolute grit that should bode well for the rest of their campaign.

This is how the Reds rated tonight:

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1. Dane Zander – 6/10
Was a late call up into the matchday 23 due to the injury to Taniela Tupou. Was under pressure at the scrum and didn’t really offer much in the way of ball running. Was guilty of several infringements yet put in a very sound defensive performance.

2. Alex Mafi – 7
Played with great intent and looked to impose himself on proceedings in all facets of the game. Was required to put in a big shift in defence and didn’t disappoint.

3. Feao Fotuaika – 6.5
Similar to Dane Zander, Fotuaika worked his way through some very tough minutes and won some of his one-on-one battles and was dependable in defence. Solid.

4. Angus Blyth – 7
One of Queensland’s better performers exhausting himself in defence and managed to disturb the New South Wales lineout at times. If he is going to take the next step to Wallabies gold, performances like this won’t do his ambitions any harm.

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5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 7.5
Was exceptional in the areas that mattered – defence and discipline. There was a maturity about his play that Wallabies selectors would be enthused about. His line speed and physicality were his signature tonight.

6. Angus Scott-Young – 6.5
Exhaustive as always but also guilty of making some basic errors. That aside, he took over the captaincy for a period of time and handled the duties well.

7. Fraser McReight – 7.5
Exceptional performance in difficult conditions. What impressed is that the referee wasn’t giving away free passes at the breakdown and McReight appeared to read referee Murphy’s interpretations and managed to provide a positive impact in that space. Was up against a particularly tough customer in Charlie Gamble and their battle was an entertaining sub-plot to this encounter.

 

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8. Harry Wilson – 7
Was a handful again this week but his defence at times was an issue. Enjoyed the intent, but the execution wasn’t always on the money. Still a solid performance is a tough encounter.

9. Tate McDermott – 7.5
Was replaced in the first half with a leg injury but prior to that managed to make two try-saving tackles and was as threatening as always. His execution of the box kick was a concern at times yet overall, he came to play and did so until injury ended his night.

10. James O’Connor – 7
He may have been the difference in the end. Despite the Waratahs doing enough to put themselves within range of winning the match, overall, the limited amount of possession Queensland had was, on the whole, used constructively by the veteran. It was by no means a performance to be remembered, but a performance that would be educational to his young opponents.

11. Filipo Daugunu – 5
A night to forget. Fell off a few tackles, dropped the ball and passed to vacant space. Has better rugby in him.

12. Hamish Stewart – 7
Had to go looking for him as he played a very understated match tonight. That’s not to say he was absent, however. He was very much holding the Reds defensive channels together and was resolute over the ball. A quiet achiever.

13. Josh Flook – 7
His try-saving tackle on James Turner will be one for the ages. The Waratahs look destined to score after an impressive build-up yet somehow, he found a way to force Turner into touch. Building nicely and will start demanding selection with performances like this.

14. Jordan Petaia – 7
Was solid tonight without being spectacular. He puts himself into positions that holds up defenders and provides space for those around him. A very intelligent player who is gaining some momentum after a tough run with injuries.

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15. Jock Campbell – 6
Has had better games. Was guilty of some poor execution when kicking the ball and never really found his way into the match. Has better rugby in him.

Replacements:

16. Josh Nasser – 5.5
Looked to involve himself however the execution wasn’t always there despite those efforts.

17. Harry Hoopert – 5.5
Like Nasser the effort was there, but he did infringe and didn’t make the impact desired by the bench.

18. Zane Nonggorr – 6
Looked alert and played with some real vigour in tight.

19. Ryan Smith – 7
The best of the finishers. Nothing flashy and did what he does best by operating in tight. Scored a smash and bash try to finish off some solid work by his teammates.

20. Seru Uru – 6.5
Added to tempo and threat when in possession, yet the conditions were not ideal for his skill set.

21. Spencer Jeans – 7
Had it all to do when McDermott came off injured but showed he has the class to play at this level. A good fit.

22. Lawson Creighton – N/A

23. Mac Grealy – N/A

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