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Rebels feel Lions' bite in Super loss

NZN 6/05/2017 Melissa Woods

The Melbourne Rebels admit they're not good enough to compete with Super Rugby's best after suffering another brutal loss at the hands of the Lions.

The South Africans posted seven tries in a 47-10 shellacking at AAMI Park to chalk up their seventh straight win, with Rebels coach Tony McGahan lamenting his team's poor basic skills.

While the Lions are finals-bound at the top of their South African conference, the Rebels remain anchored at the bottom of the Australian table with just one win for the season.

"We tried really hard but we're just not good enough; it's pretty simple," McGahan said.

"I thought we competed hard and our effort kept us in the game but if you looked at the elements of the game - catch, pass, fundamentals, they were far better and that really showed.

"That's the game and we're not good enough to be there at this point in time."

McGahan said the huge injury toll had affected their ability to train as well as work on any combinations, with 15 injured players watching from the stands .

Just before kick-off, in-form flanker and stand-in captain Colby Fainga'a joined the injured list, ruled out with a thigh injury.

Reece Hodge was handed the captaincy duties but Melbourne were never in the hunt against the Lions, only managing 38 per cent of possession, while the workload in defence took its toll as they missed 29 tackles.

The Lions opened up a 14-0 lead through flanker Kwagga Smith after 20 minutes on the back of some sustained pressure and halfback Ross Cronje was in five minutes later.

Melbourne continued to toil hard and were rewarded when halfback Ben Meehan put through a clever grubber behind the Lions line, which was pounced on by Tom English.

The conversion by Hodge closed the gap to seven points but that blew out just seconds before halftime when the Lions sent the ball wide and winger Courtnal Skosan put on the burners to go past some Rebels forwards for a 19-7 scoreline.

Five Lions tries came in a one-sided second half, including an 80 metre effort from Sylvian Mahuza with the winger bouncing off five Rebels players in a woeful defensive effort.

The Rebels are hopeful of Wallabies flanker Sean McMahon making his first appearance of the season in next Saturday's clash with the Reds in Melbourne.

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