Hill never lost faith

Sat, 16 Feb 2013 14:04
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Rebels coach Damien Hill never lost faith that his team would hold on to their lead to start the season on a winning note on Friday.

Rebels coach Damien Hill never lost faith that his team would hold on to their lead to start the season on a winning note on Friday.

The Melbourne franchise led 27-16 with 15 minutes remaining in the Super Rugby season opener at AAMI Park before a converted try by Richard Brown reduced the deficit to just four points and set up a tense finish.

The Rebels were not content to defend their lead and their positive approached earned them a penalty, which fullback James O’Connor slotted to guarantee the hosts a share of the spoils at the very least.

Stoic defence, however, saw them claim four log points and their first opening-round win in the franchise’s three-year history.

Hill wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance in the first half but felt they picked it up in the second stanza and was never worried about surrendering the lead.  

"In the first 20 minutes, we chose not to treasure possession and gave away opportunities," Hill said.

"Our discipline started to go, and fatigue began to set in.

"In the second half, while we weren't as clinical as we would have liked, it was definitely better and we were able to put points on the board."

Hill was also delighted that certain players were able to complete the full 80 minutes.

"For Laurie Weeks and James O'Connor, that was their first 80 minutes in a long time; for James, in eight months, which is a tremendous effort that shouldn't go unnoticed,” he said.

“Kurtley Beale played 43 weeks of rugby straight last year, but that was his first 80 of the year and he managed to get through really well," he added.

The Rebels host the Brumbies, who beat the Reds 24-6 in Canberra on Saturday, in their second Australian Conference clash in as many weeks at AAMI Park next Friday.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0