It's a glorious evening at Suncorp. It's about 18 degrees celcius and appears dry. This should be an absolute humdinger of a match!
Last time the sides met at Suncorp was in Round 7 where the Reds ran out 19-3 victors. The overall head to head record between the sides ever so slightly favours the home side with 11 wins to the Rebels 7.
Today's referee is Nic Berry, assisted by Damon Murphy and Jordan Way, with Brett Cronan on TMO duty.
The Rebels have made 3 changes to the side that narrowly defeated the Western Force 34-30 in Newcastle last weekend. Brad Wilkin replaces Michael Wells, Frank Lomani replaces James Tuttle and Andrew Kellaway replaces Tom Pincus.
The Reds have named an unchanged side from their 26-7 home win over the table-topping Brumbies last weekend. They'll hope that their form continues through to today's qualifier.
REBELS STARTING XV: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (C), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Brad Wilkin, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr. RESERVES: 16 Efitusi Ma’afu, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Matt Gibbon, 19 Michael Stolberg, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Theo Strang, 22 Andrew Deegan, 23 Campbell Magnay
REDS STARTING XV: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (C), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Harry Hoopert. RESERVES: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Jack Straker, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Hunter Paisami
Hello and welcome to this Super Rugby AU qualifier between The Reds and The Rebels at Suncorp Stadium in the Queensland. The winner of today's match will face The Brumbies in the inaugural Super Rugby AU Final next weekend.
We are underway in this qualifier as James O'Connor sends his kick off toward the Rebels 22.
An early chance to carry for Reece Hodge who finds space on the wing inside his 22 and carries up beyond halfway. The Rebels maintain possession and look to get the phases rolling around halfway. They weren't really making ground, moving backward in fact, before Toomua got smashed by Salakaia-Loto. The Rebels get a scrum though due to a knock on in the tackle.
Toomua drives the Reds back into their 22 but they exit superbly, through a James O'Connor clearance beyond halfway.
The first kicking battle of the night ensures. It seems the Reds have the upper hand, as Haylett-Petty is driven back to his try line and can only find Daugunu at halfway on his kick return. The flying Fijian had no plan of kicking it but is met by a few defenders on the Rebels 40 metre line. He looked to offload but the ball was knocked on.
The scrum is steady from the Rebels and they're able to work a set piece to Haylett-Petty who brings it up to the 22. The Rebels look to a cross kick which is almost pinpoint, but Kellaway couldn't get the ball over the try line before putting a foot in touch. So close to the opener!
TRY! REDS! PETAIA! 5-0. Naisarani has a strong carry, taking it toward the Reds 22. The ball is recycled quickly and Toomua looks to pass it out wide but OH INTERCEPTION! Petaia picks off the pass and shows a clean pair of heels to get under the post for the try!
CONVERSION! O'CONNOR! 7-0. James O'Connor has the simplest of jobs with this conversion and makes no mistake.
The Reds eventually manage to exit after a few phases having lost the kick off. They force a lineout just outside their 22 but they'll get the ball back as Meakes knocks on a terrible pass from Frank Lomani.
The Reds scrum is clean and they bring it up to halfway before kicking it away. The ball breaks to Meakes who takes contact but the Rebels get a penalty, as Paenga-Amosa is penalised for hands in the ruck.
Terrific defence from Brad Wilkin who takes advantage of an upright running Koroibete. The Rebels winger tried to get himself to ground but knocked it on in the process.
A huge scrum from the Rebels and they win a penalty! Tupou loses his bind under pressure and so the Rebels have a chance to get points on the board through a Toomua penalty.
PENALTY! REBELS! TOOMUA! 7-3. Easy as you like, Toomua slots this one and reduces the Reds' lead.
Kellaway makes a mistake as his kick flies out on the full from outside his 22.
Campbell broke the line and almost got through for the try before a superb last stitch tackle by Koroibete. He looks to offload to Petaia but he couldn't get the pass right and the ball is knocked over the dead ball line.
Richard Hardwick gets his hands on the ball and forces a penalty for holding on. Touch found about 30 metres from the Reds line.
A loose ball from Lomani causes a turnover. Worse yet, the ball wasn't cleared to touch but Kellaway was isolated. Fraser McReight gets straight over the ball and earns the penalty for his side.
Billy Meakes is penalised for not rolling away. It was a lazy effort from him and gives the Reds a chance to have a shot at goal from centre field, 40 metres out.
PENALTY! REDS! O'CONNOR! 10-3. James O'Connor takes the Reds back ahead by a conversion try as his penalty sails through the uprights.
The Reds get another penalty, as Petaia makes a good tackle on Naisarani and Daugunu gets over the top to force the turnover. O'Connor will have a shot, although this kick is a lot tougher, near the corner 40 metres out.
It's a first miss of the game for O'Connor, who pushes his kick away to the right of the posts.
Koroibete busts through a couple of tackles but his offload is awful, travelling forward. Reds will have a scrum on their 40 metre line.
Toomua makes a tackle and is trapped in the ruck. As a result, he is penalised for not rolling away. O'Connor kicks to touch about 30 metres from the Rebels line.
O'Connor loses the ball with an audacious offload as Ainsley retrieves the ball and carries to halfway. Ball changes hands a few times before coming to the Reds deep in their 22. A poor pass from McDermott puts O'Connor under immense pressure. His kick is charged by Naisarani who looks over for all money but the bounce got him! A wicked first bounce sent the ball racing over the dead ball line.
A promising looking possession from the Rebels comes to nothing as Cameron Orr knocks the ball in contact about 10 metres from the Reds line.
Not the best clearance from O'Connor, who had time and space to do better, but he finds touch about 25 metres from his line nevertheless.
HALF TIME! REDS 10 - 10 REBELS. It's been a scintillating half of rugby, with high-octane action from both sides. The Rebels have probably ever so slightly had the upper hand and probably deserve to be level as the teams head to the sheds.
CONVERSION! TOOMUA! 10-10. Matt Toomua converts from in front to level matters as we head to half time.
TRY! REBELS! KOROIBETE! 10-8. Marika Koroibete catches the Reds defence napping with a pick and go from the 22. The defence opened up like the red sea as the Rebels strike just on half time!
Toomua's kick off is retrieved by Daugunu near the sideline on his 22. News from half time: Petaia has failed an HIA test and is replaced by Hunter Paisami.
The Rebels look to shift it out wide with quick hands but a poor pass to Wilkin is knocked on. Dane Haylett-Petty has done something to his knee and is forced to limp off. He's replaced by Campbell Magnay.
The Reds scrum is immediately dominant and they earn a relieving penalty.
TRY! REDS! SALAKAIA-LOTO! 15-10. Me oh my I have enjoyed that, yes boy! Hunter Paisami throws a stupendous dummy at speed to make a linebreak. He finds support in Daugunu on the wing at the Rebels 22. The Fijian winger takes contact but keeps his feet, holding onto it before offloading inside to Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, who gets the meat pie in his 50th game! What a try!
CONVERSION! O'CONNOR! 17-10. Sublime from O'Connor, whose conversion from the left touchline is successful.
The Reds have regained possession and are down in the Rebels 22. Uelese does superbly to get his hands in to steal the ball. Blyth looked to take it straight back but knocked it on. Rebels will have a defensive scrum, 15 metres from their own line.
Toomua's clearance is good, finding touch on halfway.
Ahhhhhh! Tate McDermott makes an electrifying break on halfway after a magical sidestep. He has Daugunu on his inside but throws a massive dummy to him. Perhaps would've been the better option as he ran out of support. He was forced to look for a grubber toward the wing but his kick trickles over the dead ball line. So close to another phenomenal try for the Reds but the Rebels remain within striking distance.
The Rebels get a penalty near halfway and will have a shot at goal. Toomua seems to be struggling with a hamstring and is replaced by Andrew Deegan.
PENALTY! REBELS! HODGE! 17-13. It's Reece Hodge who steps up to have this shot at goal and it's a perfect first strike of the game.
Trevor Hosea knocks the ball on from the kick off, putting the Reds back on the front foot with a scrum near the Rebels 22.
Massive scrum from the Reds who earn themselves a penalty. The Reds will look to hit straight back as O'Connor has opted for a shot at goal.
PENALTY! REDS! O'CONNOR! 20-13. Once again, the Reds have extended their lead to a conversion try, as O'Connor sees his kick go in off the upright.
An extended spell of possession for the Rebels as they move through 8 phases on the Reds 22. Interesting option from Deegan, who looks to the grubber. It's not very threatening, gifting the Reds a bit of respite through a goalline drop out.
Oh dear! Billy Meakes has absolutely chucked a chance away. Naisarani brought it back from the drop out with strength before Uelese went extremely close. The Rebels required a touch of patience, with numbers aplenty, but Meakes threw a skip pass out wide to Koroibete which drifts forward. It was a try for all money but the Reds escape for now.
A great scrum from the Reds earns them a relieving penalty.
Paisami is penalised for not releasing the ball after being tackled.
Lomani has knocked it on at the base of the ruck, just outside the Reds 22. Frustrating error for him and his team.
The Rebels bring the ball forward to halfway after O'Connor's clearance. The ball is recycled and comes to Andrew Deegan, whose kick is allowed to bounce and trickles into touch on the Reds 22. Important defensive lineout coming up; expect the Rebels to contest.
The Reds lineout is successful and O'Connor clears to halfway. It comes to Hodge who looks to spark something but the Reds defense is resolute. The tackle is made on Hodge and Daugunu gets his hands on the ball to win his side a penalty for holding on.
The Reds get creative with their lineout, working a short move, but it backfires as there was a forward pass. Rebels will have a scrum on their own 40.
The Rebels spread it out wide to Kellaway who was in space. He charges up the wing but has no support and is forced to put a kick infield. The ball is swept up by McDermott who is tackled, but the Reds recycle and clear their lines.
The Rebels lineout is clean and they set up a rolling maul. It's a strong one, moving about 10 metres forward, but it collapses and the Reds earn a turnover. Better yet, they win a penalty from the resulting scrum.
TRY! REDS! DAUGUNU! 25-13. A lovely inside ball from Bryce Hegarty puts a rampaging Taniela Tupou in the gap! For once, he looks for support instead of running over the defender, finding Daugunu out wide, who is over for the try in the corner!
A tough kick for O'Connor from the left touchline and it's unsuccessful, as it drifts across the posts.
The Rebels are throwing everything at this now put to no avail. A loose ball is intercepted by Paisami who takes contact. The ball is recycled to Daugunu who sprints up the wing and looks for an audacious offload but he throws it straight into touch on the Rebels 22.
The Rebels punch the ball upfield after the Reds are penalised for offisde. It's a Rebels lineout, 40 metres from the Reds line.
Daugunu makes a strong tackle on Hodge, muscling him into touch as he looked for a switch with Koroibete.
FULL TIME! REDS 25 - 13 REBELS. The hooter sounds and Sorovi kicks the ball into the stands! The Reds are through to the final next weekend, where they will face the Brumbies in Canberra.