A STOUSH in the front row and an ongoing theme of on-field lip service will ensure the interstate rivalry between the Waratahs and Reds burns strongly until the two meet again in the opening round of Super 14 on February 13.
Reds hooker Saia Faingaa was shown a yellow card midway through the second quarter after he and ’Tahs tighthead Dan Palmer came up from a scrum swinging.
Palmer clearly landed a short right on the chin of Faingaa but the referee was on the spot to see it all unfold, suggesting there was plenty of foreplay to the incident.
Both teams reported plenty of niggle in the heat of battle and both predicted that temperatures would rise for the game at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Waratahs’ stand-in skipper Daniel Halangahu, a model of professionalism, bought into the war of words after the game but wasn’t surprised.
“There were a lot of guys out there who have played juniors against each other, so there were a few rivalries stirred up,” Halangahu said.
“The Reds were very good talkers, there was plenty of lip from them, so we are keen to get up to Suncorp for round two.”
While he wouldn’t reveal premise of the banter, the No 10 singled out one opposition player for special mention.
“One of their goalkickers was very happy to mouth of out there,” he said.
“Then he missed a couple of easy shots and went silent pretty quick.”
Reds scrum-half Richard Kingi, fresh from his first Wallaby tour and one of the men to miss a shot at goal, said that anything said on the field was part of the game.
“This is professional rugby, whether it’s Super 14 or a trial there is always going to be some lip out there,” Kingi said.
“Everyone wants to win; it was very competitive so that is just part of the game.”
Kingi pointed to Reds defector Brendan McKibbin as a key antagoniser.
“There was plenty from him, he is a cheeky little bugger, he is always going to be like that,” Kingi said.
The No 9 and No 10 are key communicators in a rugby team, but with this added brand of talk the rematch on February 13 now comes with the promise of added fireworks.