The good, bad and ugly will get bet­ter, says Mort­lock

Townsville Bulletin - - Classifi Eds -

STIR­LING Mort­lock ex­pects it all to come to­gether much bet­ter for both his re­built back and the Mel­bourne Rebels over the next month.

So far the Rebels’ three-week Su­per Rugby odyssey has had the lot – heavy de­feat, stir­ring vic­tory, then a pos­ses­sion-starved loss to the pre­vi­ously win­less Chiefs in New Zealand last week­end.

Rebels skip­per Mort­lock says the un­even road so far will take time to smooth as the team gets used to the rigours of play­ing high-stan­dard rugby to­gether.

‘‘ The two losses – there has been a fair bit of time in both games where we’ve started OK, been in the game, then for one rea­son or an­other lost our way a bit,’’ Mort­lock said.

‘‘ It’s ex­ac­er­bated by the fact that we haven’ t p l a y e d a l o t o f r ugby to­gether.

‘‘ The more we get ex­posed to that sort of footy and the more we work on our sys­tems, that will cer­tainly be good for us.

‘‘ With a new team, it’s some­thing that takes a bit more time.’’

O n e b r i g h t s p o t h a s b e e n Mort­lock’s re­turn from back surgery – three competition matches plus two pre-sea­son games in which the 33-year-old has shown he is fully healed.

But Mort­lock ad­mits get­ting back to peak form – es­pe­cially re­cap­tur­ing w h a t h e c a l l s ‘ ‘ h i s t o p - e n d ex­plo­sive­ness’’ – i s a work-i nprogress.

‘‘ I re­ally hope that prob­a­bly the next month or so, my body will be as good as I’d like it to be, and hope­fully I can have a bit more im­pact in the team,’’ he added.

The Rebels clash with in-form South African side the Sharks at AAMI Park on Fri­day night.

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