Reds run over Rebels 29-24

Geoff Parkes Columnist

By Geoff Parkes, Geoff Parkes is a Roar Expert

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131 Have your say

    The Reds are still alive in Super Rugby after a late try to standout centre Samu Kerevi snuffed out a second half comeback by the home side, securing a 29-24 win.

    In an entertaining, if at times scrappy game, the Reds were good value for their 17-9 halftime lead, after scoring three first-half tries against a Rebels side who couldn’t hold the ball for long enough periods to sustain pressure.

    The Rebels stayed in the game courtesy of their willingness to scrap at the breakdown, and feeding off the Reds turnovers and poor kick off receipts, and then grew in confidence in the second half.

    An important contributor was Sean McMahon, whose energy seemed to lift the side, who scored twice through Will Miller and Marika Koroibete, to eventually draw level at 24-24 with ten minutes to play.

    But it was the Reds who dominated the final stanza, almost going ahead through Scott Higginbotham, who dropped a kick when over the line, before Kerevi finished things off with his second try. It was fitting that the skipper had the final say, he was in great form, running dangerously all night.

    One of the reasons was some nice distribution from Quade Cooper, who had an excellent match, always looking to create.

    Up front, George Smith was again busy although he did concede too many penalties for his Nick Stiles’ liking. Higginbotham ran strongly in the loose, and while the Reds are far from the finished product, this win will go a long way to shaping the rest of their season.

    They now only sit three points behind the Brumbies, who they will meet again this year.

    The Rebels showed plenty of heart in the second half, but will rue a flat patch in the first, when they failed to take advantage of the 10 minutes Karmichael Hunt spent in the bin.

    Flyhalf Ben Volavola had some nice touches, and Reece Hodge always looked dangerous, but once again the Rebels didn’t quite find the cohesion in attack they wanted.

    Marika Koroibete is an enigma, bringing the crowd to life with some strong carries, but then blotting his copybook with two truly awful kicks, when he had plenty of space to run the ball.

    The second kick was costly, directly leading to Kerevi’s first try, and it will be no surprise if he is forbidden ever to kick again, no matter the situation.

    Unsurprisingly, the coaches were quite a contrast after the match, the Reds’ Nick Stiles delighted at his side breaking their lean run away from home, and putting themselves in a position to challenge at the top of the conference ladder.

    Meanwhile, Tony McGahan was left to rue his sides’ lack of execution and composure in the first half, and the realisation that a season that promised so much, has now been frittered away; on and off the field.

    Final score
    Rebels 24
    Reds 29

    Geoff Parkes
    Geoff Parkes

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy, was released in December 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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    The Crowd Says (131)

    • May 13th 2017 @ 11:39pm
      Hello said | May 13th 2017 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

      Good wrap up of the game Geoff

    • May 13th 2017 @ 11:41pm
      Rugnut said | May 13th 2017 @ 11:41pm | ! Report

      Why is it that commentators and journos get all excited over McMahon. Besides 2 hit ups he was very quiet for a fresh reserve in the 2nd half.

      IMO he sits behind Hooper, Pocock Smith and Gill as 7’s and is par with Hodges.

      Smith was again terrific and Frisby is a poor excuse of a State half back.

      QC had another quiet game.

      What sort of coach allows a team on the field without a kicker. Goal and general kicks are pathetic

      Hodges game for the rebels convinced me he has to be in the starting 15 for the Wallabies probably at wing

      Moore had a good game and it’s great he’s playing all of the 80mins.

      Magnays poorly executed tackle is reflective of the Reds skills in the area.

      BUT The worse part of the game was the kick offs. Wow… just basic stuff

      A week off now…. a lot of time to practice tackling, kick offs and how to reduce penalties

      • May 14th 2017 @ 1:53am
        pm said | May 14th 2017 @ 1:53am | ! Report

        Crawl back under your rock mate.

        • Roar Pro

          May 14th 2017 @ 9:00am
          Clash said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

          What an unpleasant unnecessary comment. Have a wonderful morning pm, your afternoon shows you up nicely.

        • May 14th 2017 @ 9:53am
          Sportscrazy said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          pm……….. what is that about. I would have to agree with most of rugnuts opinions. Although Moore and Smith seemed to struggle. In saying that, Moore outplayed Hansen.

          Rather that shoot someone down without explanation show some courage and argue your points of view

          Happy Mothers Day Champ!!!!

        • May 14th 2017 @ 9:53am
          Sportscrazy said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

    • May 14th 2017 @ 3:28am
      Aucklandlaurie said | May 14th 2017 @ 3:28am | ! Report

      Surely The Brumbies would beat the Reds?

      • May 14th 2017 @ 6:22am
        MA said | May 14th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

        Only by kicking penalties. Brumbies can’t score a try in 2 1/2 games. Larkham is the Wallabies attack coach!

        • May 14th 2017 @ 8:01am
          Red Block said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

          And Nathan Grey is the Wallabies defence coach and the Waratahs can’t tackle.

          • May 16th 2017 @ 7:35am
            Bman said | May 16th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

            Wallabies are proper screwed

      • Roar Guru

        May 14th 2017 @ 7:44am
        taylorman said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report


      • Columnist

        May 14th 2017 @ 7:48am
        Geoff Parkes said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Well they did already AL. Comprehensively.

        But the next meeting is in Brisbane, and it shapes now as crucial for the conference.

      • May 14th 2017 @ 10:14am
        OZ Rugby Fan said | May 14th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

        Brumbies are easily the best Aussie team, however they seem to lack something in attack. I think they could have been much more successful this season if they could get that sorted.

        • May 16th 2017 @ 7:37am
          Bman said | May 16th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

          Lack something in attack? yes.. that would be the entire process of attacking!

      • May 14th 2017 @ 10:32am
        Cynical Play said | May 14th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Brumbies already thrashed the Reds.
        Force beat the Reds
        Tahs beat the Reds in QLD
        Reds have so many great players but only managed to beat the hapless Rebels. Why? …Stiles!

        • May 14th 2017 @ 10:47am
          Rugnut said | May 14th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          It’s a mystery Cynical. When the team gells they are terrific. Unfortunately this has not happened more than once or twice for short periods this year.

          Is it the coach?

          Is it the huge gap of $$$ pays across the playing group?

          Is it the age difference (mid 30s to early 20s)?

          Whatever it is, it needs to be sorted.

          • May 14th 2017 @ 12:05pm
            soapit said | May 14th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

            from what ive seen i do kinda think that out of all the oz teams the reds would be up there for teams the others wouldnt want to play in a final.

            in contrast to the other oz teams they seem to be able to actually create chances pretty regularly but dont have the quality in finishing them off and could be a danger team in a one off match

            • Roar Rookie

              May 14th 2017 @ 5:17pm
              Dave_S said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              I think that’s right soapit. Reds seem to convert maybe 1/3 of their genuine try scoring chances. Kerevi alone is good for 2 or 3 big busts per game.

              Improve that conversion rate even just marginally and they are good for plenty of points.

              Similarly, improve the discipline a bit and they’ll give away a lot fewer points.

              If … if … 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                May 14th 2017 @ 5:23pm
                Fionn said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

                Kerevi’s lateral movement is unbelievable for a guy his size, if he had better support runners then the Reds would be looking good for an extra 1-2 tries per game.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 14th 2017 @ 6:04pm
                Dave_S said | May 14th 2017 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

                Yep there was a classic example when Kerevi made a big bust and 40m later the only support was … Rob Simmons!

              • May 14th 2017 @ 9:10pm
                riddler said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

                fair due to simmons though dave..

                simmons wasn’t that bad yesterday.. solid game..

              • May 14th 2017 @ 10:26pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 14th 2017 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

                Simmons has been playing well for most of the season.

                Not stand out but making his tackles, getting over the gain line and laying a platform in attack and doing his job in the set piece.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 15th 2017 @ 6:08am
                Dave_S said | May 15th 2017 @ 6:08am | ! Report

                riddler, indeed giving credit to Simmons, but there are at least 10 other faster Reds, and where we’re they?

        • Roar Guru

          May 14th 2017 @ 7:59pm
          taylorman said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

          Whereas I think it’s because of the great players. Reds have started every season lately with a great cast, a pack that was going to tear the comp etc up. Nothing, Regular bottom of the table, for four seasons.

          That ain’t the coaches. It’s the cast.

        • May 14th 2017 @ 11:02pm
          Rhys Bosley said | May 14th 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report


          The Brumbies beat them in Canberra when Cooper was banned. I happen to think the Brumbies were good enough to win even had Cooper played, but the scoreline would have been much closer.

          The Waratahs only beat them because the ref was a goose, it was the most undeserved win in a game of rugby I have ever seen. The Tahs who are also stacked full of Wallabies should take no comfort from it.

          Only the Force beat them fair and square, because the Reds made the mistake of underestimating them.

    • May 14th 2017 @ 6:02am
      riddler said | May 14th 2017 @ 6:02am | ! Report

      cheers geoff.. fair summary.. i enjoyed the game and the win more importantly..

      i think though even his staunchest supporters would struggle to say cooper had an excellent game..

      • Columnist

        May 14th 2017 @ 7:43am
        Geoff Parkes said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

        I liked his distribution riddler, especially off his right hand, it was the reason Kerevi and Nabuli got so much running space and at the right times.

        But sure, just like Cooper does, not everything worked. Happy to downgrade to “good” 🙂

        • Roar Rookie

          May 14th 2017 @ 8:47am
          Dave_S said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

          Good summary Geoff but I think “good” is fair for Quade last night and this season generally.

          His distribution is “excellent” but since he shelved (had to abandon thru injury?) his running game he’s an incomplete 10.

          Doesn’t seem to do a lot of game management either, for an experienced 10 (to be fair he may be just relatively quiet about it). His kicking remains hot and cold too.

          He did manage to man up for a few important tackles in the last line of defence.

          • Columnist

            May 14th 2017 @ 9:36am
            Geoff Parkes said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

            Hi Dave

            Yes, he’s still playing close to the defensive line but what’s missing is that spark when he holds the ball and busts the line himself.

            Evidenced also by that long intercept against the Tahs, where a season or two ago, he would have scored himself.

            Whether he’s injured or not, it’s gone. But that said, last night he was still creating play and making things happen, and there’s not enough of that in Australian rugby.

            • May 14th 2017 @ 9:42am
              Fionn said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

              Quade is the only creative 10 in Aus. He’s proved that for years.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 14th 2017 @ 10:50am
              Dave_S said | May 14th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              Yes especially his vision for free runners and his long pass to get it to them is still as good as I’ve seen from anyone.

              • May 14th 2017 @ 1:29pm
                Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | May 14th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

                Geoff, Fiona, Dave, agreed .

                The job of a 10 is fundamentally to be creative. Predictability does not unlock a defence.
                Quade is a long way from a perfect 10, but he is the best 10 in the country.

                Wallaby attack should be designed around him when he is on the field, even if Foley is selected to start.

    • May 14th 2017 @ 7:31am
      Zero Gain said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      Another close game between two Australian sides. A good win in the end for the Reds against a determined Rebels.
      What these local games show is how close and good a domestic competition would be. These teams should be playing each other 3 times a year. Local potential fans would immediately be engaged, many non-local fans would disengage and the game could enjoy some positive commentary and interest.
      We should ditch SR and start a stand alone domestic competition. It is so obvious that this is the best option for the future of the game in this country. Every other code has done it successfully and now the women’s version is succeeding as well. Everything except rugby.

      • Columnist

        May 14th 2017 @ 7:46am
        Geoff Parkes said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

        A fair point made ZG about how even the Australian sides are. Look at the AFL competition this year, fans of all sides turn up at every game genuinely believing that their side can win.

      • May 14th 2017 @ 10:48am
        Jibba Jabba said | May 14th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        And on top of that ZG you are guaranteed an Ozzie win – cant complain about that 🙂

    • May 14th 2017 @ 7:56am
      Kevin said | May 14th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      A masterclass of 10 play by Quade. Top games by Kerevi, Hunt, Smith, Tui and Higgers. Cheika has to be considering these players as the Reds continue to be the most prolific AUS team at creating numerous attacking opportunities through 10, 12, 15, 6, 7 and 8. We have to attack at Wallaby level or we will be no chance.

      • May 14th 2017 @ 8:16am
        bigbaz said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

        You are not allowed to praise QC here mate, Geoff has already been pulled into line.

      • May 14th 2017 @ 9:28am
        Zero Gain said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Ok, I will go with ‘masterclass’, although probably not one ‘for the ages’. At the very least Quade was composed and received some good support from those around him. I would select Quade over Bernard, but Chris won’t.

        • May 14th 2017 @ 9:30am
          Zero Gain said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report


        • May 14th 2017 @ 9:30am
          Zero Gain said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report


          • May 14th 2017 @ 9:58am
            Adsa said | May 14th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report


            • May 14th 2017 @ 1:49pm
              Zero Gain said | May 14th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report


              • May 14th 2017 @ 2:02pm
                Adsa said | May 14th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report


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