Queensland Reds impressive in trial defeat of Waratahs

Queensland Reds will roll with confidence into the Super Rugby season after an impressive trial win that ended an 11-game losing streak against NSW Waratahs.

Brad Thorn's slick outfit ran in three second-half tries in the 28-19 win after scores were locked at 7-7 on a steamy night in Dalby, about 200km inland of Brisbane.

There were equal amounts of grind and dazzle from both squads one week out from their Super Rugby openers, with young No.10s Isaac Lucas and Will Harrison both enterprising for their sides.

Reds five-eighth Lucas darted confidently out of the ruck and kicked with poise in another impressive shift inside James O'Connor as he aims to make the spot his own this season.

Harrison, who scored late in the second half, was collared by an Angus Blyth tackle that earned him a yellow card and some nervous moments ahead of the first round.

Moved to the wing to accommodate returning fullback Kurtley Beale, Mark Nawaqanitawase impressed again when he dragged in a cross-field bomb, fended off his opponent and threw a nice offload before finishing the contest with the game's final try.

Reds centre Jordan Petaia had few involvements, playing 40 minutes in his first game time since an injury-interrupted 2019.

"There was some footy played; them coming at us, us coming at them," Thorn said of the high standard of play.

"There was some skills on display, offloads, some good shapes there and some opportunities to work hard in defence."

Waratahs prop Tom Robertson opened the scoring, burrowing over to cap a period of sustained pressure and consistent penalties close to the line.

The Reds replied through Harry Wilson, the No.8 rolling off a scrum after Henry Speight had earlier made the break and offloaded to send them upfield.

Replacement Hunter Paisami pinned his ears back and beat the line to set up Jock Campbell's go-ahead try for a 14-7 lead.

Reds skipper Liam Wright then went over from close range to break the game open before replacement scrumhalf Moses Sorovi darted out of the congestion to seal the win.

Waratahs coach Rob Penney said one of the few positives was Beale's 70-minute stint as one of four Wallabies returning for duty.

"The result wasn't in the plan, but you've got to give a lot of credit to the Reds; they played really well and comprehensively beat us," he said.

"It was a mixed bag across the park all day."

The Reds will begin their season against the Brumbies in Canberra next Friday while the Waratahs travel to New Zealand to play defending champions the Crusaders.