Melbourne Rebels rue late miss as Queensland Reds pinch victory at Suncorp

Fri, 26/02/2021, 08:35 am
AAP
by AAP
Alex Mafi was the star for Queensland during their nail biting victory over the Rebels | Getty Images

Matt Toomua has missed a shot at goal with the last kick of the game that would have pinched Melbourne Rebels an upset win over the Queensland Reds in a penalty-laden Super Rugby AU clash.

The Rebels accumulated points steadily through Toomua and Reece Hodge and led from the opening minute in a game that featured 32 penalties.

Register for Stan Sport now to watch every minute of Super Rugby AU. The new add-on Sport package is available for just $10 a month with customers able to get a 30-day free trial for a limited time only.

But two second-half tries to Queensland hooker Alex Mafi salvaged a 23-21 win for the Reds, who watched in glee as Toomua's last-gasp penalty shot sailed left of the uprights at Suncorp Stadium on Friday evening.

The loss was a brutal one for the Rebels, who only flew into Brisbane on Friday morning and have been housed in Canberra after making a last-minute dash out of Melbourne to avoid a lockdown that would have meant they were unable to enter Queensland at all.

The Reds' win was their eighth straight victory at home and came despite a red card to prop Feao Fotuaika, who was judged to have caught the head of an opponent in an innocuous tackle with 23 minutes to play.

The game's final penalty also drew the ire of the crowd, with Hunter Paisami appearing to wrap the ball and upper torso of Frank Lomani.

But referee Jordan Way was leaving little room for error in a stop-start game which Toomua controlled for all but the final minutes.

Reds coach Brad Thorn lamented his side's unforced errors but was left frustrated by what transpired.

"What do you take from that? You take the win and you move on sometimes," he said.

"It's not preferable there for a crowd or new audience (who want) some rugby played.

"But we're trying to play, we want what you want and it just didn't happen that way tonight ... but I like that the lads found a way."

The loss was a brutal one for the Rebels, who only flew into Brisbane on Friday morning and have been housed in Canberra after making a last-minute dash out of Melbourne to avoid a lockdown that would have meant they were unable to enter Queensland at all.

"I feel like I'm in an episode of the Amazing Race just travelling around the country," Rebels coach Dave Wessels said.

"But we travel with 45, it's not like you can just book like you're going away for the weekend with your wife.

"I've come here under very difficult circumstances ... I don't care if I had to claw by my fingernails, we had to win.

"We were never going to play Barbarian-style rugby, but it doesn't mean that later in the season we can't."

Share
Rugby.com.au Logo

The Rugby.com.au are a proud part of Rugby AU

© 2021 Australian Rugby. All rights reserved.