Fainga'a pushing to prolong purple patch

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

A fit and firing Colby Fainga'a is relishing the prospect of prolonging the best purple patch of his career.

The Melbourne Rebels openside flanker has flashed moments of breakdown brilliance since debuting for the Brumbies in 2010 but he has never sustained a streak of matches like his start to 2017.

The 25-year-old went toe-to-toe with the immense Michael Hooper in Friday night's thriller and along with Amanaki Mafi, was one of the Rebels' best against the Chiefs the week prior.

"The main thing for me is trying to keep my body fit," Fainga'a told media this morning.

"I know Hoops quite well, we played a lot together in Canberra when he was down there so I suppose I kind of know the way he plays.

"We did a reasonable job but we still lost in the end and he played extremely well as well but it was a good opportunity to play him."Fainga'a led the Rebels admirably against the Waratahs. Photo: Getty ImagesDespite Fainga'a's stellar form, the Rebels have not been able to get across the line for their first win of 2017.

That has triggered some frustration within the squad, particularly after they blew a 25-6 half-lead against the Waratahs in Friday's heartbreaking loss.

"Our attack was really sharp and our defence was awesome as well," Fainga'a said.

"I thought we played really well for 76 or 77 minutes and then we let ourselves down with two quick tries at the end.

"We are pleased with some aspects of it but obviously getting so close to beating the Tahs at home and then falling short is disappointing."

With their season on life support, attention now turns to their trip to Dunedin, where the Highlanders await on Friday night.A shattered Amanaki Mafi after the loss to the Tahs. Photo: Getty ImagesThey are yet to find top gear and anchor the New Zealand Conference but they showed serious heart to walk away from GIO Stadium with four points after a gritty battle against the Brumbies.

"We're going over there for a result," he said.

"The way they played against the Brumbies is how we think they will play against us.

"We can take a lot out of what we did on the weekend - in that first half.

"As long as we extend how long we play well for in that second half, I think we should be fine."

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