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The Melbourne Rebels take on the NSW Waratahs in a mid-table clash at Leichhardt Oval this Saturday evening. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:15 pm (AEST).
A well-rested Rebels outfit coming off a bye week will look to firm up their finals aspirations with a win over the Waratahs at Leichhardt Oval. The match is set up to be a dire clash for both teams as they come into the latter half of the reformed competition.
The Reds and Brumbies sit above them on the ladder, albeit with one and two wins respectively. However, the Waratahs’ situation is especially dire because they are set to have their bye next week which makes it a do-or-die clash for the Tahs.
Despite the match not necessarily being a home game for the Rebels, they have had a rather fortuitous run at Leichhardt Oval and are unbeaten at the ground, downing the Force and Brumbies in earlier rounds.
The Waratahs are coming off a recent loss despite hitting a run of form in the games before. They can trust their flyhalf, Will Harrison, who has been insanely accurate kicking in the competition so far and will no doubt be pointing to the posts any chance they can get.
Rob Penney has decided to give Tepai Moeroa his first Super Rugby start over Karmichael Hunt who is ruled out with injury. Also, in the backs, Joey Walton shifts to outside centre and Lalakai Foketi has been left off the squad sheet.
Dave Wessels will keep his playmaker pairing of Deegan and To’omua at 10 and 12. In the forwards, Vaiilli Fa’amausili will come off the bench, making way for Jermaine Ainsley to start and Michael Wells will start at blindside for Josh Kemeny.
I’ll back the Rebels to come out firing after the bye. Their 10 and 12 playmakers, Deegan and To’omua, are dangerous off the boot and will control the field position of the game, setting the stage for their forwards to gain the upper hand with their rolling maul.
Rebels by ten.
Kick-off: 7:15pm (AEST)
Venue: Leichhardt Oval
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Jermaine Ainsley, 4. Matt Philip, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Josh Kemeny, 7. Brad Wilkin, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Andrew Deegan, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Matt To’omua (c), 13. Campbell Magnay 14. Andrew Kellaway, 15. Reece Hodge
Bench: 16. Efitusi Ma’afu, 17. Jacobus Eloff, 18. Vaiilli Fa’amausili, 19. Michael Stolberg, 20. Richard Hardwick, 21. Rob Leota, 22. James Tuttle, 23. Billy Meakes
1. Tom Robertson, 2. Tom Horton, 3. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4. Ned Hanigan, 5. Rob Simmons (c), 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper, 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Jake Gordon, 10. Will Harrison, 11. Alex Newsome, 12. Tepai Moeroa, 13. Joey Walton, 14. James Ramm, 15. Jack Maddocks
Bench: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Angus Bell, 19. Tom Staniforth, 20. Will Harris, 21. Mitch Short, 22. Ben Donaldson, 23. Nick Malouf