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Rebels vs. Waratahs - 2011R01

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Lee Grant

John Eales (66)
Staff member
Yes, if the Tahs play like they did in Invercargill last year and also if the Rebels coaches can get the Rebels to gel before we expect them to.
 

MrTimms

Ken Catchpole (46)
Staff member
Yes, if the Tahs play like they did in Invercargill last year and also if the Rebels coaches can get the Rebels to gel before we expect them to.

I was going to mention Invercargil, but I started to well up at the thought. Still hurts...
 

Dumbledore

Dick Tooth (41)
Article written by Mungo Paxinos for The Age this morning. If they're talking about it, I'd say it's a pretty good chance of happening.

MELBOURNE Rebels coach Rod Macqueen yesterday insisted that Julian Huxley would be fit for the club's inaugural game against the New South Wales Waratahs despite English import Danny Cipriani running most of yesterday's training session at full-back.

Huxley has been battling osteitis pubis during the pre-season and has played only one half of rugby - against the Crusaders in the Rebels' fourth trial game.

Yesterday, the veteran utility back, who had been expected to line up in the No. 15 jersey with Cipriani at five-eighth, spent the session on the sidelines with James Hilgendorf at five-eighth.

Macqueen said Mark Gerrard, who has only recently arrived from playing in Japan, also spent some time at full-back yesterday, but he was confident that 31-year-old Huxley would be playing on Friday night.

''It was just a precaution. We had a pretty rigorous session [on Sunday] and he had a bit of soreness after that so we kept him out of [yesterday's] session,'' Macqueen said.

Meanwhile, Rebels captain Stirling Mortlock said he believed that the number of veteran players in the team - which has been criticised in some quarters - would prove to be an asset, with the older heads able to use their experience to re-direct the team as needed during the game.

''Part of the style we're trying to be able to play, is a team that is able to read the game on the fly and can pull out different tactics and different attacking weaponry to match what the defence is doing and what we are seeing,'' Mortlock said.

''Related to that is experience and intellect but you've got to have the whole package to do that so we go into the Waratahs match pretty aware of the physicality that's going to be there.''

Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell said the team was expecting the Rebels to play a direct style of rugby on Friday due to the strength of their pack and the physical presence in the centres of Mortlock.

But he added: ''They have also got some outside backs that can cut you open as well,'' he said. ''We're expecting them to really bring that physicality, but they have also got the variation in terms of playing a bit of a wider game.''

Waratahs coach Chris Hickey yesterday named a new on-field leadership group aimed at ensuring a consistency of message across the paddock.

Mitchell, five-eighth Berrick Barnes and lock Dean Mumm were unveiled as the Waratahs' three leaders under captain Phil Waugh.

At openside breakaway, Waugh is nearly always where the action is and with three deputies in other parts of the team he can ensure his message will get through right across the park.

In what Hickey said was merely a formalisation of an existing structure, second-rower Mumm will direct the tight five, No. 10 Barnes will communicate with the inside backs and winger Mitchell will lead the outside backs. That leaves Waugh to focus on communicating with the backrowers.

''That's sort of the four units that operate on the field,'' Hickey said yesterday. ''Having those people in those different units I think will give us a really strong on-field presence.''

Hickey will today name a squad to take on the Rebels but will give prop Benn Robinson (calf), centre Rob Horne (elbow) and No. 8 Wycliff Palu (hamstring) until tomorrow before he finalises his line-up.

Barnes said yesterday that he believes veteran Mortlock could force his way back into the Wallabies for this year's rugby World Cup.

Mortlock, 33, has made his World Cup ambitions clear as he rebuilds his career following back surgery which sidelined him for most of 2010.

Barnes said Mortlock should never be underestimated.

''I've played Stirling a number of times, with and against him, and he brings a lot to the table both on the field and also with his leadership,'' Barnes said. ''If Stirling can stay on the field and prove his fitness and get that consistency back in his game there's no doubt [he could return to the Wallabies].

''His record speaks for itself, 80 or so Tests and a number of those as captain and he led very well.

I'd never write him off that's for sure.''
 

RugbyReg

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Hilgendorf has been playing well, from reports I hear, so Cippers at fullback is a good option. A better option at least than an unfit Hux, Gerrard or Rooney.
 

Richo

John Thornett (49)
I don't reckon it'll be close. Tahs were a finals team last year and are largely unchanged. In fact, with Mitchell, Barnes, Beale and Turner all in good form on the EOYT they might be even better.

Tahs by 17.
 

Ruggo

Mark Ella (57)
As viewed by the Germans or British? Or shouldn't we talk about the war?

Sure we can. Suncorp will be like Stalingrad next week. The Tahs will throw everything at us but the Red Army will hold firm and drive them back. :D

The Rebels could be a good chance at an upset here. While those aging bodies are fit early on, their experience will count for a lot. I would not write them off.

Rebels by 3 and Morty for man of the match.
 
C

CanadianRugby

Guest
My mind says the Rebels have no chance. My heart says that the surprises the Rebels can bring, in terms of game plan and relatively unknown players, plus maybe a little early season rustiness and a fired up Rebel squad mean the Rebels by 3. Vuna scores two tries.
 

Jets

Paul McLean (56)
Staff member
Rebels no chance. Lucky to be within 20. It would be great if this wasn't the case but I think we have to be realists.
 

MrTimms

Ken Catchpole (46)
Staff member
Sure we can. Suncorp will be like Stalingrad next week. The Tahs will throw everything at us but the Red Army will hold firm and drive them back. :D

Suncorp can be however it likes to be, The tahs will be beating whoever show up at ANZ stadium next week regardless. ;)
 
T

TOCC

Guest
Carter's missed tackle count over a season is lower than most players in one game. Vuna had better get his brownie points from passes because he won't get any from line-breaks.

you cant miss any tackles when you are 10m behind the action playing catchup
 

Hawko

Geoff Shaw (53)
you cant miss any tackles when you are 10m behind the action playing catchup

Great throwaway line. Unfortunately it bears no resemblance to the truth if you watch the Tahs games closely. The criticism of Carter is that he is slow when he gets the ball in space ON ATTACK. His linespeed in defence has never been questioned, by me at least. And the quality of his attack in the Nowra trial was pretty outstanding.
 
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