Reds smash through Rebels defence for huge win
RUGBY UNION: The Melbourne Rebels put up a fight but were no match for the Queensland Reds in yesterday's Super Rugby pre-season match at Marley Brown Oval.
The Reds got on the scoreboard early, with a try barely three minutes after kick-off.
Momentum stayed with them throughout the game, giving them a 57-5 win over the Rebels.
Reds captain Liam Wright said it was really good to get the win.
"It's been a tough pre-season so to put in a pretty good showing on most accounts was great," Wright said.
"It was a slippery day but we put some good foundations down and you can't question the boys' work ethic and effort."
Despite the morning's rain, the Reds came out firing, putting a good foot forward going into the season.
"It was a good test because we don't often get the wet in Brisbane," Wright said.
"It was a bit slippery, a bit wet but made us chance a little bit of our plan so we came in a bit tighter."
Speed proved to be one of the keys for the Reds.
"Our backs have been doing a lot of work and our speed coach has been great this pre-season in our strength and conditioning," he said.
The Reds dominated possession throughout the match.
The Rebels got close to scoring in the 49th minute, but the Reds' defence proved too strong.
In the 54th minute, the Rebels finally crossed the line for five points, but were unable to convert the try.
"We let one try in but we were pretty happy for our first outing," Wright said.
"Our contact was quite good and we did well to not let them in towards the end."
Yesterday's match was a way for the Reds to see what they needed to work on going into the Super Rugby season.
"It's just little bits of timing," Wright said.
"Our set piece starters were good for the most part but there are still little bits where we're getting out that rust.
"We're just going to keep ironing that out and making sure our little details are there."
Hundreds of people attended the match and both teams thanked the crowd at the end of the match.
"They were pretty loud," Wright said.
"The boys were saying that when they were under the tent, and the crowd started clapping, it almost sounded like rain.
"It's been awesome out here."
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said it was great to see so many people supporting the Reds and the drought appeal.
"The game has helped raise almost $12,000 for the appeal," Cr Burnett said.
"Most of that is from ticket sales."
He said he was happy the rain had cleared up for the big match.
"It's a Gladstone Region Drought Appeal day and to have rain to start the day was fantastic," he said.
"It was a Super Rugby day in Gladstone."
Gladstone Rugby Union Football Club juniors took to the field before the game.
Cr Burnett was happy with how they went.
The Gladstone under-13 side beat Mackay 35-0.
However, the under-15s game saw the Gladstone team beaten by Mackay 17-7.