Match Centre: Reds 23-21 Rebels

James O'Connor kicked 13 points for Reds
James O'Connor kicked 13 points for Reds

Reds 23-21 Rebels, Suncorp Stadium

Queensland Reds maintained their perfect start in the ongoing Super Rugby AU as they edged out Melbourne Rebels 23-21 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

Matt Toomua kicked back to back penalties in the opening minutes to take Rebels off to a six-point lead. The start of the second half saw James O'Connor and Toomua trade penalties to take the scoreline to 3-9.

Toomua kicked his fourth penalty kick in the 35th minute when Reds were penalised for an offisde to take them to 12 points but the home side reduced the arrears to six points after Toomua slotted another three-pointer as the opening half ended with a 6-12 scoreline.

Toomua kicked his fifth penalty goal early in the second half making it 6-15 but the opening try of the game came in the 48th minute when O’Connor set up a lineout 10m out from the Rebels’ line and they executed a perfect driving ball allowing Alex Mafi to dot down. O'Connor's conversion ensured the gap came down to two points.

Meanwhile Hodge's sixth penalty kick in the 53rd minute made the scoreline 13-18 as Reds suffered a major setback with replacement prop Feao Fotuaika red carded for a dangerous cleanout at the ruck.

As O'Connor and Toomua traded penalties in the 62nd and 70th minutes respectively, the scoreline became 16-21. The decisive moment came when O'Connor made a chip which Hunter Paisami grabbed to send Mafi over the line for the second time in the 77th minute helping Reds level the scores following which O'Connor kicked a nerveless conversion to secure the win.

Team line-up:

Queensland Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O'Connor (c), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Seru Uru, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Dane Zander

Reserves: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Feao Fotuaika, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Sam Wallis, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Suliasi Vunivalu

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Tom Pincus, 14 Lachlan Anderson, 13 Stacey Ili, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To'omua (c), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Brad Wilkin, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Pone Faamausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cabous Eloff

Reserves: 16 Ed Craig, 17 Isaac Aedo Kailea, 18 Rhys van Nek, 19 Rob Leota, 20 Josh Kemeny, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Glen Vaihu, 23 Frank Lomani