Last-minute victory for Reds
Winger Dom Shipperly streaked down the right touchline as the siren sounded to score a last-gasp try that snatched a 25-21 victory for the Queensland Reds over the New South Wales Waratahs in their Super Rugby match in Sydney on Saturday.
With the final seconds ticking down, Shipperley, standing in for injured regular winger Rod Davies, received the ball wide and slipped past a tackle from Brackin Karauria-Henry before charging 60 metres to plant the ball behind the posts.
The try broke the Waratahs' hearts after the home side appeared to have victory sewn up following a 70th minute try to new recruit Sarel Pretorius.
"The Waratahs put a lot of pressure on us at the breakdown and we were a bit sloppy in contact so we've got plenty to work on but very, very happy that we came here and got four points," Reds skipper James Horwill said in a pitchside interview.
Although dominated for large stretches, the Reds were unflappable in the first game of their title defence, defending stoutly and capitalising repeatedly on the Waratahs' ill-discipline.
Laser-sharp Mike Harris filled the breach at flyhalf for the injured Quade Cooper with aplomb, slotting six penalty goals and the final conversion for a 20-point game.
This video is not available in your region
The Waratahs conceded seven penalties to three in a scrappy first half to trail 12-8 at the break and the deficit could have been worse but for a fortuitous try to No 8 Wycliff Palu in the 38th minute.
Former Cheetah Pretorius dispossessed Will Genia as the Wallabies scrumhalf attempted to run the ball out of defence and Palu scooped up the spilled ball and trotted two metres over the line at the left corner.
Flyhalf Halangahu missed the tricky conversion kick and a late penalty after the siren gave Harris a straightforward kick in front from the 22-yard line.
Trailing 15-11 into the last quarter, the Waratahs were denied a try by an over-zealous touchline judge, after Tatafu Polota-Nau scooped up a loose ball and sprinted half the length of the field to plant the ball at the right corner.
The referee ruled the ball the front-rower had picked up had been tapped forward in an aerial contest, although television replays suggested otherwise.
Halangahu's third penalty brought the Waratahs within a point before Pretorius sniped the ball from a few metres out to cross for the late try.
Halangahu's conversion made it 21-15, but the Waratahs conceded another penalty in the 73rd minute with a collapsed scrum that Harris duly slotted to give the Reds' hope of stealing the match.
Waratahs – Tries: Wycliff Palu, Sarel Pretorius; Conversion: Daniel Halangahu; Penalties: Daniel Halangahu(3).
Reds – Try: Dom Shipperley; Conversion: Michael Harris; Penalties: Michael Harris(6).