Jordan Uelese’s sore ribs have added salt to the mounting wounds of the Melbourne Rebels, who must fix their “weak moments” fast after an underwhelming Super Rugby Pacific start.
Kevin Foote arrived at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday without injured quartet Andrew Kellaway, Rob Leota, Trevor Hosea and Pone Fa’amausili, while star winger Marika Koroibete has departed for Japan.
The coach left Brisbane scratching his head as he attempted to find positives after a 23-5 loss to the Queensland Reds riddled with errors and a lack of physicality.
Hooker Uelese did his best to play on after an injection but limped off in the second half, the Reds grinding to a win in heavy rain at Suncorp Stadium.
New captain Michael Wells wasn’t about to blame the weather though, challenging his side to quickly find their stride despite the mounting injury toll.
“We had weak moments and we have to go back and fix them otherwise we’ll be in the same position next week,” he said.
“I have full faith in the group, we just need to show it … words mean very little in this circumstance; it’s time for action.”
Foote lamented his side’s poor exit play, set piece mistakes and the Reds’ easy metres around the ruck.
But he expects to see progression against the Western Force in Melbourne next Saturday, despite the likelihood none of his injured big-name men will return.
“Jeez, we’d had a great run in, then the last two weeks it hasn’t fallen for us,” he said of their injuries.
“What do you do? You can’t get negative, you back the guys that are there.
“They fit, I promise you they fit.”