Rebels want to "throw some punches" against Brumbies

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

After an unbeaten start to their Super Rugby season, the Melbourne Rebels want to start to "throw some punches" as they eye a history-making win over the Brumbies at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The new-look Rebels have continued to tick off some important milestones and this week can win three games in succession for the first time to maintain their Australian conference lead.

Coach Dave Wessels said there was notable improvement in attack as Melbourne ran in six tries in their 37-17 win over the Sunwolves but he felt their star-laden backline had much more to offer.

The Rebels boast Wallabies Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Sefa Naivalu and the possible return from a knee injury of Test winger Marika Koroibete.Marika Koroibete could bea back to face the Brumbies. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"The big key for us is probably to throw some punches of our own," Wessels said on Tuesday.

"We've got some firepower in our team and we need to come up with a mindset that we want to attack games.

"There's a subtle difference between playing to win versus playing not to lose and we want to be a team that plays to win."

Wessels spent 2012 as Brumbies defence coach under then head coach Jake White before switching to the Western Force.

While the Brumbies have spoken of their disappointment in their shock loss last round to Queensland, Wessels said the Reds deserved some credit.

"We know the Brumbies are a quality side; they've been the best Australian side for the last few years so we're going to have to play well."


Koroibete trained with the team for the first time in three weeks but Wessels wasn't concerned about his fitness.

"He's a freak of an athlete so it's probably more a case of the guys ahead of him are going pretty good too so we need to decide if he's done enough to earn a spot this week," Wessels said.

Wallabies and ex-Force flanker Richard Hardwick is also in line to make his Rebels debut after also battling a knee injury.

"I thought Dickie (Hardwick) was the stand-out player in our trial game so he's certainly in the mix to play."

The Rebels face the Brumbies on Friday night at AAMI Park, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.