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