Tue 20 Apr 2021 | 10:32

Rebels looking for a favour from Reds

Rebels looking for a favour from Reds
Tue 20 Apr 2021 | 10:32
Rebels looking for a favour from Reds
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SUPER RUGBY AU SPOTLIGHT: Hunting a Super Rugby AU finals spot heading into the last round, Melbourne are looking for a favour from Queensland in their clash with the Western Force.

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Rebels coach Dave Wessels is counting on fierce competition within the Reds leading them to a win over the Force, who are the other team jostling for the remaining place in the three-team finals.

Then, a Melbourne victory against the Waratahs on Saturday in Sydney would be enough to lock in a week one play-off against the Brumbies.

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Queensland have already a spot in the grand final, which they will host next month.

Wessels said a Reds victory that will continue their unbeaten season would be a big help for his team, who trail the Force by two points on the competition ladder.

There are four points up for grabs for a win, plus bonus points, which could decide who advances.

“I never thought I’d be asking the Reds for a favour but we need a favour from them,” Wessels told AAP.

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“Hopefully the mindset from the Reds players is that they’re playing for a starting spot in the final so I’m expecting them to come out firing.

“We need that result to go our way and then we need to play well.”

The Rebels are aware the Waratahs are a major threat, with an unwanted record of their first winless Super Rugby season hanging over their heads.

Edging close to victory, they were beaten by a Force penalty kick in the 84th minute last round and suffered a two-point loss to the Brumbies the week earlier.

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But the Rebels have also had their fair share of bad luck, with four of their losses decided in the last play of the game.

“Our points difference is almost zero so it shows that across a lot of games there’s not a lot in it,” Wessels said.

“The frustrating thing for us is that we do a lot of good things in games but there’s one or two soft moments in key times that gives the opposition an entry.”

Rebels skipper Dane Haylett-Petty is completing full training this week and could make his first appearance of the season after concussion complications.

Wessels said despite his long lay-off, it wasn’t a risk for the team if he played.

“Dane’s a very good player and our captain and he’s super engaged with the group and desperate to play,” Wessels said.

“He will train fully with the team this week and we will wait further advice from the medical staff before we approve him to play but he’s looking pretty good.”

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Rebels looking for a favour from Reds | Rugby365