1. Bash brothers walk the walk
Jordy Reid and Sean McMahon were reunited in the Rebels’ starting side against the Reds and they delivered. The hard nut flankers imposed themselves physically on the contest and set the tone for the Rebels in their first home match of the season. McMahon particularly threw himself into the match when the pressure was on, clearly thriving under the added responsibility
2. A change is as good as a holiday
Whether this is a fleeting change or not, the Reds showed they have potential for change after their showing against the Rebels. A renewed sense of fight was clear among the Queensland side. After being down by as much as 13 points during the game, the Reds took a lead with 14 minutes to go. Matt O’Connor wanted these players to look in the mirror and be proud and they would be after Saturday night.
3. Home grown talent
He was a late addition to the side but Sione Tuipolotu became a history maker on Saturday night. The centre became the first Melbourne born and bred player to play for the Rebels, in a landmark night for the club. He was thrilled with the opportunity and took the chance with both hands, showing his potential for the future.
4. Tui good for Reds
Japanese Test star Ayumu Goromaru has been the focus in Top League recruits at Ballymore this summer but it might just be Hendrik Tui who is their most valuable. Tui again starred for the Reds, with one of his barnstorming runs, finishing in a try assist. He had a stuttering start to his Reds career but the New Zealand-born Tui is turning into a great asset.
5. Rebels take a step up
Last season, the Rebels lost seven matches by single figure margins. When faced with the same challenge on Saturday night, they steeled their nerve and held off a fast-finishing Reds. While they will rue missed opportunities, that they ultimately took the win shows that they have evolved this season.