July 10, 2020 / 11:46 AM / a month ago

Rugby: Rebels, Reds draw 18-18 after 'Super Time' fails to find a winner

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds drew 18-18 in a scrappy Super Rugby AU contest played out in front of a small crowd at Brookvale Oval on Friday after the novelty of golden point extra time failed to separate the sides.

Reds flyhalf James O’Connor converted hooker Alex Mafi’s 80th minute try to tie up the scores and send the contest into the inaugural “Super Time”, one of a series of law tweaks aimed at spicing up the Australian game.

Bryce Hegarty missed a 50-metre penalty attempt for the Reds halfway through the 10-minute extra period but it was otherwise pock-marked by a series of long punts back and forth between the two teams.

Greasy conditions had made for an error-strewn contest in regulation time with the Rebels edging the first half 6-0 courtesy of two Matt Toomua penalties.

Despite being a man down with centre Hamish Stewart in the sin-bin, the Reds cut the deficit to one point four minutes after the break when a long O’Connor pass allowed winger Filipo Daugunu to touch down in the corner.

O’Connor missed the extras but gave his side an 8-6 lead with a long-range penalty, only for the Rebels to hit back almost immediately when Wallabies winger Reece Hodge finished a slick backline move to score his side’s first try.

Rebels centre Billy Meakes extended the lead to 10 points with a converted intercept try in the 68th minute but O’Connor nailed a second penalty seven minutes later to bring his side back within seven points.

The Rebels left home three weeks ago and will be on the road for the foreseeable future after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne led to the lockdown of the state of Victoria.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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