Rebels fight fire with fire in Volavola switch

Super Rugby
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by Beth Newman

The Rebels are going to fight fire with fire, with the dynamic Ben Volavola taking the playmaking jersey against the Kings.

South Africa’s under-fire franchise has shown in recent weeks that scoring is something it has no difficulty doing, piling on the points against the Force (41), Reds (34) and the Waratahs (26).

Hours after the Kings were shocking the Waratahs in Sydney, the Rebels played out a tryless draw with the Sharks, a match devoid of attack for the most part.

Returning flanker Colby Faingaa said attack was their focus in Port Elizabeth, an area they have only really seen fire against the Waratahs this season.

Ben Volvola in action for Fiji against the Wallabies in the 2015 World Cup. Photo: Getty Images“We know they've got the attacking power to score tries and they're coming off the Tahs win which will be a huge confidence boost for them, so at the moment they probably feel as though they're as much in the game as we do,” he said.

“We're not taking this game lightly at all.”

Volavola, 26, will take the 10 jersey from Jack Debreczeni, who has been left out of the matchday 23, bringing with him plenty of X-factor, Faingaa said.

“With ball in hand (it’s) hard to predict what he's going to do which is something I really like about him,” he said.

“You don't know whether he's going to pass, do a quick step. He's really unpredictable.”

Underneath that dynamism, though, is an unavoidable need to nail the basic skills that have let the Rebels down this season.

“We've struggled to keep the ball for more than three or four phases just do to poor handling skills or poor pass,” Faingaa said.


“We know in counterattack that they're a really good back three who will try and run it back and extremely fast and very nippy around the field, so it's probably almost like playing a New Zealand team, where if we kick, we want to kick it out.

“We kind of want to play as structured a game as possible.

“We don't really want these guys to get the ball loosely and then fall on turnover balls or anything like that because that's where they're scoring all their points and that's where they're really deadly.”

Faingaa has returned to the Rebels fold after the birth of his daughter Georgia just five days ago.

 

Georgia Marie Faingaa - 23/04/17 Welcome to the world my little girl 💕 So proud of my beautiful wife @lorenmariefaingaa

A post shared by Colby faingaa (@colbyfaingaa) on


The flanker had plenty of praise for his understudy, Will Miller, who was a standout for the Rebels against the Sharks.

“He's a very good player and he's highly rated amongst the Shute Shield players so we knew he would do a good job and he followed through for us," he said.

The Rebels take on the Kings on Sunday morning, kicking off at 3:30am AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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