Genia's Rebel future uncertain
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rebels scrumhalf Will Genia refused to be sidetracked by contract chats ahead of his side’s must-win fixture against the Chiefs.
According to the veteran scrumhalf, the Super Rugby finals have come a week early for the Melbourne Rebels.
The Wallaby stalwart’s future at the Rebels might be uncertain, however, one thing is guaranteed that his current side are treating Friday’s must-win last round clash against the Chiefs at AAMI Park as a final.
Melbourne must rebound from their shattering 0-66 loss to the Crusaders last Saturday in Christchurch, and beat the Waikato team to secure a maiden top eight play-off spot.
The Chiefs, who upset the Crusaders before their bye round, are looking for a bonus-point victory for them to book a finals position.
Genia, who missed the heavy defeat as part of the Wallabies rest policy, said his teammates were quickly moving on.
“The message has been strongly around not feeling sorry for yourself and understanding that we are in a position that if we win this week, we play finals,” Genia said.
“That’s enough motivation to want to pick yourself up and I think the guys have done that really well.”
Genia, along with Quade Cooper and Matt Toomua, are the only players in the Rebels line-up who have played in Super Rugby finals.
He said his teammates needed to embrace the pressure and the opportunity.
“Knockout football has come for us a week early in that if we win, we go through,” Genia said.
“It’s about understanding that it’s one game at a time now.
“Once you get to this point of the season it doesn’t matter where you finish on the ladder, whether it’s first or eighth if you win you go through and I think if we have that attitude and we prepare with that mindset I think we will do well.”
Genia had his right leg heavily bandaged on Tuesday. He said he had twisted his knee but wasn’t in doubt for the game.
Test lock Adam Coleman hurt his shoulder during the Crusaders match and is their only injury concern.
Genia said the Chiefs had the ability to score plenty of points, but also have points scored against them.
“If we can tidy up parts of our game to allow ourselves to play some good rugby which we know we can, we know we can score some points,” he said.
Genia is off contract, with the Rebels hoping that this won’t be the Wallabies star’s last game in Melbourne.
Genia wouldn’t be drawn.
“I’m not too sure – we will wait and see,” the 31-year-old said.
“It’s all sort of up in the air a bit.”