Rugby: Reds beat Rebels in Melbourne

Mike Harris of the Reds is tackled during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Rebels and the Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Photo / Getty Images
Mike Harris of the Reds is tackled during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Rebels and the Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Photo / Getty Images

Stand-in scrumhalf Nick Frisby made the best of a rare starting opportunity by scoring two tries for the Queensland Reds as they beat the Melbourne Rebels 36-20 in Super Rugby on Friday.

Frisby replaced Wallabies star Will Genia, sidelined after ankle surgery, and allayed fears the Reds might struggle without Genia and his regular flyhalf partner Quade Cooper.

Friday's match was the first since 2008 in which neither Genia nor Cooper featured in a Reds starting lineup.

Winger Lachie Turner scored a double - his first since 2010 - and fullback Mike Harris scored a try but gave up his perfect goalkicking record this season.

He landed the conversion of Lachie Turner's first try, his 13th success from as many attempts in 2014, but missed his next four shots at goal.

The Reds had a four-try bonus point and a 22-3 lead by halftime but the Rebels rallied with second-half tries to scrumhalf Luke Burgess, flyhalf Bryce Hegarty and centre Mitch Inman.

Turner's second try and another to his fellow winger Rod Davis saw off the Melbourne threat and marked the first occasion this season the Reds have scored six tries in a match.

Davis was called back on several occasions for slight infringements before finally notching his 19th try for the Reds in the 71st minute.

The Rebels had the final say, scoring their third try two minutes after the final siren through Inman.

Fullback Jason Woodward added the conversion, his last points for the Rebels in Melbourne before he joins the Wellington-based Hurricanes for next season.

The Reds were 12th and the Rebels 14th before the match, and neither team was in playoffs contention.

Queensland 36 (Nick Frisby 2, Lachie Turner 2, Mike Harris, Rod Davis tries; Harris 3 conversions)
Melbourne 20 (Luke Burgess, Bryce Hegarty, Mitch Inman tries; Jason Woodward conversion, penalty).
HT: 22-3.

- AP

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