Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds upset Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium

The St.George Queensland Reds have caused a major upset, defeating Melbourne Rebels 37-23 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process. 

The Reds headed into the match as underdogs, with Melbourne sitting in second place in the Australian Conference, but a powerful set-piece performance set the platform for victory and the Reds’ fourth win at home this season. 

As it has been all year, the Reds’ scrum was a huge weapon, earning numerous penalties, a yellow card and a penalty try. Reds fullback Jono Lance was perfect with the boot, kicking three penalty goals and three conversions, as well as scoring a try of his own. 

The Reds’ other tries came from a charge down from towering lock Izack Rodda, who blocked and regathered an attempted clearance, and winger Filipo Daugunu who scored out wide following a five-metre scrum.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “All I asked them was to compete on every play and they did that and they got a result. 

“It might not mean much in the overall scheme of the competition, but it means something to us, it means something to Queensland. 

“The guys have been working hard and it was good to see some reward for that.

“The scrum was huge for us again and I thought we were able to use that to our advantage again tonight.

“We’re back at Suncorp Stadium again next Friday and we’ve got one more chance to play in front of our fans. The guys are looking forward to it.”

The Reds entered the half time break up 24-17 after a bizarre first 40 minutes which saw the sides see-saw their way up the scoreboard to be locked at 17-all after 39 minutes. 

With 40 minutes gone on the clock, the Reds received a kick off and ran the ball from their own half, with scrumhalf Moses Sorovi causing havoc before chipping ahead. The 22-year-old was taken out off the ball while chasing his kick. The Reds opted for a scrum five metres out and won three consecutive scrum penalties to earn a yellow card against Rebels loosehead prop Tetera Faulkner. 

The Reds then scored off their final scrum of the half, with captain Scott Higginbotham picking the ball from then base, drawing two defenders and throwing a one-handed offload to Daugunu to score in the corner. 

The Rebels closed the gap early in the second half with back-to-back penalty goals to flyhalf Reece Hodge, narrowing the score to 24-23 with 47 minutes gone. 
The Reds faced some adversity midway through the second half, with Duncan Paia’aua receiving a yellow card in the 57th minute for repeated team infringements, but their defence held firm as they refused to concede a point.

But the Reds came home strong, controlling the latter stages of the game as Lance kicked two penalties, notched a try and a conversion. 

Lance’s try in the 74th minute came off an impressive piece of play from 18-year-old Jordan Petaia, playing outside centre in place of injured Wallaby Samu Kerevi. Petaia took the ball to the line, attracting two defenders before throwing a neat pass to Lance in space. 

The St.George Queensland Reds return to Suncorp Stadium next Friday in their final match of the 2018 Vodafone Super Rugby season, hosting Japan’s Sunwolves in Queensland Rugby’s annual Indigenous Round clash.

St.George Queensland Reds 37
(Izack Rodda, Filipo Daugunu, Jono Lance tries; Lance 3 conversions; Lance 3 penalty goals; 1 penalty try) defeated Melbourne Rebels 23 (Angus Cottrell, Jack Maddocks tries; Reece Hodge 2 conversions; Hodge 3 penalty goals) at Suncorp Stadium on Friday 6 July 2018.

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