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Mortlock says Super Reds are gold
Melissa Woods
12:36 AEST Sat Jun 30 2012

Retiring Rebels skipper Stirling Mortlock believes the Queensland Reds have what it takes to defend their Super Rugby crown.

The Reds put Melbourne to the sword at AAMI Park on Friday night, crashing Mortlock's farewell party at his home ground with a bonus point 32-17 win.

With Kurtley Beale moving to five-eighth to ignite the Rebels backline in the second half, Melbourne, who are out of the finals race, ran in two tries to get to within 10 points.

But Reds and Wallabies halfback Will Genia rallied his side and fired a pass to set up the match-winning try, scored by youngster Nick Frisby in the corner.

Mortlock said the way Queensland were able to withstand the Rebels' fightback and seize back control of the match showed their class.

"The Reds are a quality team," he said.

"They were as champions last year and they showed it again against us at the end of the game to deny us any further chances."

Queensland have two matches at Suncorp Stadium to cap the regular season, against the Highlanders and NSW, who despite their lowly ladder position always fire against their traditional rivals.

"They have two hard games ahead but they'll have big home crowds behind them at a great arena so they have the chance to make the play-offs again," Mortlock said.

"It would be exciting if they did get there and what they could do."

Promising young Reds flyer Chris F'Sautia will undergo scans after leaving the field with a AC joint injury while mercurial five-eighth Quade Cooper was also an early casualty.

Cooper suffered a lower leg bump that compressed some nerves however he's expected to play on Friday night.

F'Sautia replaced Digby Ioane in the line-up, with the Test winger diagnosed with pneumonia and also in some doubt.


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