Rebels ready to run Tahs ragged

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels will take full advantage of a jaded Waratahs side on Sunday, planning to run their opponents ragged off the back of their tour to South Africa and Argentina.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels expressed his sympathy for Melbourne's opponents on Sunday, suggesting a bye after the two week round the world trip as something for Super Rugby to adopt in the near future, but that doesn't mean his side will be slowing the game down at Allianz Stadium.

Instead, they will look to play at a similarly frantic pace to the one they have employed through their first three starts - a tactic that has led to their status as one of the best attacking teams in the competition, having scored more points than all teams bar the Lions.

"I feel for them a bit, in a way," Wessels said.

"It certainly is an advantage for us this week.Dave Wessels has forecast an up tempo game in Sydney on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images"We have to up the pace of the game and play with some real intensity."

If Melbourne are able to do that through the first half, Wessels will kick things up another gear in deploying his bench.

"The strength of our bench is a big part of our plan," he said.

"We have some depth on the bench there and we have some special individual players.

"If we can create some fatigue in the early part of the game we can come on and up the tempo towards the back end with some pretty handy players."

Adam Coleman will be in Wessels' starting XV when he names the team tomorrow but the make up of the backline remains unclear.Marika Koroibete is no certainty to return to the Rebels starting XV. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyMarika Koroibete came off the bench in his return from injury against the Brumbies but Wessels was particularly coy when asked whether he would return to the starting side.

Jack Maddocks has given the coaching staff a serious selection headache as a makeshift winger and it doesn't sound as though Wessels is prepared to leave him out of his best XV.

It's a nice problem to have as Melbourne prepare for another big test against a Waratahs outfit eager to prove a point following a bad loss to the Jaguares.

"This weekend will be our biggest test," Wessels said.

"The Waratahs have a lot of Australia's best players in that team so we are going to have to play really well.The Rebels are seeking four straight wins on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images"They will be disappointed with how they played overseas so they will want to come back and make a statement.

"It's a measuring stick for us, to be able to go away and play well against the Waratahs."

Beating NSW will give the Melbourne playing group even more confidence, having already put together three blistering displays to start the year.

"I'm happy with the way things are going but like most coaches, I look at the game and see a lot of things that we can still improve," Wessels said.

"Our goal is not to win the first three games and leave it there - our goal is to try and win the whole of Super Rugby.

"In order to do that we have to get better at quite a lot of pieces of our game.

"I find that very frustrating because I think we can be a very good team but those things irritate me and we need to be better at them."

The Rebels face the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Sunday, kicking off at 4:05pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio.