MELBOURNE, May 15 (Reuters) - The Queensland Reds piled on 40 unanswered points in a 33-minute blitz to come from behind and thrash the Melbourne Rebels 46-29 in an all-Australian Super rugby clash on Friday.
Trailing 17-6 just before the halftime break, the Reds suddenly turned the match around with a brilliant display of running rugby, crossing for six quick tries.
The Rebels, who would have gone to the top of the Australian conference standings with a win, did pick up a bonus point for scoring four tries, but had no answer to Queensland’s onslaught, suffering their sixth loss of the year.
“What can you do, we just didn’t have the ball for about 30 minutes in that second half,” Melbourne captain Scott Higginbotham said.
“That what’s good sides do, they can turn the table, stop your momentum and turn it to their own advantage.”
For the Reds, it was just their third win of a poor season, but enough to lift them off the bottom of the standings after giving up 58 points against the Canterbury Crusaders last week.
“We had to stick to our game plan. It was just about looking at everyone’s own backyard rather than pointing fingers,” Queensland skipper James Slipper said.
“We just dumbed everything down and did the basics right. We came out on top tonight but it’s still been a tough year.”
The Rebels made a great start to the match at Brisbane’s Lang Park, with Fijian-born winger Sefanaia Naivalu scoring two spectacular first-half tries, the first from inside Melbourne’s quarter, to open up an 11-point lead.
But the Reds scored four minutes before the break through lock Rob Simmons then came out full of running after the re-start.
Queensland wing Lachie Turner bagged a double while flyhalf Jake McIntyre, wing Chris Feauai-Sautia and openside flanker Liam Gill crossed once each during the bombardment.
The Rebels picked up two late consolation tries from wing Dom Shipperley and lock Luke Jones but it was too late to turn things around. (Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; editing by Toby Davis)