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Reds take down Rebels in Super Rugby

NZN 13/05/2017 Melissa Woods

Queensland skipper Samu Kerevi has scored a last-ditch try for the Reds to claim a thrilling 29-24 Super Rugby victory over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

Kerevi's try in the 79th minute broke a 24-24 deadlock and consigned the home side to a heartbreaking defeat on Saturday night.

Kerevi also scored the opening five-pointer of the game in Queensland's five-try haul that earned a bonus point and elevated them to second on the Australian conference ladder, above the Waratahs, who had the bye.

The win was the first for the Reds on the road in two years and leaves the Rebels bottom of the Aussie conference.

The Reds hadn't won away from home since May 2015 and ended a run of 10 successive losses against Australian opponents.

Queensland coach Nick Stiles was relieved to get the win after two recent losses.

"I was really pleased with did hold on and win," Stiles said.

"If you want to go anywhere in any competition you've got to be really strong at home but you've got to have that ability to win away from home."

Melbourne's league convert Marika Koroibete levelled the score with a try in the 70th minute when he barrelled over, with Reece Hodge unable to convert.

Hodge's boot, however, had kept his team in the match with four earlier penalties.

In a frenetic final few minutes, Scott Higginbotham looked like he would score his second try of the night when he tried to take a Nick Frisby kick into the in-goal but he spilt the ball over the line.

In the end it didn't matter when Kerevi came up with the goods.

Queensland took a 17-9 lead in to halftime, hurt by a telling penalty count with veteran George Smith pinged three times in the opening 40 minutes.

They also had Karmichael Hunt yellow-carded for putting his hands in the ruck while off his feet but while a man down the Reds scored through winger Eto Nabuli.

The Rebels started to build some momentum in the second half but Koroibete, with only Frisby to beat, kicked a woeful ball straight into the arms of the Reds, with Higginbotham crossing.

Melbourne coach Tony McGahan said Koroibete would probably choose a different option if he had his time again.

"Our kicking was pretty horrible and it hurt us," McGahan said.

"I couldn't fault the endeavour and intent but our execution let us down and we left ourselves with too big a mountain to climb."

One positive for the Rebels was Sean McMahon's first appearance of the season after finally recovering from Sydney.

The Wallabies flanker played the second half and was a stand-out.

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