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Rebels hit Super low in 44-3 loss to Kings

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/04/2017 Melissa Woods

Melbourne's Super Rugby season has hit a new low with a demoralising 44-3 loss to the lowly Kings in Port Elizabeth.

The Rebels were primed to crack their first victory in South Africa after a gritty draw last round to the Sharks, but they delivered an insipid performance that could be classed as their worst of the season.

The South African team, who sit bottom of their conference yet also claimed the Waratahs' scalp last week, posted six unanswered tries with the Rebels unable to build any attacking pressure.

They had plenty of chances, particularly in the first half when they dominated 58 per cent of possession and 57 per cent of territory, but were unable to capitalise and trailed 8-3 at the break.

Former Melbourne Storm winger Marika Koroibete toiled hard but, with his old side flying at the top of the NRL ladder, he must be questioning his decision to switch codes.

Halfback and skipper Nic Stirzaker was a late withdrawal with an ankle injury and Melbourne suffered another blow when they lost starting No.9 Mick Snowden with a foot problem just 24 minutes in.

The Rebels were forced to shift Colby Fainga'a to halfback, with the hard-working flanker taking time to adjust to his new duties.

While they were still well in the game at halftime the second half was one-way traffic with the Kings sharing the spoils.

Winger Makazole Mapimpi, who scored in the 70th minute, was a stand-out as was flanker Andisa Ntsila.

Fainga'a, who took over the captaincy in the absence of Stirzaker, was gutted by the performance.

"A bit of adversity came our way and we weren't good enough to adjust out there," Fainga'a said.

"It was an extremely disappointing result for us.

"We'll have a good review and a lot of hard truths are going to come out of that game."

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