Rebels looking for that extra edge
REACTION: After their last meeting with the Queensland Reds the Rebels are looking to change their travel plans as they felt their gruelling trip cost them the game losing 3-19 to their Queensland opponents.
The Rebels ensured they reached the qualifying final courtesy of a miraculous last-minute try by South African born prop Cabous Eloff which was converted by Matt Toomua giving the Rebels the game 34-30.
That kicked booted them into third place leapfrogging the Waratahs also on 19 points by way of a superior points difference.
The Reds however are showing ominous form right now having beaten the Brumbies 26-7 on Saturday with the Canberra side already hosting the final on September 19.
Following a 19-3 thumping in round 7 at Suncorp Stadium coach Dave Wessels spoke about learning from their same-day travel experience.
“We will change it – last time it was an eight-hour trip up there,” Wessels said.
“Probably if I reflect on the game we got held up [over the line] five times which is a little bit of luck on the Reds’ side but I thought the whole game we lacked the energy we want to be known for.
“I think some of that is down to the travel so we will figure out a better way to try to do that.”
The coach hopes they this time they can stay in Sydney the night before the flight rather than have to travel all the way from Terrigal.
Wessels admitted he was worried when the Rebels narrowly missed the play-offs the last two seasons earning them the much maligned tag of “chokers”.
“I thought a place in the play-offs was cursed after leading well at halftime and then fell in a big hole so I’m super proud of the guys for fighting out of that,” he said.
“I think it’s a mental hurdle for some of the players that we’ve now got over.”
He remarked that discipline was the key and the Rebels need to improve theirs radically if they wanted to win the next two games and claim the domestic title!
“Yes, we want to enjoy this win but the next focus is on beating the Reds, which we feel confident we can do but we’ve got to play well,” he said.
“We feel like we’ve got a good 160 minutes in us and we can challenge both the Reds and the Brumbies.”
Right now their only injury concern is halfback James Tuttle who had to leave the field against the Force with a hamstring strain.
All in all they’re fighting fit and looking forward to their upcoming clash with the Reds.