Rebels out for redemption against Hurricanes after blowing win over Chiefs
The ninth-placed Rebels haven’t given up on an unlikely finals berth but need to beat the fifth-ranked Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday to stay in the race.
Their theme against the Chiefs was ‘Man in the Mirror’, with the Melbourne players urged to reflect on how they could improve after a horror loss to the Blues.
The performance against the Chiefs showed the theme had hit home and Rebels coach Kevin Foote was looking for a similar response this week.
“We showed great character last weekend,” Foote said.
“This week’s focus is on redemption, so we’re hungry to put forward the best version of ourselves and play the brand of Rebels rugby we know we’re capable of and that our fans expect.
“Our young players like Carter Gordon, Josh Hill, and Lukas Ripley continue to grow every game and the leadership from our senior guys such as Michael Wells, Matt Philip, Reece Hodge, and Andrew Kellaway has been excellent.
“We’ve had a strong week on the track, and everyone is just really excited for the opportunity on Saturday night.”
Matt Toomua makes his long-awaited return from a head knock at No.12 with his experience and composure missed as the clock wound down last round.
He will partner fellow Wallaby Andrew Kellaway in the centres for the first time this year.
Kellaway was one of the Rebels best last week, scoring his second try of the season along with running for 42 metres from nine runs.
The Rebels suspect defence will need to aim up with the Hurricanes winning their last eight clashes while scoring an average of 44 points per game.
Melbourne have a tackle success rate of 71 per cent which is the lowest in the competition.
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