The Reds strengthened their chances of making the play-offs when they claimed a 32-17 win over the Rebels in Melbourne.
The Reds strengthened their chances of making the Super Rugby play-offs when they claimed a 32-17 win over the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.
This result was sewn up in the first half when the Brisbane-based franchise ran in three tries without reply to give them a handy 24-3 lead at half-time.
After James O'Connor opened the scoring with a penalty for the hosts in the 15th minute, the Reds struck back from the restart, with a try by 18-year-old wing Chris Feauai-Sautia, who came into the side as a late replacement for Digby Ioane.
The youngster got an easy run-in into the corner after latching onto a long pass from Quade Cooper close to the Rebels' try-line.
The Reds' best try, however, came in the 26th minute when Dom Shipperley rounded off a superb team effort, which started deep inside their own half.
In the build-up, Mike Harris caught the on-rushing Rebels defence off guard with a chip kick over their heads which he regathered.
Harris offloaded to Anthony Faingaa who then put Feauai-Sautia in the clear. The young speedster was hauled in from behind by Kurtley Beale but did well to throw an inside pass to Shipperley, who scored in the left-hand corner.
The third try came five minutes before the break when Cooper did well to create space for Adam Wallace-Harrison to dot down next to the Rebels' posts.
All three tries were converted by Mike Harris who also got the first points of the second half via a penalty in the 50th minute.
The home side suffered a further blow when O'Connor limped off shortly after the restart with a hamstring injury but their supporters were given a glimmer of hope when Kurtley Beale scored their first try under the posts after beating Scott Higginbotham with a neat side-step.
Ten minutes later Lachlan Mitchell scored their second try in the right-hand corner and when Beale landed a difficult conversion from close to the touchline the Rebels were trailing by 10 points (17-27).
This seemed to liven up their opponents who went in search of their bonus-point try. Their efforts were rewarded when Nick Frisby ran onto a flat pass from Will Genia before getting in in the corner.
This sealed the hosts' fate and it was a bitter pill to swallow for Rebels veterans Stirling Mortlock, Julian Huxley and Al Campbell who all played their final matches on Australian soil.
The Reds, however, are now in seventh spot on the table – just one below the play-off positions – and are on equal points with the Bulls and the Sharks.
Tries: Beale, Mitchell
Cons: Huxley, Beale
Tries: Feauai-Sautia, Shipperley, Wallace-Harrison, Frisby
Cons: Harris 3
Pens: Harris 2
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Stirling Mortlock (c), 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Hugh Perrett, 6 Tom Chamberlain, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Cadeyrne Neville, 3 Jono Owen, 2 Adam Freier, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Rodney Blake, 18 Al Campbell, 19 Tim Davidson, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Lachlan Mitchell, 22 Julian Huxley.
Reds: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Beau Robinson, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Chris F'Sautia, 22 Nick Frisby.
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)