The Melbourne Rebels snapped a three-game losing streak to beat the Reds on Friday.
The Will Genia-led Rebels ground out a 30-24 win in Melbourne to shore up their place at the top of the Australian conference, making the most of two Reds’ yellow cards.
Tries came from Wallabies Marika Koroibete, Dane Haylett-Petty and Tetera Faulkner, along with Anaru Rangi.
The Rebels desperately needed a win to set up the back-end of the season after an impressive start to the year faltered with three straight defeats.
“Was a good win, we had to grind it out there in some tough conditions,” said skipper Haylett-Petty.
“We put pressure on them, especially when they had some (yellow) cards. We obviously wanted to get back to winning ways, but also our brand of rugby – and we did through patches there.”
They had all the early possession, but made too many errors with a slippery ball, and Bryce Hegarty kicked a penalty to put the Reds in front.
When Reds skipper Samu Kerevi was yellow-carded on 16 minutes for tackling Genia in the air, the Rebels grabbed the advantage, with Koroibete busting through the defence for a try off a dominant set-piece.
They got their second after an intense period of pressure saw hooker Rangi flop over after a powerful driving maul from a lineout.
Quade Cooper converted both times.
Rebels v Reds | Super Rugby 2019 Rd 13 Highlights
It was a valiant effort by @Reds_Rugby to keep in touch, but the Australian Conference leading @MelbourneRebels proved too strong, winning 30-24 at AAMI Park.#SuperRugby #REBvRED pic.twitter.com/1JKW88FAB1
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) May 10, 2019
Against the run of play, the Reds kept in touch with a try just before halftime as youngster Isaac Lucas got his first touchdown in Super Rugby.
But with Scott Higginbotham in the sin-bin at the start of the second stanza, the Rebels pressed hard and produced two tries in the opening 10 minutes, from Faulkner after a move from within their own half, and then Haylett-Petty.
Harry Hoopert pulled one back for the Reds from a rolling maul, but the damage had been done, and a late Reece Hodge penalty ensured the win.