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Rebels out to restore Super Rugby pride

Sat, 14/05/2022, 5:47 am
Melissa Woods - AAP
by Melissa Woods - AAP
The Blues opened round 12 against the Rebels at Eden Park.

Admitting they were embarrassed by their Super Rugby Pacific performance against the Blues, Melbourne coach Kevin Foote says his team is looking to regain respect when they host the Chiefs on Sunday.

The Rebels were humiliated 71-28 at Eden Park last round, with the ladder-leading Blues running in seven tries in the first half alone.

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"Embarrassment is exactly the word that we felt," Foote said.

"We missed 36 first-up tackles and that's not good enough."

Foote said he had sought counsel from Wallabies coach Dave Rennie as well as other coaching colleagues following the horror defensive show.

"We started with the coaches, we reviewed our own coach and I'm the defence coach - I got pretty honest feedback from the staff," he said.

"I spoke to Dave (Rennie) and asked his advice ... I then came back to Wellsy (captain Michael Wells) and told him this is what we stand for and what we're going to fix and now we can move forward. "The review was pretty honest and there was nowhere to hide."

Foote said they were looking to make amends against the fourth-placed Chiefs at AAMI Park

The Highlanders climbed into eighth after their 61-10 win over the Western Force on Friday night, putting a major dent in the Rebels' slim hopes of playing finals.

Foote said they were only focused on a response on Sunday. 

"The guys have trained really well, they've reacted really well," Foote said.

"We've got an opportunity to come back and restore some faith from our fans and the people in our club.

"We want to make sure we deliver a performance we can be proud of, the number one thing is to show our character."

The Brumbies beat the Chiefs 38-28 last round and Foote said they set an example for how clinical his team needed to be in defence.

He said they needed to control the tempo and territory to get on top of the Kiwis.

"We don't want to be giving any team turnover ball ... what the Brumbies did was limit the Chiefs to three linebreaks," he said.

"They made their first-up tackles, they nice and connected and have confidence in their defensive system."

Skipper Wells missed the Blues match through injury and said he'd been working hard to make sure his team was on the ball on Sunday.

"Our pride has been dented and the guys have had a pretty hard look at themselves and we're hungry to come back and prove something, particularly at home," Wells said.

"We're out to earn respect back for what we lost over in Auckland."

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