The Reds scored a late try to snatch a 24-29 bonus point victory over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park in an all Australian Super Rugby derby clash.
The Reds outscored the Rebels by five tries to two in the match but Reece Hodge kept the Melbourne side in the match with four penalties and with two minutes remaining the match looked to be headed for a 24 all draw.
Reds captain Samu Kerevi scored his second try in the 78th minute which won the match for the Queenslanders.
The Reds victory is their third from 11 matches and for the first time this season they have secured the try bonus point.
The result keeps the the Reds in second place in the Australian Super Rugby conference with 16 points and they are now just three points behind the Brumbies.
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 which produced 10 of the Reds points.
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,” Stiles said.
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.
10 minutes into the half, a poor clearance kick by the Rebels was fielded by Duncan 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.
Next week in Round 15 the Rebels travel to Sydney to play the Waratahs while the Reds have a bye.
Final Score Rebels 24 (9) Reds 29 (17)
Tries -W.Miller, M.Koroibete
Pen – R.Hodge 4
Con – R.Hodge 2
Tries – S.Kerevi 2, E.Nabuli. S.Moore, S.Higginbotham
Con – Q.Cooper 2
Cards – K.Hunt (18th min yellow)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Shuhei Kubo
Assistant Ref 2:Ed Martin
TMO :Damien Mitchelmore
1. Toby Smith, 2. James Hanson,3. Laurie Weeks,4. Steve Cummins,5. Dominic Day,6. Hugh Sinclair,7. Will Miller ,8. Amanaki Mafi,9. Ben Meehan,10. Ben Volavola,11. Marika Koroibete,12. Mitch Inman,13. Tom English,14. Sefa Naivalu,15. Reece Hodge
Replacements : 16. Siliva Siliva,17. Fereti Sa’aga,18. Tyrel Lomax,19. Culum Retallick,20. Sean McMahon,21. Harrison Goddard,22. Harrison Goddard,23. Jack Maddocks
1. Sef Fa’agase , 2. Stephen Moore , 3. Sam Talakai , 4. Rob Simmons , 5. Lukhan Tui , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. George Smith, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Quade Cooper , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Duncan Paia’aua, 13. Samu Kerevi (C) , 14. Campbell Magnay , 15. Karmichael Hunt,
Replacements 16. Alex Mafi, 17. Kirwan Sanday , 18. Taniela Tupou , 19. Izack Rodda, 20. Adam Korczyk, 21. Moses Sorovi , 22. Hamish Stewart , 23. Izaia Perese