'We are ambitious': Rebels eyeing back to back wins at Eden Park
The Rebels’ season looked shot after a horror start but three recent wins have bumped them up to eighth on the ladder, with the top eight in the 12-team competition all moving into the play-offs.
There are still four rounds to play, all against Kiwi opposition, including Friday night’s clash with the Blues at Auckland’s Eden Park, where an upset victory would give Melbourne’s run home a big push.
It has been done before with the Rebels beating the Blues 20-10 in their last trip to Auckland in 2018, however their opponents are now a different beast, winning 16 of their last 17 games including the last nine straight.
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The Rebels say it’s “chalk and cheese” between their early season and current form, which is why they think they are capable of staying in the eight.
“We definitely want to play finals – there’s no doubt that we are ambitious about getting there,” said Rebels coach Kevin Foote.
“We’ve got a six-day turnaround going to Auckland to play the Blues so we’ll just stay present and take every day as it comes in but we definitely want to play finals.”
The Rebels will be without their hard-working skipper Michael Wells, who suffered a head knock during their last-round win over Moana Pasifika.
Lock Matt Philip has taken over the captaincy while fellow Wallaby Rob Leota has shifted to No.8 to replace Wells.
“We have really come into the week with a great focus and energy to be better, so we’re excited for this week’s challenge and the opportunity for more growth,” Foote said.
– Melissa Woods
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