The Reds ended to their two-match losing streak with a 19-3 bonus-point victory over the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The victory had the Reds climb above the Rebels into third place on the Super Rugby AU table and bounce back from last weekend’s 45-12 humiliation at the hands of the Waratahs.
It was the Rebels’ first loss since the opening round of the tournament, with Dave Wessels’ side missing out on the opportunity to move to the top of the table as current leaders the Brumbies have a bye this weekend.
The Rebels would have been incredibly frustrated as they were dominant for large parts of the contest, virtually camping in the Reds’ 22-metre area in the second half. However, a combination of poor composure and an incredible defensive effort from the Reds proved to be the visitors’ undoing.
To demonstrate the Reds’ effort, they made over 110 tackles in the second half alone. This is an incredible turnaround from last weekend’s performance against the Waratahs, where they seemed unable to make their first-time tackles.
It helped that Brad Thorn’s side was able to take a 14-3 lead into the break after excellently worked tries from wing Jordan Petaia and hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa. It was Paenga-Amosa’s try that was the pick of the lot as it came from an excellent linebreak from fullback Jock Campbell, who ran back a poor clearance kick before offloading to Filipo Daugunu.
Even so, the Rebels will be asking why they did not capitalise on their numerous opportunities, especially as the Reds had to play the final 10 minutes with a man down after Paenga-Amosa was shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement.
Ultimately the game was put to bed when inside centre Hamish Stewart ran an excellent line on to a pass from James O’Connor from a scrum, breaking the defensive line and showing just enough gas to get himself over the line for a try.
Reds – Tries: Jordan Petaia, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Hamis Stewart. Conversions: James O’Connor (2).
Rebels – Penalty: Matt To’omua.
Reds – 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Lolo, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jack Straker.
Subs: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Jethro Felemi, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Josh Floot.
Rebels – 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Andrew Deegan, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr.
Subs: 16 Efitusi Ma’afu, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Charlie Abel, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 James Tuttle, 23 Billy Meakes.
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