Wessels takes blame for lacklustre Rebels

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Rebels coach Dave Wessels has taken full responsibility for Melbourne's feeble performance against the Waratahs.

Wessels reflected on his coaching staff's approach to the week leading up to the loss post match, taking the responsibility squarely on his shoulders.

"There was something in the week - right at the start of the week - where I clearly didn't get the messaging right and potentially the loading of the players," Wessels said.

"We've had some short turnarounds the last couple of weeks and we put a bit extra into the players at the start of this week physically but I just thought we looked pretty flat out there.

"That's my responsibility and I have to accept a lot of responsibility for that.

"Our intensity right across the park - previously we have defended with real intensity and that's our point of difference but I don't think we looked like that tonight - we looked flat."

Part of that drop in intensity may have been a touch of complacency, too, with Wessels pointing out the difficulty in stringing four straight wins together.

"Winning is hard, losing is easy," Wessels said.

"I don't think an Australian team has won four games in a row for almost two years and that shows.

"My messaging and the rest of the coach's messaging needs to ensure we can retain that intensity as much when we are winning as when we are losing.It was a tough day out for Reece Hodge and the Rebels. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"I've got no doubt that we will bounce back now, next week, but it's frustrating that I felt there were certain parts of this game that... 20-10 at half time you would give yourself a good shot of winning the game and we just fell in a big hole."

There were some positives, though, as the Rebels now regroup and prepare for a Friday night clash with the Sharks.

"I think we're a good team," Wessels said.

"I don't think we played well but I still think we're a very good team.

"We've just got to figure out what we have to do next week to get a different result."