June break a blessing for Rebels

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Minimal involvement in the June Test series could be a blessing in disguise for the Melbourne Rebels as they vie for a Super Rugby finals spot.


Melbourne sits third in the Australian conference right now, six points adrift of the Brumbies and two shy of the Waratahs, after losing to the ACT franchise by eight points on Friday night.


With five games left, the Rebels are more than just a mathematical chance of leapfrogging their northern rivals, with games against the Chiefs, Force before the Test break and the Stormers, Crusaders and Reds after.


McGahan said the June Test break could be a major factor as they push for a possible finals spot.


“There’s still plenty of rugby to be played,” he said.


“We’ve got two games pre-June and then there’s a Test series and some sides are going to have 10, 11, 12 players involved, we’ll probably have two or three possibly.


“There lies another position where injuries can happen and things change dramatically so there’s still plenty of rugby to play, whether it’s in our control or not  we’ll just wait and see."

 

The Rebels will be sweating on the fitness of winger Cam Crawford, who is heading for scans after taking a heavy knock to his wrist in the Brumbies clash.


The Rebels are positive about their run home. Photo: Getty ImagesWhatever happens in the next block of matches, McGahan said one thing his side wouldn’t lose in was grit.


With little possession in the opening half against the Brumbies, the Rebels managed to stem the flow to an extent and it’s a characteristic that is becoming a hallmark of the Melbourne side.


“The one thing you saw evidence of tonight that we’re just going to keep fighting, keep playing well and keep going for it,” he said.


“We’ve got a tremendous group and we’ve come a long way and to push the Brumbies with a pretty international pack and couple of international backs we’re certainly on the right track.”


“We need to tidy up a few little areas and dust ourselves off and keep going.


“We’ve got the.Chiefs next week, have a good week training and keep going forward.”


Friday night’s win was the Brumbies first string of back-to-back victories since an undefeated start to the year.


Captain Stephen Moore said the importance of the win could not be underestimated.


"I think if we had’ve lost that game it’s a pretty grim situation for us,” he said.


"We’ve got a bye next week so it was such an important game to get points.  You’ve really got to keep accumulating at this part of the season because it starts to stack up.


“Every team’s desperate at that top half of the competition.


“We need to keep winning and tonight we did that so it was good job by everyone.”


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