Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds defeat Rebels in Melbourne

The St.George Queensland Reds have secured a 29-24 bonus-point victory over the Melbourne Rebels in Round 12 of Vodafone Super Rugby at AAMI Park.

The Reds entered the game on a 10-match losing streak against Australian opposition but put that hoodoo to bed with a five-try to two performance over their rivals. 

The visitors had not won away from home since May 2015 but captain Samu Kerevi inspired his side to victory with damaging ball running and a double that included the match winner. The win moved the Reds to second place in the Australian conference. At half-time the Reds defence had done well to not concede a try but Reece Hodge kept the Rebels in range with accurate goal kicking. 

Head coach Nick Stiles said: “We haven’t won away from home since 2015 so that’s a big achievement. The other thing that we haven’t done for a long time is beat an Australian side, so, to come down here and do both those things is something we’re really pleased with. 

“The important thing is that even when the scores became dead locked, the boys kept their composure, built pressure and then were able to score the match winner. 

“There was probably four times in that game where the Rebels were on our line and threatening but the boys stayed composed and worked for each other. Against the Chiefs there was a lack of effort so what I’m probably most pleased about today is that you saw effort."

Hodge opened up the scoring with a penalty goal inside the opening two minutes, handing the Rebels an early 3-0 lead. 

The Reds attacked from inside their own 22, fell short of the try line but set for a scrum. A few phases later, Cooper delivered a looping cut out pass to Eto Nabuli before he popped the ball back inside for Kerevi to dive over. 

Hodge slotted another long-range penalty goal after the Reds were penalised for offside. 

Karmichael Hunt was sent to sin bin at the 20-minute mark as the Rebels opted for a scrum. A huge shove from the Reds’ pack saw them earn a penalty before clearing the ball from the red zone. Hodge didn’t find touch with a kick and the Reds capitalised, keeping the ball in hand and swinging it wide for Nabuli to score in the corner, 12-6. 

Awarded three kickable penalties, the Reds opted for touch and mauled the ball forward for Stephen Moore to dot down. 

A penalty on the stroke of half time saw Hodge reduce the Reds lead to 17-9 as the teams went down the tunnel for the break. 

Hodge slotted another one straight after the half-time break making it a five-point ball game. 

Ten minutes into the half, a poor clearance kick by the Rebels was fielded by Duncain Paia’aua who set the wheels in motion for a nice passage of passing interplay that led to Scott Higginbotham’s try. 

As the clock approached the 55th minute Rebels flanker Will Miller scored, 24-19. Hunt looked to have scored for the Reds but a forward pass in the lead up to the try saw the Rebels set for a scrum back near half way. 

Marika Koroibete dotted down in the corner to level the scores at 24-all with 10 minutes remaining. 

With the clock winding down, Kerevi took the outside line and accelerated over the chalk to put the Reds ahead by five with one-minute remaining. 

Cooper’s conversion sailed wide but the Reds made no mistake from the restart as Frisby booted the ball into touch. 

The Reds have the bye next week before returning to Suncorp Stadium on the 26th of May to host the Western Force. 

St.George Queensland Reds 29 (Samu Kerevi 2, Eto Nabuli, Stephen Moore, Scott Higginbotham tries; Quade Cooper 2 cons) defeated by The Rebels 24 (Will Miller, Marika Koroibete tries; Reece Hodge 4 pen goals; Hodge 1 cons) at AAMI Park on Saturday 13 May, 2017. 

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