Reds rumble past Rebels
The Reds claimed a hard-fought 23-13 Super Rugby win over the Rebels in Friday's Australian derby in Melbourne.
The Reds touched down on either side of half time at AAMI Park to outscore the Rebels by two tries to one and secure their fifth straight win over their Aussie rivals .
For the third consecutive week, the Rebels led at half time (13-10) but were shut out in the second half as the Reds dominated after the interval.
The Reds took the early lead when inside centre Ben Tapuai stepped past opposite number Lachlan Mitchell to score the opening try. Quade Cooper added the extras to go with an earlier penalty to put the visitors 10-3 ahead after a quarter of an hour.
The rest of the half saw plenty of industrious play but few clear scoring opportunities.
Rebels fly-half James O'Connor narrowed the gap from the kicking tee before Mitchell made amends for his missed tackle on the verge of half time when he crossed in the corner. O'Connor's conversion gave the Rebels a three-point lead at the break.
The 2011 champions regained the advantage almost immediately after the restart however when scrum-half Nick Frisby finished of a well-worked try featuring Anthony Faingaa and Digby Ioane in the build up.
A couple of penalties from Cooper secured a third consecutive victory for the Reds and denied the hosts a losing bonus point, leaving the Rebels level with the Force at the bottom of the Australian conference while the team from Queensland are second, behind the Brumbies.
Pens: O'Connor 2
Tries: Tapuai, Frisby
Cons: Cooper 2
Pens: Cooper 3
Rebels: 15 Angus Roberts, 14 Richard Kingi, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Alex Rokobaro, 10 James O'Connor (c), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Jordy Reid, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Tom English.
Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Ed O'Donoghue, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia.
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)