James O'Connor keen to boost Rebels' cause
March 2, 2013
James O'Connor stood up for Melbourne Rebels under the heaviest of New South Wales pressure © Getty Images
James O'Connor is determined to help Melbourne Rebels break the frustrating pattern that has seen them squander a half-time lead in their past two Super Rugby matches.
The Rebels host Queensland Reds in round four, the visitors Reds coming off consecutive wins over New South Wales and the Hurricanes. Melbourne head into the fixture after losing to the Waratahs in Sydney - losing 31-26 after blowing a 16-6 half-time lead - and to the Brumbies at The Stockade, where they led 13-12 at half-time only to ship 30 unanswered points in the second half.
O'Connor, who captained the Rebels for the first time against the Waratahs, said the team had chances in the second half only for their execution to let them down.
"Obviously I'll go and have a look during the week at my individual performance, but all I'm thinking about at the moment is moving forward with our team and fixing those little things and playing a full 80 minutes against the Reds," James O'Connor said. "We had a lot of belief during the week, we thought we played a great 40 minutes against the Brumbies but we didn't play clinical that whole 80 (minutes)."
The Rebels opened the season with a win over Western Force, but their subsequent second-half capitulations have frustrated coach Damien Hill.
"The game last week was very similar, and when the pressure was on and we had to convert those little decision-making skills we lost our composure a little bit," Hill said. "We're going through an annoying period at the moment and we're losing our composure when it's most important, hopefully it will come through against the Reds."
The Waratahs produced another stirring comeback, but this time, against the Rebels, they achieved victory
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports