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Melbourne Rebels unsure if Chiefs game the last hurrah for embattled club

By AAP
The Rebels' home defeat by the Blues last Friday followed a heavy loss to Crusaders (Photo Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Melbourne don’t know if Friday’s Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Chiefs will be their last ever home game, but they intend playing like it is to cement a maiden finals berth.

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The future of the cash-strapped club in the competition remains uncertain beyond 2024 as they await a decision from Rugby Australia.

Rebels winger Lachie Anderson said the team hadn’t spoken about the match possibly being their last at AAMI Park, but it was still part of the build-up.

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Fixture
Super Rugby Pacific
Rebels
23 - 26
Full-time
Chiefs
All Stats and Data

“It probably is the elephant in the room – the uncertainty, we’re dealing with things that no other Super Rugby club is at the moment,” he said.

“We’ve dealt with it for 13 weeks now and it’s no different this week.

“You’re not short of motivation; we realise the opportunity to play at home is massive for us, and we understand what a win would do for us and the program.

“Everyone would like to know (about the future) but I think the staff and players are doing an incredible job of focusing on the rugby and it probably gives us good relief from the external stuff.”

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
0
Draws
0
Wins
5
Average Points scored
22
40
First try wins
60%
Home team wins
40%

The Rebels currently sit sixth on the ladder and need a win from their remaining three matches to cement a maiden play-off position.

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They have away matches against the Brumbies (2nd) and Fijian Drua (8th) to come.

They head into the clash with the fourth-placed Chiefs on the back of three losses, most recently losing a tight battle with Queensland.

The Chiefs have won their last three matches and are desperate for another crack at the title after losing the grand final last year to the Crusaders.

Anderson said the team spoke regularly about leaving a legacy as the most successful Rebels team in the club’s history.

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“It’s important  – we as players want to write history here, we want to leave a legacy behind and leave the place in a better position than when we started,” said the 26-year-old, who was part of the sevens team at the Tokyo Olympics.

“We have the opportunity to play finals footy, which no Rebels team have ever done, so that’s what our target is.

“We speak about it a lot, it’s definitely a goal of ours.”

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