There was no fairytale finish for Stirling Mortlock in his last game on Australian soil as the Queensland Reds edged closer to a spot in the Super Rugby finals with a clinical 32-17 victory over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
The Wallabies great, who will retire at the end of the Super Rugby season, was shown no favours by the Reds as the reigning champions ran in four tries to two to make it four wins on the trot and continue their late push towards a finals berth.
Tries from Chris F'Sautia, Dom Shipperley and Adam Wallace-Harrison put the Reds in control at half-time, but Kurtley Beale and Lachlan Mitchell scored in the early stages of the second half as the Rebels closed to within 10 points. However, that was as close as they could get, with Nick Frisby getting the Reds' fourth of the night.
Meanwhile, Aaron Cruden overcame a niggling Achilles tendon injury to kick 17 points as the Chiefs consolidated their place at the top of the standings with a 27-21 victory over the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Cruden kicked six goals from eight attempts and controlled play as the Chiefs proved the more clinical outfit in an intensely physical game.