The Reds beat the Rebels 19-3 in a bruising Round Seven Super Rugby AU clash at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
Brad Thorn’s charges scored three tries and held the Rebels to an early first-half penalty as the Reds moved to second on the Super Rugby AU table with a bounce-back win.
The win is Queensland’s sixth win in seven games at home and fourth on the bounce at Suncorp Stadium as they bounced back from last weeks hammering at the hands of old foes the Waratahs.
Two tries from Jordan Petaia and Brandon Paenga-Amosa saw the Reds take a 14-3 lead into the shed after Matt To’omua opened the scoring with a third-minute penalty.
The second-half was a slug-fest.
The Rebels, who dominated the second stanza, had multiple opportunities to score but were kept out by strong defence or botched handling.
Paenga-Amosa got yellow-carded after the totting up process, but it was Queensland who found a way over the chalk.
Hamish Stewart took O’Connor’s deft pass and broke a couple of tackles following a centre-field scrum to make it 19-3 on 74 minutes and claim the bonus-point.
The Reds had the better of a tight first half despite the Rebels having the better of the territory and possession.
A good scrum by the hosts led to Tate McDermott getting tackled backwards. Before he went to ground, he offloaded to Petaia, who cut inside and darted over the line for the Reds first try on 14 minutes.
Just before the half-hour, Paenga-Amosa finished off a superb try following a break by Jock Campbell from his 10m.
Campbell raced into the Rebels’ half from his own 10m before playing Filipo Dauguna in support. Dauguna waited for support before he played the hooker away in the corner.
James O’Connor kicked both conversions to give his side an 11-point lead at the break.
The Rebels continued to have the better of possession (65%) and territory (65%) after halftime, but they could not turn pressure into points.
Brad Thorn’s charges tackled their hearts out, repelling everything Dave Wessels’ men threw at them.
Marika Koroibete went close soon after the interval but was kept out by some stubborn defence.
The Rebels started to gain the ascendency, but could not get over the line despite having a couple of cracks on the hour.
Isi Naisarani was held-up after a powerful driving maul.
The Rebels won another penalty after side entry, but Melbourne opted for a scrum.
Naisarani picked up from the scrum and charged over the line; however, McDermott rolled the big No 8, who was held-up.
The frustration continued for the visitors, who could not get over the line.
Billy Meakes’ break, through a gap in the ruck, led to Cabous Eloff being held-up over the goal-line.
The Reds’ scramble defence was superb, keeping out everything Melbourne threw out them.
Another sustained period of attack saw Naisarani go close yet again.
However, once again, the No 8 could not get over the whitewash.
This time he knocked on before the try-line after putting the ball on O’Connor’s boot.
Try scorer Paenga-Amosa got sent to the sin-bin with 10 minutes to play after the Reds conceded their eighth of nine previous penalties.
It was the Queensland Reds who struck, though. Stewart scored with less than six minutes remaining after combining with O’Connor, to seal the deal.
Final Score: Reds 19 (14) Rebels 3 (3)
Tries – Petaia, Paenga-Amosa, Stewart
Con – O’Connor (2)
Cards – Paenga-Amosa (Yellow, 70′)
Pen – To’omua
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Brett Cronan
15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Dauguna, 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 Jack Straker
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Jethro Felemi, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Josh Flook
15 Reece Hodge, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Matt To’omua (captain), 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Andrew Deegan, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr
Replacements: 16 Efitusi Maafu, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Charles Abel, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 James Tuttle, 23 Billy Meakes