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, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h05 DHL Newlands
Zebre v Connacht 14h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Lions v Sharks 15h05 Ellis Park Stadium
Leinster v Wasps 15h15 Dublin
Munster v Toulouse 17h45 Limerick
Sun, 02 April 2017
Waratahs v Crusaders 06h05 Allianz Park
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
Mon, 03 April 2017
Maties v UJ 14h30 Stellenbosch
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 17h00 Pretoria
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 4 4 0 0 17
Cheetahs 5 2 0 3 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Jaguares 5 4 0 1 18
Sharks 5 4 0 1 17
Kings 5 1 0 4 5