Rebels: Judge us on our effort against the Chiefs

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Draw a line through the first two weeks and judge the Rebels on their performance on Friday night.

That was the message from captain Nic Stirzaker after the 27-14 loss to the Chiefs at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The home side were expected to be on the receiving end of another drubbing on Friday night but fought their way to a 14-all scoreline with five minutes to play, only for the Chiefs to run over the top of them with a pair of late tries to Sam Cane and Shaun Stevenson.

Speaking after the match, Stirzaker said the entire football department had put itself "under the microscope" in the two weeks lead up to round four.

"We really searched for answers the last couple weeks, we trained really hard and put the whole program under the microscope," he said.

"We showed we are a good side, which we knew we were but hadn't shown before tonight at all.

"I think we can draw a line through the first two weeks.

"On the back of that we will just try and use that game to push forward into the Waratahs game next week." - Nic Stirzaker

Coach Tony McGahan emphasised that there was no comfort in sinking to a 0-3 record to start the season but did highlight several positives from the performance.

"We recognise first and foremost that it's not a result - we lost the game but as I said during the week we were just looking for a performance to build on," he said.

"We were slow out of the blocks but we are on the road and now we need to make sure we keep getting better.

"I really liked the spirit, the way we competed and the way we got off the ground and kept coming hard all night.

"In attack, defence, working back, all of those things.

"We worked really hard to make sure that is part of our players and part of everything we do here and that hasn't been evident in the first two weeks."

Having played three Kiwi opponents in their first three starts, the Rebels' focus now shifts to a derby against the Waratahs at AAMI Park next Friday.