Reds vs Rebels: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

It was a strange sort of night at Suncorp Stadium, the Reds eventually snapping a five game losing streak in front of their most loyal fans.

What are we talking about after the 37-23 result?

1. Petaia proves his worth

Jordan Petaia is the real deal. Photo: Getty ImagesIn one run and offload which took no more than three seconds, Jordan Petaia displayed the skill set required to thrive at this level. It was the 18-year-old's first start at outside centre but in sizing up the Rebels attack, taking Tom English on and having the awareness to slip a perfectly timed offload to Jono Lance for the match winning try, he showed the amount of upside to come. A keen defender with X factor in attack - Petaia is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise dour attacking core.

2. Scrum still surging

For the second consecutive week the Reds have relied on their scrum to generate any whiff of an attacking threat. It produced six first half penalties, a handful more in the second term and was directly responsible for 14 of Queensland's 37 points. Taniela Tupou's star shines brighter each and every week.

3. Only consistency is inconsistency

Aerial contests were in the spotlight once against on Friday. Photo: Getty ImagesReferee Paul Williams made a common sense decision in not penalising Jack Maddocks after he dragged Scott Higginbotham down in the 48th minute but using the Israel Folau suspension as a guide, players must be confused as to what does and does not make an aerial contest. Williams declared Maddocks was going for the ball and did not penalise Melbourne as a result. He should be applauded for the decision and post match, Reds coach Brad Thorn said that stance was the right one for "the sake of the game". On a separate note, Williams may want to check the legality of the quick kickoff Melbourne took after the Reds were awarded a penalty try. The field position it created led to Jack Maddocks' try but it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

4. Genia, Coleman racing the clock

Rebels coach Dave Wessels declared Will Genia and Adam Coleman as possible starters for next week's showdown with the Highlanders and they will be significant boosts to a Rebels side that should have, could have and would have won both of their starts post June. Melbourne missed their leaders in the pivotal moments against both the Reds and Tahs and they now face a must win proposition against the Highlanders.

5. Fate taken from Rebels

Melbourne had control over their destiny until the final siren sounded on Friday night. They now face a rocky road to a maiden finals campaign. Either win against the Highlanders next week or hope the Sharks drop matches against the Stormers and Jaguares. If the Stormers win both matches, Melbourne will be sent packing.