The Queensland Reds and the Melbourne Rebels played out the first draw in Super Rugby AU after a scoreless period of extra-time in Manly. Discipline hurt the Reds throughout the match, with unnecessary penalties and poor handling costing the visitors in the wet in a contest that ended deadlocked at 18 points all.
The Rebels led by 10 points late in the match but a penalty, followed by an Alex Mafi try in the 79th minute, allowed James O’Connor to send the teams to the first-ever super time with his conversion on the siren.
The Reds were arguably the better of the two teams in the added ten minutes and nearly walked away with the win.
Bryce Hegarty lost the kicking duties to O’Connor this week, but he stepped up to take a penalty from halfway that would have handed his side a golden point win.
He showed plenty of confidence in taking the kick but his shot fell just short. Hegarty later kicked the ball into touch to end the match with the Reds facing plenty of pressure late.
Honours even in rain affected slugfest https://t.co/yYasmiEsHr
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 10, 2020
The back row once again stood up for the Queenslanders, demonstrating a skill set that was simply beyond their years with a high work rate. JP Smith was also a standout off the bench for the Reds, having a big impact on the dominance of the scrum alongside Taniela Tupou.
Here are RugbyPass rated the Reds players at Sydney’s Brookvale Oval:
1. Harry Hoopert – 5.5/10
The Reds scrum wasn’t as dominant while Hoopert was on the field. He did get his hands on the ball more than he did last week, though.
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – 5.5
Poor night again from the lineout. Battled the elements but often came out second best with inaccurate throwing. Clever set-piece link-up with Harry Wilson early on for a small gain.
3. Taniela Tupou – 7
Had a poor first half, giving away two penalties inside the first six minutes, and was uncharacteristically outmuscled in scrums. Was more lively in the second half but still far from his best around the park. Better scrummaging performance after the break. Alongside JP Smith the Reds were dominant.
4. Angus Blyth – 5
Struggled to make an impact during his time on the field. Subbed off at half-time.
5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 7
Did his job in the first half at the lineout. Was an improved showing after the break where he carried the ball better and stood up as a leader.
6. Liam Wright – 7.5
The captain was impressive in defence, making 14 tackles and not missing any. Held his own in the breakdown but failed to make an impact in attack. Outshone by his partners in the back row.
7. Fraser McReight – 8
Dangerous again around the breakdown, constantly looking for chances of securing a turnover. Impressed in attack and defence with his high work rate.
8. Harry Wilson – 8.5
Reminded Wallabies selectors about what he can do with ball-in-hand, showcasing his offloading ability in particular. Also impressed in defence with eleven tackles. Demonstrated an elite work ethic that would add value to any team.
Shots fired ? Morgan Turinui suggested Wessels "is not the answer" to the Rebels' succeeding. pic.twitter.com/qUdCdM5HzM
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 9, 2020
9. Tate McDermott – 7.5
Was impressive in spurts during the first half but upped the tempo in the second. Proved a useful exit option with his kicking ability, but stood out once again for sniping around the breakdown. Not as notable as last week but certainly showed glimpses of what he could do.
10. James O’Connor – 8
Great try-saving tackle on Josh Kemeny during the first half to keep the Reds within three. Showed plenty of courage when taking the line on as well. Just as he did last week, set up Filipo Daugunu with a brilliant cut-out pass. With under 15 minutes to play, he missed a penalty before having a pass intercepted by Billy Meakes that pushed the scores out to beyond seven. Handled pressure well to slot the conversion on the full-time siren that sent the game to extra-time.
11. Filipo Daugunu – 7.5
Was quiet in the first half but tried to get involved where he could. A bit of deja vu to open the second half, scoring just as he did last week with a left-foot step from five metres out. Was much more involved in the second half.
12. Hamish Stewart – 6.5
Held his own in defence but once again struggled in attack. Was yellow carded on the stroke of half-time for slowing the play down.
13. Hunter Paisami – 6.5
The former Rebel was impressive in attack, finding space with hard and sharp lines through the opposition defence. Reckless swinging arm to the head of Marika Koroibete during the second half saw him join his centre partner on a yellow card.
14. Jock Campbell – 6
Got more involved this week. Great try-saving tackle on Richard Hardwick to keep the Reds within seven heading into the break.
15. Bryce Hegarty – 5
Struggled to get involved again this week. Was monstered by Pone Fa’amausili in the second half in one of his few involvements. Lost the kicking duties to O’Connor after struggling last week, but had a chance to win the match with the boot during super time but the shot fell short.
16. Alex Mafi – 6.5
Crossed for a crucial try in the 79th minute.
17. JP Smith – 7
Made an instant impact, helping the Reds front row earn a scrum penalty in the 51st minute. Won another with 20 to play in an impressive performance.
18. Josh Nasser – N/A
19. Tuaina Taii Tualima – 6
Did his job when others struggled.
20. Angus Scott-Young – 5.5
Struggled to make an impact after coming on at half-time.
21. Scott Malolua – 7
Controlled the tempo of the match quite well after coming on with 20 minutes to play.
22. Chris Feauai-Sautia – 7
Set up Mafi with a brilliant run and pass with a minute to play. What an offload! Continued to make a big impact throughout super time.
23. Josh Flook – 5
Finally made his Reds debut after spending 80 minutes on the bench last week. Ball didn’t come his way.
The trans-Tasman plot thickens https://t.co/sa42t14IQU
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 9, 2020
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