Rebels learnt harsh lessons from loss to Lions

Rebels Super Rugby captain Scott Higginbotham says that their late loss to the Lions is “heartbreaking” and coach Tony McGahan said they have learnt some “harsh lessons”.

The Rebels went out to a 13-0 lead but let the match slip through their fingers in the second half as the Lions won the match 16-20.

The Lions came from being 13-3 down to winning by four points through two second half tries with their final try being score two minutes before full time.

As the Lions did two weeks ago against the Blues the visitors relied on their defence throughout the match as the Rebels dominated the match statistics but not the final score.

“We would have had 60-70 percent of the ball and definitely in the first half we left some points out there,” said Higginbotham after the match.

Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan said that he was disappointed with the result, after his side held control for so long, but credited the Lions for their tenacity when it counted.

“I’m disappointed to be in a game and be in control and not have the win at the end,” McGahan said.

“But that’s the game and you have to be in for eighty minutes. The Lions just stuck in and stuck in, as we knew they would and talked about all week, and they just hung in exceptionally well.

“The Lions aren’t going to give up and their going to scramble exceptionally well, and they prevented two really good try scoring opportunities just from sheer desperation. These are harsh lessons, but we have to learn them.”

McGahan found positives in the debut of Placid, still just 20 years of age.

“It was really pleasing for Jonah to get underway here at the Rebels,” he said.

“I thought he carried himself exceptionally well, covered the back field really well and he had a really positive involvement in all that he did today, and that’s going to give him and the squad great confidence.”

The Rebels travel to New Zealand next week, taking on the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday, before returning to AAMI Park for a Good Friday match against the Reds on April 3.

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