The Reds pipped the Rebels 36-32 in Melbourne on Friday night, but their captain cut a dejected figure as he lamented his side’s performance and made a blunt admission.
Reds skipper Tate McDermott said his side had again made its job harder than it needed to be, as the Queensland outfit piled on five tries and a penalty goal to beat Melbourne in the ninth-round fixture.
McDermott admitted the Reds would need to be better if they were to have success against the dominant New Zealand clubs, beginning with a game against the Hurricanes in Melbourne next Saturday night.
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“It was gutsy, but we’re making it so hard for ourselves… we’re going to have to look at ourselves in the mirror coming up against the Kiwis next week,” McDermott said on Stan’s post-match coverage.
“From my point of view, it’s not good enough. We keep saying we need to be better, but we need to deliver.”
Despite victory, the Reds conceded 11 penalties to the Rebels’ six and one yellow card to Melbourne’s zero.
The Rebels at one stage trailed by 14 points, but they took the lead for the first time 62 minutes into the game, on the back of a Matt Toomua conversion.
Then came two Reds tries, through Taniela Tupou and Fraser McReight, before the Rebels again fought back.
A Cabous Eloff try reduced the deficit to four points with four minutes remaining, but the Rebels couldn’t break through for another five-pointer.
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“It’s just the basic fundamentals of the game,” McDermott said.
“It’s holding the ball; we struggle to do that for long periods of time. When we do that we look really good… it’s discipline in defence, again we lost another card.
“So… a lot of it’s self-forced and we need to clean it up, because it’s going to hurt us in a couple of weeks’ time.”
While the Reds are set for a match against the Highlanders, the Rebels are due to meet the Crusaders in Melbourne next Sunday afternoon.
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