The Queensland Reds beat the Melbourne Rebels 23-5 in a wet Australian Super Rugby Pacific derby at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
The Reds continued their recent dominance over the Rebels increasing their undefeated run against the visitors to six Super Rugby matches in a row.
Queensland has now won 11 Super Rugby games in a row at home against Australian opposition, making them the team to beat down under.
Brad Thorn’s Super Rugby AU champions took a 13-5 lead into the shed before the torrential downpour after the interval caused havoc.
The hosts managed two more tries after the break and kept the visitors scoreless to claim the derby spoils.
Both teams struggled to handle the ball as most lineouts went astray, passes were lost forward, high balls dropped, and passes slipped out of hands.
The Reds scored before the downpour to give themselves a crucial two-score lead as the game entered the last half-hour.
Handling continued to ruin the game, especially Kevin Foote’s charges’ chances of pulling off an unlikely victory in Brisbane.
Campbell spelled the death knell for the Rebels when he crossed in the corner to seal the deal.
Two tries to one see the Reds take a deserved and commanding lead into the shed
Taniela Tupou, Harry Wilson, and Jock Campbell all dotted down for Queensland, Brad Wilkin for Melbourne.
James O’Connor added eight points from the boot, although he did miss a relative sitter when attempting to convert Wilson’s try.
Tupou opened the scoring on 14 minutes for the Reds. O’Connor converted before landing a 33rd-minute penalty while Tupou was on the sidelines because of a yellow card.
Tate McDermott’s broke from the ruck. The Reds went multiple phases before Wilson put Tupou away in the corner. The burly prop barged through Joe Powell with ease.
O’Connor added the extras but there was a while to wait before the standoff – playing his 100th game – added another goal.
Tupou was carded, but Melbourne could not capitalise – Powell lost the ball in the act of grounding after the prop was sin-binned.
Stacey Ili went close but was held up. Powell picked up and tried to dive over from close range; however, the scrum-half dropped the ball in contact with Jordan Petaia for a goal-line drop-out.
Wilkin did, however, flop over to halve the deficit, but Matt To’omua could not convert. The flanker’s score came after a powerful driving maul destroyed the opposition’s forwards, and Wilkin dotted down.
O’Connor landed another penalty on the stroke of halftime to give the hosts an eight-point lead.
A tropical deluge wreaks chaos for the players after halftime making scoring difficult
Wilson’s ‘Houdini’ try 10 soon after the restart saw the Reds go 18-5 up.
Pressure from Thorn’s men led to a TMO check for grounding by the number eight.
It was a marvelous piece of water polo skill for Wilson to wriggle his arm around a defender and place the ball on the line.
The rain began to bucket down straight afterward making conditions tough for the players.
There were five handling errors (two from lineouts, a high catch, and a dropped pass) in the next four phases of play by both teams in four minutes.
The Reds continued to have the better of the play, but could not net any more points.
Teams were forced to kick everything from their half of the field and hope for a mistake by the opposition to set up territory.
As the clock ticked down, the only action of the previous half an hour was when Wilson barged over referee Angus Gardner – to the delight and amusement of the home support.
The rain did subside in the final few minutes, and the home team took advantage, scoring with seconds remaining.
Campbell gathered a bouncing ball from Josh Flook’s banana kick and waltzed over for his side’s third five-pointer following a driving maul.
Final Score: Reds 23 (13) Rebels 5 (5)
Tries – Tupou, Wilson, Campbell
Pen – O’Connor (2)
Con – O’Connor
Tries – Wilkin
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Nic Berry
TMO: Brett Cronan
15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott (captain), 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Dane Zander
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Spencer Jeans, 22 Matt Grealy, 23 Lawson Creighton
15 Reece Hodge, 14 Lachie Anderson, 12 Matt To’omua, 13 Stacey Ili, 11 Glen Vaihu, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Michael Wells (captain), 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Sam Wallis, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr
Replacements: 16 Matt Gibbon, 17 James Hanson, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Thomas Nowlan, 20 Tamati Ioane, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Raymond Nu’u, 23 Young Tonumaipea