Quade Cooper fronted the Melbourne Rebels victory over his former franchise the Queensland Reds Saturday kicking five goals and pulling the strings in midfield.
The Rebels snapped a two-game losing streak with a 32-13 win over the Reds.
Cooper would have had plenty of motivation to perform in this particular Super Rugby match having left the Reds in a less than amicable fashion after a public falling out with coach Brad Thorn.
The mercurial fly-half had a big hand in two of the Rebels tries. It was his cross-kick that allowed Jack Maddocks to score the games first try after Cooper and Bryce Hegarty had traded a brace of penalty goals.
The Rebels Anaru Rangi has the five points next to his name for the second try but it really belonged to the whole forward pack who drove him over the line.
Rob Leota sealed a bonus point win with the Rebels’ fourth try after Taniela Tupou clawed one back for the Reds to put the BP in danger.
The victory sends the Rebels to the top of the Australian conference and was their fourth win in six matches in Super Rugby 2019.
“Super proud of the boys, they were able to grind that out in pretty tough conditions. Just happy to get the win,” said Rebels skipper Angus Cottrell.
“We were just focusing on a team performance which is what we got,” he added when asked about Cooper
The Reds came into the fixture off the back of successive Super Rugby victories. They broke their 2019 duck in week four with a narrow win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo before putting in their best display of the season so far with a 36-14 win over the Brumbies in Brisbane.
The result leaves the Reds level with bottom of the table Sunwolves on ten log points but ahead on points difference.