Damien Hill questions Rebels' pride
March 24, 2013
Ryan Kankowski and the Sharks monstered the Rebels © Getty Images
"Embarrassed" Melbourne Rebels coach Damien Hill has questioned his players' pride in their jersey after they slumped to the worst Super Rugby loss of the franchise's short history.
The Rebels' credibility took a heavy knock in a 64-7 mauling by the Sharks in Durban after they had travelled to South Africa confident of cracking their first win abroad; they copped a 10-try hiding that surpassed their biggest defeat of 53-3 by Queensland Reds in their first year in the competition in 2011.
"Our guys just didn't show up and it's quite embarrassing to be honest," Hill said.
"It's probably the worst defeat I've ever been associated with through the club, and I'm really questioning the pride these guys have in the jersey.
"Even though it's a new team, you've got to be prepared to leave blood on the field when you're playing a team like the Sharks. And our guys didn't."
In their third season, the "new team" excuse is wearing thin and their sorry tally of 19 turnovers and 31 missed tackles told the story of an abject defeat by a Sharks team bristling after being humbled by the Brumbies a week earlier.
The home side had only managed three tries in three rounds previously, but they eclipsed that total in just the 34th minute when skipper Keegan Daniel charged across for their fourth of the match.
Melbourne Rebels had no answers against the Sharks (video available only in Australia)%]
The Sharks were shocked last week when the Brumbies ran in four first-half tries in their 29-10 victory, and they took their frustrations out on the Rebels from the opening whistle.
Rebels skipper Gareth Delve described the performance as a "kick in the teeth".
"We need to go away and look at ourselves," Delve said. "There's not many positives we can take from but we need to go away and pick through the bones and make sure we finish the tour on a high."
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra