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Foley proud but hails "lucky" Reds

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James Mortimer     26 Feb 2012     Getty Images

Queensland wing Dom Shipperley scored the match winning try to give the visitors the win, which to be fair came against the grain as the Waratahs gave themselves every chance of knocking off the Super Rugby title holders in the opening match of the season.

It was the Waratahs first loss to the Reds since 2003, and Foley believed the Reds could count themselves fortuitous to get the result.

"I think the Reds would feel pretty lucky right now," Foley said.

The Waratahs coach, whose influence as a former Wallabies forward was obvious with a controlled display from his pack, said that the final moments of a fixture were crucial.

“You can't afford to play a 35 minute half,” he said.

“We got ourselves in a situation to win the game. But fatigue creeps in and affects the decision making process. We'll work on that as a team.

“I am very proud of all the players out there. They showed a lot of character. We were a bit loose in the ruck to start with but it got better as the game went on. We had to play a lot from our own half in the first half, it took a lot of courage to stick at it and build on it like that in the second half."

The Waratahs will now head to Melbourne to take on the Rebels, but while they kicked off their season with a defeat, there were plenty of positives – spearheaded by the form of glamour recruit Sarel Pretorius – who earned man-of-the-match honours.

"We have to deal with the disappointment, we need to move on quickly for a six day turnaround,” Foley said.

“There were enough positives in the game for us to take forward in to next week."