The St.George Queensland Reds have claimed their third win of the Vodafone Super Rugby AU season after a gritty second half showing delivered a 19-3 victory over Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.
With Queensland leading 14-3 at the break, the Rebels camped in the Reds half for much of the second forty but were unable to break through the stubborn Queensland defensive line as the Reds held on for a courageous 16-point win.
A late five-pointer to Hamish Stewart eventually sealed victory for his side, as they held the Rebels try-less for a bonus point win in front of 6,131 fans in Brisbane.
Frontrowers Jethro Felemi and Sean Farrell made their Queensland debuts in the win.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “It was origin-esque, like a Test-match. They just kept fronting up.
“Queenslander that’s what it was.
‘If you summarise Queensland, that’s what it’s about. You can’t describe it.”
The Rebels opened the scoring early through a Matt Toomua penalty, before a try to Jordan Petaia saw Queensland hit the lead in the 14th minute. The winger scored courtesy of a dominant Reds five-metre scrum, with Petaia proving too strong for the Rebels defence from close range. James O’Connor converted to give the Reds a 7-3 advantage.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa had Queensland’s second try in the 27th minute after Jock Campbell sliced through the Rebels defence from within his own half. The fullback raced 30-metres downfield, before linking with Filipo Daugunu who found Paenga-Amosa with a miraculous offload to score. O’Connor slotted the conversion from close to the left-hand sideline to put the score out to 14-3.
Neither side were able to score points for the remainder of the opening half in slippery conditions, as Queensland headed to the sheds with an 11-point lead.
The Rebels set up camp in the Reds half in the opening 30-minutes of the second forty, dominating possession and field position, but were unable to break through the Reds rock-solid defensive line.
Queensland held up the surging Rebels attack over the line on several occasions, as the Reds refused to allow the visitors back into the game.
Paenga-Amosa was shown a yellow-card with ten-minutes to play for repeated infringements, but it failed to halt the Reds as Hamish Stewart crossed for his side’s third try. The inside-centre went close to 35-metres to score, shrugging off four Rebels defenders and carrying one over the line to extend Queensland’s lead to 19-3 with six-minutes to play.
The Reds held off another Rebels attacking raid in the final minutes to take a bonus point win and move into second spot on the ladder.
Queensland will travel to the Gold Coast next Friday 21 August to take on the Western Force.