Super Rugby


St.George Queensland Reds beat Melbourne Rebels in final pre-season hit out

The St.George Queensland Reds have earned a 32-13 win over the Melbourne Rebels in their final pre-season outing ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

The Reds outscored the Rebels four tries to one in the Tuesday night fixture at Ballymore Stadium, 10 days out from their first Super Rugby match.  
The match was the first chance for Reds fans to see Stephen Moore, Quade Cooper and Scott Higginbotham back in Queensland colours and the home side didn’t disappoint, with a powerful defensive display setting up the win.
Reds head coach Nick Stiles said: “I haven’t seen a Reds side defend like that for years. I was really pleased with the repeat efforts and the fact we were imposing ourselves physically. That was the most pleasing thing for me.
“It was a trial, but we didn’t treat it like it was a practice match. The guys have been training so hard and they had a genuine desire to come out here, play well and earn a win in front of our fans.
“It’s a good start, but the real deal gets underway next week when we take on the Sharks at our home ground."
The Reds trailed early in the match, following a runaway try to wing Sefa Naivalu, but staunch defence and some fine combinations turned their fortunes around. Queensland entered the break up 20-13 following tries to lock Rob Simmons and wing Eto Nabuli, along with two conversions and two penalty goals from Cooper.
The Reds ran away with the contest in the second half, as their defensive efforts and a dominant scrum continued to put the Rebels under pressure. Tries to Chris Kuridrani, a standout performer from the bench, and Higginbotham sealed the victory. Reserve flyhalf Jake McIntyre added the final conversion.
The Reds will open the Super Rugby season against the Sharks from Durban at Suncorp Stadium on Friday 24 February.
St.George Queensland Reds 32 (Rob Simmons, Eto Nabuli, Chris Kuridrani, Scott Higginbotham tries; Quade Cooper 2, Jake McIntyre 1 cons; Cooper 2 pen goals) def. Melbourne Rebels 13 (Sef Naivalu try; Jackson Garden-Bachop 1 con, 2 pen goals) at Ballymore Stadium on Tuesday 14 February, 2017.

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