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How winless Rebels plan to bounce back following loss to Fijian Drua

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

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Melbourne are trying to stay positive after a winless start to the Super Rugby Pacific season, with their round three loss to newcomers Fijian Drua a bitter blow.

Decimated by injury on top of the off-season departure of some key players, there are rumblings the Rebels could have a repeat of their worst season when they managed just one victory in 2017.

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Melbourne blew a 14-point lead with the Fijians hustling to bank a 31-26 victory, which was their first-ever.

Their next challenge is on Friday night at AAMI Park against top-ranked Australian outfit the Brumbies, who are unbeaten and second on the overall competition ladder.

Rebels halfback Joe Powell, a long-term Canberra player before his switch to Melbourne for the 2021 season, said the team was working hard to turn their disappointing start to the season around.

“Plenty of boys are new to Super Rugby and are finding their feet,” Powell said.


“It’s definitely tough when you’ve played three games you’re not happy with, but it’s about belief.

“We know it’ll come so it’s about backing ourselves – the efforts there so it’s about putting a really good performance together on the field which will come, we’ve just got to believe that.”

With the Brumbies boasting Australia’s best set piece, the Rebels know they must improve there to have any chance of an upset.

Powell said they needed to take their attacking opportunities, which may be few and far between on Friday night.


“We were happy with how we started the game – we had sort of plenty of opportunities there to put points on Fiji,” the 27-year-old said.

“It would have been a very different game, if we were, say 20 points up.

“They scrapped out really well, defended really well and then it turned into a completely different game.

“We lost a bit of momentum and weren’t sure how to get it back.”

While Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway is close to returning from a foot injury, Melbourne will at least welcome back test utility Reece Hodge who sat out last round through suspension.


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