Reds too good for Rebels

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:34
Large reds v rebels 2017 800

PRE-SEASON REPORT: The Reds sent a warning to future opponents when they beat the Melbourne Rebels 32-13 in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The Rebels could not contain the Reds scrum, which was superb with the starting front row combination of James Slipper, Stephen Moore and Sam Talakai and arguably even better when Sef Fa’agase and Andrew Ready replaced Slipper and Moore.

The Reds backs were fed clean set-piece ball time and time again as the pack drew six penalties to one at scrum time.

Both teams suffered from ball handling issues but it was the Reds who found top gear when it was required, as Quade Cooper, Duncan Pai'aua and Karmichael Hunt fed off each other to set up three of the four tries.

The returning brigade of Cooper, Moore, Houston and Higginbotham were all impressive in their return to Ballymore in a performance that will provide plenty of hope for Reds fans heading into next Friday's Round One clash with the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.

It took a piece of individual brilliance by Sefa Naivalu and some substandard tackles by Karmichael Hunt and Nick Frisby to break the deadlock, as Naivalu ran 50 metres down the right hand sideline to score under the posts at the 11th minute mark.

The Reds hit back through a Quade Cooper penalty goal but a Leroy Houston dropped kick off and ensuing offside allowed the Rebels to stretch out to a 10-3 lead thanks to the boot of Jackson Garden-Bachop.

The home side levelled the score at 10-all with some neat passing on the verge of the quarter time break, as Cooper put Karmichael Hunt through a hole, who then passed inside for Rob Simmons to crash over the line.

The two teams traded one penalty each as the Reds started to assert their dominance at the scrum, earning four penalties in the second quarter.

As the half time siren sounded, Duncan Paia'aua showed fantastic composure by picking up a scrappy Nick Frisby pass from a quick tap, drawing two Rebels defenders and throwing a perfectly timed pop pass to put Eto Nabuli over, handing the Reds a 20-13 lead at the main break.

Garden-Bachop missed his second kickable penalty of the night in the opening minutes of the third quarter before the Rebels launched a multi phase attack inside the Reds' 22 - Scott Higginbotham earning his stripes as a returning Red with a clean pilfer penalty as Laurie Weeks was tackled centimetres from the tryline.

The clock has just ticked past 58 minutes when Cooper, Paia'aua and Hunt launched another counter attack, showing clean hands and perfect passing to send a flying Chris Kuridrani down the left hand sideline to score.

Another 12 minutes had gone when Higginbotham nabbed a five pointer of his own on the same side of the field, Kuridrani notching a try assist to add to the try he scored with his first touch of the game.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Simmons, Nabuli, Kuridrani, Higginbotham
Cons: Cooper 2, McIntyre
Pens: Cooper 2

For Melbourne Rebels:
Try: Naivalu
Con: Garden-Bachop
Pens: Garden Bachop 2

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements - from: Andrew Ready, Markus Vanzati, Sef Fa'agase, Lukhan Tui, Michael Gunn, James Tuttle, Jake McIntyre, Chris Kuridrani, Izack Rodda, Scott Higginbotham, Henry Taefu, Tyrone Lefau, Lachlan Maranta, Jayden Ngamanu.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Jonah Placid, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga'a, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements - from: Jordan Uelese, Cruze Ah-Nau, Tyrel Lomax, Murray Douglas, Jordy Reid, Ben Meehan, Sione Tuipulotu, Jack Debreczeni, Jake Schatz, Dennis Pili-Gaitau, Ben Volavola.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)


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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4