Injuries ease, but attitude Rebels' key - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injuries ease, but attitude Rebels' key

Sam Lienert 22/03/2011 05:05:34 PM Comments (0)

The injury crisis is easing slightly for the Melbourne Rebels, but it is a desperate attitude that coach Rod Macqueen most wants to return in the Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes.

Macqueen said flanker Michael Lipman would be back from an ankle injury at AAMI Park on Friday night. And significantly for a team buckling under the weight of missing players, Macqueen doesn't expect to lose anyone else as a result of last weekend's horror 53-3 Super Rugby defeat at the hands of the Queensland Reds.

Despite post-match concerns over Lachlan Mitchell (hand) and Julian Huxley (hip), both were expected to be available.

Macqueen said the club was still at a point where they were looking at bringing in replacement players.

"We're thinking about that and we're right on the edge at the moment, that is a concern for us," he said.

"For instance, if Huxley was out this week I think we'd be out there looking now."

The Rebels are still without Mark Gerrard, Hoani Macdonald, James Hilgendorf, Sam Cordingley, Kevin O'Neill and Adam Freier.

But Macqueen said that was no excuse for the performance against the Reds.

"We put a lot of work into our preparation, obviously we've got professionals preparing the players and we try to peak them at the right time," he said.

"For whatever reason it just didn't work this week and they weren't up for the game and it showed."

He said the sub-par attitude which showed through most at the breakdown, was in stark contrast to the previous round when they lost narrowly to the Sharks.

"The week before we were a lot more urgent, we had numbers there at the breakdown and were securing the ball time and time again," Macqueen said.

"Against Queensland they were beating us to the breakdown consistently."

Macqueen said Rebels academy player Chris Slade, who played some pre-season trials, could be a replacement option if there were any more injuries to Melbourne's backs.

Slade first gained the club's attention with a standout performance for premiers Melbourne Unicorns in last year's Victorian Rugby Union first grade grand final.

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