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Red tide beats Rebels

Date

Stathi Paxinos

Try time: Queensland's Adam Wallace-Harrison scores against the Rebels at AAMI Park last night.

Try time: Queensland's Adam Wallace-Harrison scores against the Rebels at AAMI Park last night. Photo: Getty Images

IT WAS meant to be a night of celebration for the Melbourne Rebels. A night in which Melbourne rugby fans had a chance to farewell inspirational captain Stirling Mortlock and fellow veterans Al Campbell and Julian Huxley in the Rebels' last home game of the season.

But despite a 30-minute period when the Rebels scored two tries and wrenched control back from the Reds, it was ultimately a night of disappointment for Melbourne as it went down 32-17.

The Reds scored four tries and gained a bonus point to go level on 49 at the top of the Australian conference with the Brumbies, who play Western Force tonight.

Mortlock had been in doubt for the game because of a calf problem, admitting that it had been a ''toss of the coin'' about whether he would make it onto the field, but confirmed late that he would play and lasted the first half, replaced by Lachlan Mitchell in the second 40 minutes.

It was James O'Connor's first game since round-nine's clash against New South Wales in April, when he suffered a lacerated liver, and the five-eighth had some classy moments with two sharp line breaks in the first half.

The Reds lost Quade Cooper, coming off early in the second half and icing his leg, while try-scorer Chris F'Sautia was helped from the field with an arm injury.

Rebels full-back Kurtley Beale also made his comeback from a shoulder injury and despite sporting sore ribs suffered during the Wallabies win over Wales last weekend, played a brilliant game, often being the spark in attack and scoring the Rebels' first try, and another to Lachlan Mitchell 10 minutes later helped put the Rebels back in the game.

The Rebels were more than equal to the defending champions early in the game, Jono Owen being prevented from an early try by Reds five-eighth Cooper.

Cooper, who is regarded as a defensive weak link, did well to get his body under Owen's arm and television match official Matt Goddard could not determine if he had scored.

The try was therefore denied but the Rebels were awarded a penalty for an earlier infringement and O'Connor slotted the kick to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.

But that would be the last of the good times for the Rebels for a while as the Reds took control of the game. They opened it up with a try to F'Sautia, a late replacement for Wallaby Digby Ioane, who withdrew because of a chest infection.

F'Sautia was at the end of a flowing movement that came after a Rebels mix-up at a lineout in their own defensive 22 when Adam Freier overcooked his throw.

Mike Harris' conversion and later penalty, after Freier was picked up for a ruck infringement, gave the Reds a 10-3 lead. Harris then set up the Reds' second try with a chip kick which he regathered on the full and sent the back line on a flowing move that covered three-quarters of the field which was capped by Dom Shipperley scoring in the left-hand corner.

A further try to Adam Wallace-Harrison, set up by a fantastic piece of skill by Cooper who stood in a tackle and offloaded to Wallace-Harrison, blew the game open late in the first half.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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