The Reds got back to their winning ways with a 19-3 Super Rugby Australia win over the Rebels in Brisbane. Earlier, the Highlanders upset the Hurricanes 38-21 in Dunedin in the final Super Rugby Aotearoa match of the season.

No fans were present at the game in New Zealand.

The Rebels opened the scoring with a penalty early on, but in the 14th minute, Reds right wing, Jordan Petaia went over to put his side in front.

Just before the 30 minute mark, Reds number two, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, crashed over and the hosts led 14-3 at half-time.

The Rebels enjoyed most of the possession and territory in the second half, but they just could not break through the brilliant Reds defence.

With 15 minutes to go, the Reds had made 105 tackles in the second half compared to the Rebels’ four.

Moments later, when the Rebels finally found a gap; Number 8, Isi Nasairani, knocked the ball on.

In stark contrast, the Reds made the most of their chances, with very little opportunities in the last 40 minutes. Centre Hamish Stewart scored with seven minutes remaining.

The Reds finally recorded a 19-3 win to move up to second place on the table. They trail the table-topping Brumbies by two points.

“Melbourne were very classy. They held on to that ball and kept us standing in their half. We couldn’t get out of that. But our boys held up strong. We’ve got a lot of tough men on that team and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Reds Captain Liam Wright said.

Earlier, All Black scrumhalf, Aaron Smith, led the Highlanders onto the field in his 150th game for the side while hooker, Ash Dixon, featured in his 100th super rugby match.

They faced a determined Hurricanes outfit in Dunedin and the teams went into the break tied at 14-14.

But the Highlanders kept their best for last and returned to the field with guns blazing. The Hurricanes had three tries disallowed, but were ultimately well beaten.

The Highlanders recorded a 38-21 win, but remained in fourth place in the standings, behind the third-placed ‘Canes.

Sunday’s clash between the champions, the Crusaders and the Blues were ruled a draw. The Crusaders topped the table, with the Blues finishing second.