Rebels unhappy with close Super Rugby loss

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    Promising Melbourne Rebels lock Luke Jones rates it as the best performance in the side’s short history in the Super Rugby competition, but the team aren’t celebrating.

    After all, a loss is still a loss.

    The Rebels were pipped 41-35 by the Bulls at AAMI Park in a high-energy match with the lead changing a number of times as both teams scored five tries apiece.

    The boot of sharp-shooter Morne Steyne with two successful penalties proved the difference.

    Melbourne didn’t panic after surrendering an early lead and stuck to their game plan for the entire match; shedding the inconsistency that has plagued their play.

    Flanker Jones said it was a win that got away.

    “The boys were definitely up and there was great enthusiasm and effort out there we just couldn’t close.

    “I don’t think we’ve played like that in a long time; I don’t think we’ve played like that ever.

    “We were backing ourselves and giving ourselves a good crack.”

    The 21-year-old was again one of his side’s best, although that honour could have gone to just about any player in the team.

    Kurtley Beale put his hand up for selection at No.10 for the Wallabies’ June Tests with an impressive performance in his first start there for the Rebels; setting up a try and giving his outside backs plenty of opportunities with winger Cooper Vuna scoring twice.

    The only blight on Jones’ game was a yellow card for alleged dangerous tackle on Bulls winger Bjorn Basson with referee Andrew Lees also giving him a white card, which means it’s referred to the SANZAR judicial officer.

    Jones couldn’t comment about the incident.

    Rebels coach Damien Hill made mention of each of his forwards against the Bulls, who are renowned for their forward play.

    Jones, who can play lock or flanker, could be a bolter for the Wallabies.

    “If the game went for 100 minutes he’d still be running at the end of it; he’s doing very well,” Hill said.

    But skipper Gareth Delve could barely raise a smile given the result.

    “There’s pluses in terms of that we know what we need to fix,” Delve said.

    “We’re close but we lost so we’re really not happy with that.

    “We know what we need to build upon and we need to turn up next week for that to have any merit because we need consistency across the board and in individual performances.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • Roar Guru

      May 6th 2012 @ 10:38am
      sixo_clock said | May 6th 2012 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      The players should be very happy about this effort. The Bulls are contenders, are big mean stormtrooper material and still were accorded no respect. The Rebel forwards stuck to the ball, tackled effectively, played a clean fast intelligent game which put them in the hunt. That they could field only one outright ‘star’ they still managed to organise some time and space for him to do his thing and they backed him up with speed and purpose. Three tries under the black dot, fantastic! In only their second year the Rebels are ahead of the timeline most gave them and are a credit to Hill, McQueen, Muggeridge and the rest of the management.

      Go the Mighty Rebels!

      ps: Jones should be safe, from the replays it is clear he had absolutely no intention of lifting and driving, his body only rose about 3-6 inches and his knees stayed bent, momentum explains everything. There was no carelessness either but the white card was right thing to do.

      • May 6th 2012 @ 1:37pm
        Justin said | May 6th 2012 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

        I think it was the fact he had a team mate taking the man up top that forced the player down head first. So he had the legs but the top tackler forced the man down. I think he may be OK too but who knows.

        Be a shame this kid can really play.

    • May 6th 2012 @ 11:20am
      AussieKiwi said | May 6th 2012 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      I thought this was quite a high quality game – relatively few errors on both sides. The discipline shown by the Rebels against a top team was really impressive. Although it was high scoring, that was more due to the quality of the attacks than deficiencies in the defences (not to say there were no defensive errors, but overall). Beale was outstanding I thought. With a few more games, he would give Quade Cooper at his best a run for his money in that position.

    • May 7th 2012 @ 6:26am
      Loftus said | May 7th 2012 @ 6:26am | ! Report

      Jones should be safe? You must be joking mate or you haven’t seen the tackle. Basson fell on his head and could’ve broken his neck. I’ve seen red cards for ”lesser” tip tackles. The rookie referee didn’t have the bottle to show him a red card. At least 2 to 3 weeks should be appropriate.

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