Reds spoil the party
Losing send off for Mortlock, Campbell and Huxley
Last Updated: 29/06/12 1:48pm
The Reds spoiled the farewell party in Melbourne as they saw off the Rebels 32-17.
The match saw former Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock and Al Campbell make their final appearances on Australian soil before retiring, while Julian Huxley is moving to France.
However they failed to finish on a winning note as the Reds kept their play-off hopes alive with the bonus point win.
Chris Feauai-Sautia, Dom Shipperley, Adam Wallace-Harrison and Nick Frisby crossed for tries for the Reds, while Mike Harris landed 12 points - with the win taking them up to third in the standings.
Kurtley Beale and Lachlan Mitchell did score for the Rebels, but the match was effectively over as a contest by half-time.
The Reds had stormed into a 24-3 lead - with a contender for the try of the season included in their three-try salvo.
Teenager Chris F'Sautia, a late replacement for Digby Ioane, had opened the scoring before supplying the final pass to fellow winger Dom Shipperley for a memorable score.
After the pack had won the ball against the head at a scrum, Harris chipped over the Rebels defence and collected the kick. Quick hands from the backs found F'Sautia, who slipped the ball back on the inside for Shipperley to crash over.
Lock Wallace-Harrison also powered over after good work from the impressive Quade Cooper to put the game beyond doubt.
The second half saw a stirring fightback from the Rebels as they finally put the Reds under pressure.
They were rewarded when full-back Beale forced his way over after 56 minutes, while Mitchell gave the home fans hope nine minutes later.
However the Reds, perhaps guilty of taking their foot off the gas, finished with the flourish - with Frisby finishing well in the corner to seal the bonus point.
"The game didn't go to plan for the big send off," Rebels captain Gareth Delve said.
"But we showed great character in the second half. In the first half we made too many mistakes and left ourselves with a mountain to climb."
Reds skipper Will Genia admitted: "We dropped a little bit in that second half which is disappointing but we got that fourth try and that's very important for the competition."