Melbourne Rebels seek quick improvement

Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan insists his side will be much-improved when their Super Rugby season begins on Thursday week, after a second-successive pre-season trial drubbing.

The Quade Cooper-inspired Queensland Reds thrashed the Rebels 32-13 on Tuesday night, eight days after Western Force beat them 27-5.

Particularly disappointing for Melbourne, who host the Blues in the season opener, was their scrum, an area where they conceded six penalties.

“They were really hard off the ball, they dominated around the set piece and around the scrum and it was difficult to have any offensive momentum in the second half,” McGahan said.

“Obviously, when you’re losing and getting dominated in any particular area it’s a concern, but we’ll go back and get that fixed and come back better.”

McGahan took positives from the first half where his side were ahead until 22 minutes in Rob Simmons dived over for a try and a lead the Reds would not give up.

McGahan though took solace in the display of flyhalf Jackson Garden-Bachop and young fullback Jack Maddocks

“We got to see a lot more combinations in our play,” McGahan said.

“When (Garden-Bachop) had it in the first forty he looked positive. He’s still got some work to do, so we’ll have to see how he goes.

“For (Jack Maddocks) it’s a big step from under-age rugby. He’s getting better, he had a few moments last Monday and one here. You just have to be patient, it’s little steps forward.”

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