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Rebels hoping for Super reinforcements

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017 Melissa Woods

Melbourne are hopeful of getting some bodies back on deck after their opening-round Super Rugby clash was wrecked by injuries.

The Rebels were overrun by the Blues 56-18 at AAMI Park with skipper Nic Stirzaker joining a long list of casualties.

Melbourne started well with Stirzaker scoring a sparkling try in the seventh minute but he left the field soon after sustaining a concussion.

They could have challenged for the halftime lead but for some errant goal-kicking by Jackson Garden-Bachop and a late intercept try by the Blues.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan said that while Stirzaker, who has a history of hea knocks, was in doubt for their round-two clash against the defending champion Hurricanes, he hoped to bolster his line-up.

Wallabies Sean McMahon (ankle) and Toby Smith (hamstring) and Welsh lock Dom Day (shoulder) won't be seen any time soon but former Melbourne Storm winger and star recruit Marika Koroibete (knee) could play in Wellington.

Test players Sefa Naivalu (illness), James Hanson (back) as well as experienced centre Mitch Inman, who was a late withdrawal from the Blues clash with a hamstring injury, may also be available.

Winger Jonah Placid dislocated his kneecap late in the match but it popped back in and he was able to walk around post-match.

McGahon was upbeat despite the blow-out in the scoreline, with his side well in the contest until the break when they trailed 25-15.

He praised the efforts of young debutant Jack Maddocks, who played out of position on the wing and had a hand in Stirzaker's try.

McGahan was also happy to see Jack Debreczeni firing at fullback after a lacklustre season at first five-eighth last year.

"It was fantastic to see him back and to see his intent to play," McGahan said.

"He really put himself in great positions to get those high balls and really attacked and had plenty of involvement and it will give him and the team a lot of confidence."

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