SYDNEY, April 14 (Reuters) - Hulking winger Taqele Naiyaravoro scored two tries as the New South Wales Waratahs hammered the Queensland Reds 37-16 on Saturday in the first Super Rugby match played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The error-strewn contest was barely worthy of the iconic setting but the Waratahs always looked like taking the latest bout in a rivalry that goes back to 1882 as they claimed an eight straight victory over the Reds.
Scrumhalf Jake Gordon and replacement prop Harry Johnson-Holmes also crossed, while flyhalf Bernard Foley’s flawless kicking added 17 points to help the Waratahs move to the top of the Australian conference.
Queensland will not consider winger Filipo Daugunu’s converted try and three penalties just desserts for their efforts but they were overpowered up front at times and lacked direction in attack.
The Waratahs had far the better of the first half but still looked like going into the break with just two penalties on the board after Michael Hooper was held up over the line and the hulking Naiyaravoro dropped the ball in the act of scoring.
Four minutes before halftime, however, the Reds kicked possession away and Waratahs number eight Michael Wells made a break down the right wing before feeding inside for Gordon to race 30 metres and touch down.
Scrumhalf James Tuttle cut the deficit with his second penalty on the stroke of halftime and added another after the break before Naiyaravoro made amends for his error by stepping up to intercept a Queensland pass and grab his first try.
Bernard Foley chalked up his third penalty but the Reds hit back with an intercept try of their own close to the hour mark, Daugunu snaring the ball in midfield for a score that put the visitors back within seven points at 23-16.
Naiyaravoro bulldozed his way over the line for his second eight minutes from time, though, and Johnson-Holmes burrowed over right on full-time for his first Super Rugby try to give the Waratahs the bonus point. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Gold Coast; Editing by Ken Ferris)