SYDNEY – Jake Gordon scored three tries in 17 minutes as the Waratahs produced a blistering start to beat the Reds 45-12 in their Super Rugby AU clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Scrumhalf Gordon crossed in the 10th, 17th and 27th minutes as the Waratahs scored five tries in total in the first half, racing out to a 38-0 lead by halftime.
Their final margin of victory was the largest between the two sides in Super Rugby.
The Waratahs did not play last week and had faced falling out of contention, having won just one of their four previous games.
The home side, however, wasted little time in denting the Reds’ own title hopes as they played at a higher tempo and executed at a higher skill level.
Fullback Jack Maddocks and winger Alex Newsome also crossed in the first 40 minutes for the Waratahs, while flyhalf Will Harrison was flawless with his goalkicking, slotting all five conversions and an early penalty.
Steady rain, however, started to fall shortly before halftime and both sides struggled with handling the greasy ball after the break.
The Waratahs played a much tighter game in the wet conditions, and hooker Tom Horton extended the lead to 45-0 when he flopped over following an attacking lineout drive.
Number eight Jack Dempsey and Newsome also both had potential tries ruled out after being reviewed.
The visitors’ points came courtesy of replacement winger Jack Hardy’s first Super Rugby try midway through the second half, before flyhalf James O’Connor crossed in the final play of the game in the 82nd minute.