BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: James Slipper of the Reds celebrates after he scored a try during the round 18 Super Rugby match between the Queensland Reds and the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on July 14, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Super Rugby champion Queensland Reds made the most of an unlikely opportunity to retain the Australian conference title with a bonus-point 32-16 victory over the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday.

After the ACT Brumbies had been upset by the Auckland Blues in Canberra earlier in the day, the Reds needed to score four tries in victory to secure third place in the final standings and a playoff fixture back at their Lang Park home next weekend.

They duly delivered in an entertaining match against their oldest rivals with Scott Higginbotham and Liam Gill, James Slipper and Dom Shipperley grabbing the key scores before Will Genia added a flourish with the fifth.

The result means the Brumbies join the Wellington Hurricanes in hoping the Bulls or Sharks slip up in their final matches against the Lions and Cheetahs respectively in South Africa later on Saturday. – Reuters