Rebels coach: Losing Stirzaker hurt us

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 10:11

REACTION: Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said losing his captain, Nic Stirzaker, a day before their match against the Southern Kings played a big role in their defeat.

The Rebels went down 3-44 down to the Kings, in a match where they also used a flank and a flyhalf in the No.9 position.

"Losing Nic Stirzaker last night [Friday], our captain and No.9, really hurt us," McGahan told reporters after the match. 

"We only travelled with two No.9s. Mick Snowden had to go in and I think we looked ok for 15 minutes in attack before we lost Mick. 

"We ended up using Colby Fainga'a from No.7 to No.9 then we ended up using Ben Volavola."

McGahan lamented his team's ball control in the match

"I think we toiled hard, but we were just not able to control the ball and I think the Kings got three turnover tries and they scored from a lost line-out from us.

"I am sure the stats say we dominated possession, but they defended really well and their spirit grew as the game went on," he added.

The Kings ran in six tries during the 80 minutes and McGahan acknowledged that the PE-based team have become a good attacking side in this year's Super Rugby tournament. 

"We have been watching their [Kings] games and they scored 34 points against the Reds in Perth and they scored 40-odd points against the Force...so their attacking threats have been well-noted through the competition," said McGahan.

@rugby365com

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