Rebels' defence in need of overhaul - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels' defence in need of overhaul

Ed Logue 11/06/2011 05:45:03 PM Comments (0)

Rebels coach Rod Macqueen says his side needs a defensive overhaul after proving the bane of the Melbourne franchise's inaugural Super Rugby season.

The Rebels conceded five tries in their 32-17 away loss to the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday, with several a result of players leaving gaps for their opponents to exploit.

Melbourne have conceded 72 tries in 15 matches, 26 more than any other side this season.

And Macqueen said defence training would be prominent before the start of the 2012 season.

"They will be spending a lot of time on that in the off-season and we couldn't go into another season with that sort of defence," Macqueen said.

"I'll put my hand up and say as coach we missed the defence.

"It hasn't been good enough all year, we thought we could fix it but we haven't it."

But Macqueen was confident the problem could be fixed during the off-season.

"A lot of it is communications because we put a lot of that down to being a new team," he said.

Macqueen said technique and combinations had been the problem rather than resilience during 2011.

"It hasn't been because they've given up," he said.

"It is more to do with technique and working together, and technique in defence is important in rugby.

"We have got a couple of (rugby league converts) with their first year in here and the defence is different, that is probably one of the issues that we've had."

The 1999 Rugby World Cup winning coach said the side had failed in its expectations after winning three of their first seven matches.

Melbourne have lost their past eight matches since a 26-25 win against the Force in Perth more than months ago.

"We thought we would have won a lot more games after about the fifth or sixth game this year and we haven't gone on with it," he said.

"All we can do is take out some of the good things out of those games."

Despite being finishing last in the Australian conference, the Rebels could do the double against the Force when the teams meet in their final match of the season in Melbourne next Friday.

"It is pretty obvious we'll be trying to win that in front of our home crowd," Macqueen said.

"That will be obviously pretty important to us.

"We had a bit of a chat about that in the dressing room."

Mark Gerrard was the only injury concern for the Rebels' match against the Force after the fullback left the field with a corked right thigh.

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