Melbourne Rebels head coach Tony McGahan says that he was pleased with the way they held the Chiefs but was disappointed with the way they let two late tries slip in.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get the win, that’s what we were here to do but we came up short. To be 14-all at 74 minutes and then they end up scoring 13 points in the last six minutes. Certainly there are things there to like but there are things that we need to get better at.”
“We understand the competition moves on quickly so if you’re not good one week, you need to make sure that you’re improving each week and that’s what we need to do.”
Speaking on the importance of their performance after two two disappointing results in the opening rounds he said, “We didn’t want to put too much pressure on whether it was a win or a loss because we needed to make sure that we understood what a performance looked like from the Rebels. The players delivered on that. ”
“There were some things that we didn’t get right but we competed really hard tonight and that’s probably the biggest things for us. What we did around the breakdown on both sides of the ball, the retreat work, they’ve been the things lacking in our game, and on the back of that we were able to play some football.”
On whether the much-improved performance against the Chiefs was a confidence boost:“It’s confidence for the staff and coaches. We really needed something as I said during the week. We’ve been bitterly disappointed by our performances in the first two rounds in every aspect of our game. We got something there against the Chiefs but, as I said to the playing group, we can’t expect to be getting back slaps for losing a game of Rugby and we know that we need to go out next week and earn it. We know it’s our first derby of the season and how important that is, especially at home.”
The Rebels face the Waratahs next week and McGahan said that they will need to make the most of their home advantage. “It’s vital, the competition demands that and to play our role in the Australian Conference we need to win all our home games minimum and it starts next week. The Waratahs will be keen and they’ve got the Brumbies on Saturday night so we’ll see how that goes and then reassess.”