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Rebels see off sorry Reds

Melbourne Rebels recorded an historic first Super Rugby victory over the Reds in a controversial encounter in Brisbane decided with virtually the last kick of the game.

Jason Woodward took his match tally to 15 with a last-minute penalty to give the visitors a 30-27 win after Queensland replacement Ed O'Donoghue had been sent off for apparent eye gouging.

Referee Steve Walsh reversed a decision on advice of the television match official, who had seen a "serious incident" of "hands in the eye", having originally penalised Sean McMahon for retaliation after an incident involving Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham and O'Donoghue.

A sixth successive defeat for the Reds was compounded by a collarbone injury to fly-half Quade Cooper, who looks certain to miss Australia's three-Test series against France next month.

The game began badly for Melbourne when captain and former Red Higginbotham was yellow-carded for a late hit on Mike Harris, who capitalised by scoring a third-minute converted try.

However, a Jason Woodward penalty and conversion either side of Tom Kingston's first score for the club put the visitors ahead and they extended that further after a Harris penalty when Luke Burgess ran in from 25 metres.

Just before the interval Greg Holmes touched down a converted try to draw the scores level at 17-17 but Burgess added his second soon after the restart.

Cooper's replacement Ben Lucas scored the Reds' third try to level the scores with 15 minutes to go and Woodward and Harris traded penalties before the late red card drama.

Defeat leaves the Reds adrift at the bottom of the Australian conference after their worst run in six years.

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