Reds

Graham: First half performance set up Rebels win

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Reds head coach Richard Graham says that their first half performance against the Rebels set up their 20-36 Super Rugby victory in Melbourne.

The Reds won back to back victories for the first time this season when they followed up their win over the Highlanders by beating the Rebels.

The result evens out the wins between the teams for 2014 as the Reds lost to the Rebels in Brisbane earlier this season.

“I thought the boys started very strongly. Even with the early disruptions and a strong wind against us, I felt we were disciplined to our game plan and it delivered results,’ Graham said.

“The forwards laid a strong foundation with some excellent mauling and our 9 and 10 were able to capitalise on that.”

“Both of them underplayed their hands early and steered the team around the field well. Just as pleasing was the manner in which the players outside them gave them options.

“Our set piece has been good all year and tonight the pack continued on from where they left off before the Test window. Our forwards had clear ascendancy and we scored a couple of our tries on the back of their good work.

“It was brilliant to see the backline heavily involved in all aspects of our game. They created some very good opportunities and also finished off others in good style.

The Reds are out of contention for the play offs but Graham said they still have goals for the rest of the season.

“We said we wanted to finish the year with three very good performances. “

“We’ve got one out of the way tonight with a very good win against a Rebels side that has beaten every other Aussie team at AAMI Park. “

“We need to continue to work hard next week and close out our season with some positive results.’

The Reds recovered from an early blow in the match as in the fifth minute winger Dom Shipperley was carried off after suffering a fracture-dislocation of his ankle.

Graham expressed the entire team’s disappointment at seeing Shipperley forced from the field.

“The entire staff and playing squad are deeply disappointed to see Dom end his Reds career in that fashion.”

“He has a lot of close mates in the squad and it was a dreadful way to close this chapter on his time at Ballymore. He is in exceptional care and we will do everything we can to assist with his recovery,’ Graham said.

Winger Lachie Turner came on to replace Shipperley and quickly combined with Davies to sprint away down the touchline to score the game’s opening try.

Turner went on to score two tries in the match.

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