Rebels vs Reds: Five things we learned

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Rebels and Reds played out a marathon 18-all draw at Brookvale Oval on Friday night.

What are we talking about after that?

1. Reds and Rebels create history with Super Time period 

The Rebels and Reds celebrated a slice of rugby history on Friday night with the first Super Time period.

Scrum resets and a territory focus ultimately gave the sides the draw that they would have had after the regulation 80 minutes but the new addition added some extra spice to the game.

The Rebels could probably be the side left the most disappointed only taking two points out of that game after leading by 10 points with just five minutes left in regulation time.

Queensland showed their fighting spirit, battling two yellow card periods and clawing back that deficit.

Fittingly, the little nugget of history played out at Brookvale Oval, a sight that has seen some rugby league golden point thrillers in its time.

2. Lineouts wobble at both ends

Both teams battled to get pay from their lineouts on Friday night, in an area that has generally been solid for them both.

Of 28 lineouts, nine were lost by the throwing side - four for the Rebels and five for the Reds, something that was frustrating on both sides of the coin.

For the Rebels it was especially costly late in the game after a Reece hodge 50/22 put Melbourne in prime position to try and clinch the game.

Brad Thorn praised the Rebels’ defensive lineout work but admitted he was 

Rebels coach Dave Wessels was frustrated and though it was a wet night was quick to brush that off as any kind of excuse for the inaccuracy.

It's something the Rebels had an issue with against the Brumbies as well and they'll want to rectify their set piece wobbles before they take on the Waratahs in a fortnight's time.

3. Cards show Reds fight but cuase unnecessary headaches

The Reds clearly have the ability to be one of the top two sides in Super Rugby AU but they let themselves down again on Friday night with some sloppy discipline 

The penalty count was fairly even but Queensland had to play 20 minutes of the second half with 14 men after Hamish Stewart and Hunter Paisami were yellow carded.

With Stewart in the naughty chair, the Reds managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and they managed the latter period well as well, a testament to their grit.

They could consider themselves lucky that Paisami was only yellow-carded after a swinging arm that collected Marika Koroibete and sent the Rebels winger off the field.

Despite their tenacity shining through, cards late in games are becoming a concerning trend for Queensland in Super Rugby AU and eventually it will cost them.

4. Fa’amausili makes his presence felt

Pone Fa’amausili could be a name rugby fans hear more often after another influential performance.

The 23-year-old was part of a dominant Rebels scrum in week one and on Friday night he showed some of the other weapons in his game.

While the Rebels weren’t able to take advantage in the scrum this week but Fa’amausili showed Bryce Hegarty every one of his 130kg in a bone-rattling hit.

He followed that up with a superb goal line drop out return, charging down the middle of the field and putting the Rebels in a dangerous position.

5. Rebels have a chance to reset 

The Rebels will go into their bye week this week and it could not have come at a much better time in many ways.

After a fortnight of late changes and relocation in the wake of coronavirus case spikes in Victoria, the Rebels will finally have a chance to regroup and plan their next block.

The squad will remain in Sydney until Wednesday, when they’ll return to Canberra and turn their focus to their round four clash against the Waratahs.

It was only a fortnight ago that the Rebels were given 48 hours notice to move up to the ACT for two weeks minimum and that timeline continues to blow out. 

With news of the Victoria-NSW border closing this week, they battled to get partners and families out of Melbourne where they could but many face the prospect of at least six weeks apart.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels was quick to put that challenge into perspective on Friday night but things will not get easier from the logistic front from here on in.