Rebels pack ready for Sharks

2011-03-08 13:09

Melbourne - Melbourne Rebels coach Rod Macqueen has demanded more aggression from his forwards as the stuttering Vodacom Super Rugby newcomers prepare for a bruising test against competition-leaders, the Sharks.

Having clinched a last-gasp one-point victory over the Brumbies in Melbourne in round two, the Rebels were brought back to earth by the Chiefs on Saturday as their set-pieces crumbled on the way to a resounding 28-point defeat.

"(The Sharks) would probably be number one as far as aggression is concerned so we're going to see a very physical game, we've got to try and match them, that's got to be our role out there," Macqueen, who coached Australia to World Cup glory in 1999, told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.

"I think we've got a big enough pack, they've been doing a lot of strength work over the time. I really don't think we've been outmuscled as such, it's got more to do with our understanding of the set pieces.

"Probably the scrum's been more technique than weight... We've had some very good scrums but we've also let ourselves down at crucial times."

The Rebels have two thumping losses from their first three matches in the southern hemisphere provincial competition, and despite being competitive for periods in each game, have managed to score only two tries.

While the team had struggling with their finishing, Macqueen said his backs were not getting enough time to mount raids on the try-line.

"Right now, working on our combinations is going to be very important," he said.

"And I think it's going to be up to the forwards to play well and give the backs a bit of room, and give players like (scrumhalves Nick) Phipps and (Richard) Kingi opportunities."

After a 43-0 drubbing to the Waratahs in front of 25 000 spectators at Melbourne's AAMI Park, about 10 000 less turned up to watch the Rebels' narrow win over the Canberra-based Brumbies.

The Rebels are competing in a sports market crowded with nine local teams from indigenous football code Australian Rules, plus two top-flight soccer teams and a rugby league side.

Macqueen said local fans had been "amazing" in their support and should enjoy a tough game against the Durban-based Sharks, who dismantled Western Force on Saturday for their third straight win.

"They're probably one of the more feared teams in Super rugby, I've personally got a lot of time for them," Macqueen said.

"And certainly they're a great benchmark for as a team that's going to pressure us as far as the basics are concerned."


  • RJ - 2011-03-08 13:37

    As much as I dislike the Sardines they going to hammer you.

      gooinat - 2011-03-08 13:49

      Agreed,they've actually got a easy run overseas!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Martin - 2011-03-08 14:00

      Easy run?? What about the Saders? Hardly easy but def going to be a cracker.

      gooinat - 2011-03-08 14:09

      Sorry Martin,missed that one,yes,indeed thats one to look out for!!!!!!!!!

      Ray Romans - 2011-03-08 14:35

      Gooinat, there are no easy games overseas.

      Johnny - 2011-03-08 14:43

      ....but still no Super 14/15 cups...????? .....He he he he ...!!!

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2011-03-08 13:37

    The one great thing the Sharks are doing this year is that they take no team as a defenite victory. They will analyze the rebels and exploit their weak points and make sure they don't play on their strengths. If we play the same attacking rugby that we played against the Force I see 50 - 60 points on the board.

      RJ - 2011-03-08 14:15

      You wish Sharks are not unbeatable, they will win but not going to be easy. 4 tries yes...But Rebels will give you some food for thought.

  • The Patriot - 2011-03-08 13:53

    "They're probably one of the more feared teams in Super rugby, I've personally got a lot of time for them," Macqueen said. Take note.

  • Tokozaan - 2011-03-08 14:06

    Well as a proud Shark I have to say these boys just need to keep their heads to ground, we're currently the only team to not concede a try Bring the rebels boys! GO SHARKS!! As for the rest of the SA unions, 1 - Lions please get consistent, you guys can win just start defending better 2 - Bulls... well what can I say except, GET THE RUST OFF! 3 - Stormers, well they just need to get going, they've got the backline players and a pretty decent scrum so they should be able to fight, just don't know what happened against the cheetahs 4 - Cheetahs... hmmm hopefully without captain inspirational they'll still be gutsy

      rpjacquesc - 2011-03-08 14:26

      Nice to see some South African Spirit! I'm a Bull and although there will always be a great rivalry between the Bulls and all SA teams(As it should be)I do support all SA teams playing against the Aus an NZ teams. Good comments and for this week at least I can say the Bulls will win!

      Tokozaan - 2011-03-08 15:14

      The bulls, I just hope old Matfield starts being careful, he's too easily riled up by the ref's choices, I mean seriously what will it help you going to a ref and going on about the choice, you do your job, speak to your players and lead by example and keep a calm head, the bulls will be much better if he does that :)

  • Ragged-Tooth - 2011-03-08 14:15

    Expect some more yellows and reds from the Rebels. They'll also run the risk of the Force in being over aggressive (read dirty) and earning yellow cards for some more ozzie stupidity. Let's hope the Sharks bring their A-game and not take this lot lightly. If the Sharks give it their all they'll take home the 5 points, if they go their expecting to stroll through the game we'll gift the Rebels a second shock victory. Goooooooooo Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Tokozaan - 2011-03-08 15:12

      Well perhaps Plum is playing the card of getting them to play our game meaning they want to be as physical as we are but at a cost

  • mike - 2011-03-08 14:49

    I think if the rebels had six weeks to prepare for this game they would still lose. Sharks to get 5 pts here and keep us SA guys smiling at the combo log.

      RJ - 2011-03-08 15:15

      Stormers as well.

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-08 15:05

    Stormers suck!!!!! Of soos n wyse man Johnny gesê het......Suckers suck!!!!!

  • StefJo - 2011-03-08 15:14

    Ai Johnny, kan jy nie maar aan iets nuuts dink om te sê nie? Of laat jou IK dit nie toe nie?

  • Philly123 - 2011-03-08 16:35

    .... nee Johnny gaan slaap seker in die aande met 'n foto van die kas met die beker onder sy kussing..haha wanneer is jean Deysel terug? het gehoor hy sal reg wees vir die toer...?

      kosie - 2011-03-09 11:47

      next week

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-08 19:15

    Stormers suck!!!!!

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