Rebels sparked by resurgent performance

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Sparked by a resurgent performance against the Chiefs, Morgan Turinui says the Rebels are ready to fire in their first Australian derby of 2017.

Melbourne host the Waratahs tomorrow night and the assistant coach told media today the mood has lifted at training this week after they nearly caused the upset of the season last Friday.

"We were happy that we actually looked like a team," Turinui said.

"We looked like we cared, we showed some pride in our defence and breakdown work and work ethic to get back in position in attack.

"I was really disappointed that we were really clinical early but didn't profit with points and lacked that at the back end of the game."

A Waratahs team that is just as desperate for a good result awaits - boosted by the return of Bernard Foley.

"I don't know if it's just a bit of a relief that we aren't playing a Kiwi team but unfortunately you look at the team the Waratahs are putting out and it's an international standard team," Turinui said.

"And with the way the competition is structured with the Australian Conference, local derbies are double points.Sefa Naivalu was impressive in his return to rugby last Friday. Photo: Walmsley"Considering we are 0-3, it's hugely important."

The lowly nature of the Australian Conference through the opening four rounds means the Rebels have not yet lost hope of finals football, given they have faced three Kiwi opponents in their first three matches.

"It's not what you want to be clutching at but it is a slight silver lining and sometimes you have to look at that," Turinui said.

"We've come through a hard part of the draw - playing the teams that will be there at the business end - so we know where we are and how far we are behind those leaders.

"It will be really good to measure ourselves against another Australian team to see how we're tracking."Tom English thrived at outside centre against the Chiefs. Photo: WalmsleyTurinui believes moving Israel Folau back to fullback will greatly benefit the Tahs.

"They've got the world's best fullback playing fullback, so that's going to help them.

"I just think they're a quality side and I think unfortunately for us they are primed for a good performance."