The Reds continued their undefeated yet unconvincing start to the season by scrapping their way to a tight 11-6 victory over a determined Melbourne Rebels side in Brisbane on Saturday.
The first half was a scrappy affair with the referee's whistle dominating proceedings as both side's made a stream of unforced errors. The Rebels were showing impressive determination against their more fancied rivals and took a surprise 6-3 lead into the half-time break.
After the tryless first half the pressure was on the Reds to show their pedigree and sweep aside last season's Wooden Spoonists. The champions showed better patience and built some decent continuity to put pressure on the Rebels in their 22.
After Luke Morahan was forced into touch in the left corner Reds skipper James Horwill rose highest to claim the Rebels' defensive line-out and the ball was worked out to the right after the Reds had been stopped just short of the line. Will Genia sent out out a long pass to Dom Shipperley who scrambled over in the corner for a try that gave the home side the lead.
That was followed up by a Mike Harris penalty which gave the home side an 11-6 lead which they never gave up despite some pressure in their 22 from the Rebels who fully deserved their bonus point.
More to follow...
For the Reds:
Pens: Harris 2
For the Rebels:
Pens: O'Connor 2
Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Jono Lance, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Van Humphries, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Rod Davies.
Rebels: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Richard Kingi, 8 Gareth Delve (captain), 7 Tom Chamberlain, 6 Tim Davidson, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Adam Freier, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Rodney Blake, 18 Alister Campbell, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Nick Phipps, 21 Lachlan Mitchell, 22 Julian Huxley.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
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