Rebels vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels flogged the Reds after Scott Higginbotham was sent to the bin in the 11th minute at AAMI Park.

Here's what we learned from the 45-19 result.

1. Ill-discipline still king in Queensland

The Reds came out fired up and ready to match the Rebels up front but that intensity proved to be misguided when Scott Higginbotham was sent to the showers.

That was quickly followed by a yellow card for a Lukhan Tui tackle that probably deserved red, leaving Queensland playing with 13 men inside 20 minutes.

It was a stark reminder of the ill-disciplined which plagued their 2017 campaign.

2. Rebels roll through opener

Tom English was one of Melbourne's best. Photo: Getty ImagesOn paper, the Rebels have the talent to win the Australian Conference and they handled the 14-man Reds with the kind of composure a contender should show.

There were nerves aplenty early but after Will Genia took control, it was smooth sailing for Melbourne.

The forward pack prospered, the backs used the one-man advantage wisely and exploited the weak points in Queensland's defence, which largely resided on Eto Nabuli's wing.

A repeat of that performance will see them account for the Sunwolves but the Brumbies await after that, the truest test of their mettle in the opening month.

3. Genia the great

Jack Debreczeni had plenty of space and time to work with as the attention shifted to Genia. Photo: Getty ImagesWelcome back to Super Rugby, Will Genia.

This was an emotional return to Super Rugby for Genia as it was against his beloved Reds but it was Queensland fans that were hurting as they watched him carve up their side.

The star halfback was directly responsible for setting up three of Melbourne's seven tries and in playing such a dominant hand, he allowed Jack Debreczeni to flourish.

4. Set piece qualms

The Reds scrum held its own but the lineout was woeful, culling any momentum they were able to muster.

The official statistics say Queensland lost two of their 12 throws but almost every other ball was scrappy and required James Tuttle or Tate McDermott to cop punishment from the Rebels pack.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa was impressive around the park in getting through a stack of work but his throws were often astray and the lineout tutelage of Rob Simmons looks to be sorely missed.

5. Defensive headaches remain

The Brad Thorn era was supposed to be built on rock solid defence but that faded as soon as soft tries were once again handed out by Queensland.

Jack Debreczeni cantered over for a particularly soft double that will have Thorn questioning those that had a chance to make an impact on their own line.

A team cannot thrive while allowing these types of tries and until they are eradicated it will be the same old story for Queensland fans.