Rebels and Reds draw after historic Super Time

· Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Eighty minutes and an historic 10-minute Super Time period couldn't separate the Reds and Rebels in a 18-all draw on Friday night.

Fittingly it was at rugby league fortress Brookvale Oval that Super Rugby AU found its first Super Time but even that extra stanza couldn't bring a result.

The Rebels had a seven-point lead in the final 15 minutes and looked like taking the win but a James O'Connor penalty and an Alex Mafi converted try brought scores level at the 80th minute and sent the sides into rugby's first Super Time.

Scrums dominated the extra-time periods, eating up the clock to the frustration of many fans, and no scores were able to be conjured.

Queensland had the first chance to score just shy of the changeover, with Bryce Hegarty launching a 50-metre penalty shot falling just short and to the right.

Two Matt To’omua penalties had the Rebels six points up at half-time before the sides traded tries in the second half as wet conditions began to dry up.

James O’Connor was the hero for Queensland in week one and he played a pivotal role in the finals stages on Friday night, sending the game into Super Time.

The flyhalf had the chance to level the scores in the 67th minute but missed a penalty and then threw an intercept pass to give Billy Meakes what seemed like a match-sealing try.

He narrowed the gap to seven points in the 75th minute with a penalty goal, keeping the chances of an inaugural Super Time on the cards.

Queensland were down to 14 men for 20 minutes with yellow cards for Hamish Stewart and Hunter Paisami, though in those periods they managed to keep the Rebels out for the most part.

The Reds were dominant at scrum time and looked exciting in attack but errors with the ball in hand left them ruing opportunities throughout the game.

Both sides battled at lineout time, with a cumulative 11 lineouts lost through the night 

Melbourne had the better of the attack early in wet conditions and To’omua slotted the first points from a penalty in the seventh minute, taking the chance that an ill-disciplined Reds were gving him.

When Queensland made some progress in attack it continually came to naught, with the Rebels defence or a Reds handling error snuffing out their scoring chances.

The Rebels looked more threatening on the attacking charge and a linebreak from Campbell Magnay put them in a dangerous position just shy of the half-hour mark.

A penalty gave Melbourne another crack at the line but the Reds defence stood up and held Queensland up over the line.

As the rain came down, the errors mounted with sloppy handling pausing the momentum of the game.

Despite the conditions, both sides looked to move the ball rather than go for easy penalty points, something that was highlighted most notably when Melbourne turned down a point and To’omua subsequently went for a drop goal in open play.

The Rebels injected a spark into the game just shy of half-time with what looked like a Richard Hardwick try but the flanker was forced into touch.

Queensland began the second half a man down after Hamish Stewart was yellow-carded in the lead-up to that try for a cynical foul.

Rebels prop Pone Fa’amausili set an early tone in the second half with a monstrous hit on Bryce Hegarty but it was the Reds who found pay in the second stanza.

Winger Filipo Daugunu scored off a long but potentially dubious James O’Connor pass and gave the Reds the momentum.

O’Connor added to that with a penalty in the 51st minute and Queensland found themselves in the lead for the first time.

That only lasted three minutes until a superb Marika Koroibete ball to Dane Haylett-Petty ultimately put Reece Hodge over in the corner.

Meakes' try put the Rebels 10 points up but the Reds continued to fight, aided by an increasingly ill-disciplined Melbourne outfit.

Koroibete was forced out of the game just a minute after being collected high by Reds centre Hunter Paisami, who was subsequently yellow-carded.

A run of penalties put the Rebels at risk of a card and they conceded three points off O'Connor's boot but they avoided losing a man and kept the advantage going into the final minutes.

Rebels prop Matt Gibbon was an early casualty, replaced by Cameron Orr half an hour into the match.

The Rebels have a bye next week while the Reds take on the Force in Brisbane.

RESULT

Rebels 18

Tries: Hodge, Meakes

Cons: To’omua

Pens: To’omua 2

Reds 18

Tries: Daugunu, Mafi

Cons: O'Connor

Pens: O’Connor 

Yellow card: Stewart, Paisami

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