Super Rugby AU

Rebels and Reds play out historic but drab derby draw

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The Rebels and Reds drew 18-18 in drab Super Rugby AU derby at Brookvale Oval, Sydney.

James O’Conner’s last-ditch conversion drew the scores level in the 81st-minute, sending the game into the first-ever Super Rugby AU Super Time.

Bryce Hegarty had the only chance of winning the game in extra time, but the fullback’s 50-metre penalty dropped under the crossbar as the two teams shared the spoils of a terrible game of rugby.

In truth, despite this historic occasion, this derby will not live long in the memory, it was arguably one of the worst games in years – and there have been many.

Melbourne took a slender 6-0 lead into the shed after two Matt To’omua penalties in a scrappy, error-strewn Super Rugby match at the neutral venue in Sydney.

Hamish Stewart was sin-binned on the stroke of halftime allowing To’omua to double the Rebels’ lead.

However, Stewart’s card did not prove costly as the Reds scored early in the second-half when Filipo Daugunu scored in the corner.

In fact, the Reds scored eight unanswered points while the centre was on the naughty step.

O’Conner’s long-range penalty put Queensland two points ahead on 52 minutes after the Reds’ pack dismantled their opponents.

The game had come to life.

Super Rugby AU Round 2 Video Highlights: Rebels versus Reds at Brookvale Oval, Sydney

Stewart returned and the Rebels hit back after a lineout inside the Reds’ 22.

Reece Hodge scored in the corner two minutes later to put the Rebels back in front.

Hunter Paisami went to the bin after a dangerous swinging arm looked to have knocked out Marika Koroibete, who went off for an HIA.

Billy Meakes landed the knockout blow, intercepting O’conner and racing away to score after the Queensland stand-off had just missed a game-levelling penalty.

O’Conner did land a goal with less than five minutes remaining to give the Queenslanders a chance.

The stand-off combined with Chris Feauai-Sautia, who sent Alex Mafi away to score. O’Conner levelled with the last kick of the game, sending the match into Super Time.

Hegarty missed his chance and the game finished in a disappointing draw.

The dull first half is littered with penalties, handling errors and poor captaincy.

Both teams struggled with the greasy conditions, especially the two hookers.

Both Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Jordan Uelese’s misthrows cost their teams as they overthrew their jumpers or put the ball in skew to the lineout.

Each hooker’s made a mistake after their captains chose to kick a penalty to the corner instead of taking a shot at goal.

Taniela Tupou, who won five scrum-penalties in last weekend’s win over the Waratahs, gave away three scrum-penalties and knocked on following his third infringement as the errors mounted.

His second infringement allowed To’omua to open the scoring in the seventh minute.

The mistakes continued; the Reds went 11 phases, the longest attack of the game, but knocked-on as they enter the Rebels’ 22.

The Reds had several opportunities to kick at goal, however, they never took the chances.

Whatever the tactics of coaches Brad Thorn and Dave Wessels, it looked muddled.

With the players battling to hold onto the ball and the tricky conditions, their teams squandered several chances to kick at goal.

In a tight Super Rugby derby, that is criminal.

James O’Connor saved the Reds’ bacon with a tackle on his try-line after the Rebels looked like scoring. It was Melbourne’s best most promising attack inside half-an-hour.

To’omua’s speculative drop-goal went wide, soon afterwards.

Bryce Hegarty missed a penalty from halfway with the last play of the fist-half of Super Time as the teams could not be split.

Poor decision-making hampered both teams.

The captaincy by Dane Haylett-Petty and Liam Wright left much to be desired and bordered on the farcical; a schoolboy under 14F team.

Booth turned down handfuls of chances at shots at goal, opting for scrums or lineouts, which were botched by lack of skills, handling and thinking.

The two hookers continued to put on the worst two displays of the position in living memory with more mistakes at the set-piece.

Queensland’s scrum dominated the opposition and won another scrum-penalty in the 33rd-minute; however, Bryce Hegarty kicked to the corner only for another botched opportunity at points go begging.

Another lineout error did for the Reds.

With minutes remaining in the half, the Rebels won a series of penalties.

Richard Hardwick thought he had scored in the corner, but the TMO ruled out the try after the play showed the flanker stepped on the touchline.

The referee, however, sent Stewart to the sin-bin for a cynical infringement at the breakdown allowing To’omua to double his side’s lead at the interval.

Reds get back into the contest despite being a man down.

Daugunu got his team on board in the 44th-minute after Wright once again decided against a shot at goal. This time his call paid off.

Tempers started to flare as the frustrations boiled over.

O’Conner landed his long-range penalty to put his side ahead, but the Rebels landed a counter-punch, moments later.

Koroibete and Haylett-Petty combined after a lineout inside the Reds’ 22 to put Hodge away in the corner as the Rebels retook the lead.

To’omua could land the sideline conversion.

Paisami went to the bin after a high shot on Koroibete.

The Reds’ lineout woes continued, but their scrum dominated as they made their way down the field.

Melbourne’s pack disintegrated as their opponents wracked up the scrum-penalties.

Game-changes as two O’Conner mistakes gives the Rebels a 10-point lead with 11 to play.

O’Conner missed the 67th-minute penalty and seconds later, Meakes intercepted the stand-off and scored next to the posts.

To’omua added the extras to open up a two-score lead for Wessels’ charges.

The Reds fought on, though. O’Conner landed a penalty from in front in the 75th-minute to reduce the gap to seven.

The Stand-off’s magic, combining with Feauai-Sautia, who capitalised on some poor defending to send Mafi in for the score.

O’Conner’s conversion sent the game into the first-ever Super Time in Super Rugby history.

Hegarty stepped up on 88 minutes, but his long-distance effort dropped just under the crossbar.

The Rebels had a chance to win the game following a Hodge 50-22, but the Rebels lost the game’s 11th lineout of the night with a poor throw.

With that, the game petered out as it started.

Final Score after Super Time: Rebels 18 (6) Reds 18 (0)

Scorers

Rebels
Tries – Hodge, Meakes
Pen – To’omua (2)
Con – To’omua
Drop –
Cards –

Reds
Tries – Daugunu, Mafi
Pen – O’Conner
Con – O’Conner (2)
Drop –
Cards – Stewart (Yellow, 41′), Paisami (Yellow, 56′)

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: George Ayoub

Teams

Rebels

15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Michael Stolberg, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Matt Gibbon

Replacements: 16 Efitusi Ma’afu, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Trevor Hosea, 20 Esei Ha’angana, 21 Frank Lomani, 22 Rob Leota, 23 Reece Hodge

Reds

15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jock Campbell, 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 (captain), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert

Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Josh Nasser, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 23 Josh Flook

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