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Rebels confident despite rugby frustration

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/04/2017 Ben McKay

With their Super Rugby future hanging in the balance, the Melbourne Rebels are torn between wanting to hear the right answer and just wanting to know one way or the other.

Either the Rebels or the Western Force are faced with foreclosure at season's end, and Melbourne assistant coach Morgan Turinui said there were plenty of emotions doing the rounds at AAMI Park.

Frustration. Impatience. Confidence. Uncertainty. And empathy.

Turinui said it was impossible not to be moved by Western Force games record-holder Matt Hodgson's plea to the ARU to spare the Perth-based side from the chop.

"Matt Hodgson talking about moving his families to Perth and talk about creating a life. That's the human element to it.," he said.

"Families as well, they've got no control.

"People at the Rebels and the Force have got people that have come from other places to make a commitment to their clubs.

"Also the fans that put that emblem of ours on their chest and watch us play."

Turinui said he understood the latest delay to the decision-making process from the ARU.

"We'd have been pretty happy for the ARU to come out and say the Rebels are guaranteed but in the situation they're in it's understandable," he said.

"The amount of time it takes to make the right decision is the right amount of time."

Captain Nic Stirzaker said players had a sizeable frustration with the ongoing uncertainty.

"We've been trying to ignore it. That's been a bit harder this week," he said.

"It's just been going on for so long. It's definitely frustrating.

"You'd like to get an answer and be able to move on ... for whatever organisation ends up getting the flick."

Turinui said he believed the Rebels would be still kicking in 2018.

"We were confident a month ago. We were confident six months ago," he said.

"The potential is limitless in a growing city like Melbourne.

"This change is happening and we need to find a way to make sure the Rebels are a part of that."

The Rebels are the only winless side in the competition this season and Turinui said they were doing everything they could to channel their players minds to the visit of the Brumbies on Saturday night - and not the looming decision.

"We've got enough problems trying to win a game at the moment so we're pretty confident that is the smart way of concentrating our players efforts," he said.

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