Rebels glad to take the win

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A win is all that matters.

Rebels captain Sean McMahon was only concerned with the final scoreline after Melbourne’s 25-23 win over the Reds.

While they lamented a failure to convert a multitude of chances against the Reds, McMahon said taking a victory was the only thing on his mind.

“The boys held on there real strong right through to the end of the game,” he said.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys the way they played tonight and to hold on there and get the win, that’s what we’re looking for.

“That’s all that mattered.”

It was a significant result for the Rebels, who lost a handful of matches in 2015 by agonisingly narrow margins after being in winning positions.

McMahon led the way for the Rebels as they were put under pressure with the clock ticking down, setting the tone physically for the rest of the side.

Coach Tony McGahan said that turnaround was a major boost for the side, and one that could pay dividends later in the season.

“We’re missing some key players in our side and a lot of are leaders in how we lead on the field, “ he said.

“We lost a lot of games last year by close margins, by falling over at the last hurdle.

“Tonight we were able to navigate our way through it and I think results like tonight you only get the benefit of that down the track when it gets to the back end off the season.”

Especially pleasing for the Rebels was that they took a clean bill of health out of the third round win, after battling a growing casualty list this season.

Late withdrawal Tamati Ellison is still to be monitored ahead of their inaugural clash with the Sunwolves, while the return date of regular captain Nic Stirzaker is still unclear, but McGahan was optimistic.

"Fingers crossed, we get through this week,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to getting some players back, which is really going to add to our group .”

The Rebels travel to Japan this week, becoming the first Australian team to play against the Japanese Sunwolves.