Rebels' identity starting to show: Wessels

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels says his side is finally starting to show an identity.

The Rebels had just their second win in New Zealand in franchise history when they beat the Blues in Auckland and snapped a 32-game losing streak for Audstralian teams across the ditch.

Wessels said after a mid-season slump, he felt the team was finally starting to show some characteristics that bound them together.

“We feel like we're developing a style of play that opposition are finding hard to manage and we're finding our identity through it and understanding exactly what our super powers are as a team and how we're going to play,” he said.

“That was always going to take a little bit of time, but it's certainly becoming clearer and clearer to us as we move through the season, so that's been really pleasing.”

Wessels said a period of close reflection after five losses in a row helped them rediscover their early season form.

“I think we hit a rough patch during the middle of the season and I think coming out of that everybody stayed in the boat during that time, which was a really important thing,” he said.

“We reflected pretty hard, we changed some of our behaviours, things we were doing and the environment started to move with it and we started to get some outcomes.

“We're three on the trot now and then obviously to win in New Zealand's pretty special.

“That's the sort of cherry on the cake for this part of the season.”

Centre Billy Meakes had one of his best games of the season, scoring a double for the Rebels, and Wessels said his evolution in Melbourne had been reflective of the team.

“He struggled during the middle part of the year and had some really honest conversations with us and has worked incredibly hard to get himself back into form and it's just reward for him tonight,” he said.

“I kind of knew that was going to happen through the way that he's prepareds himself and he's reflective of the team as a whole as well.

“I'm really pleased for Bill in particular.”

The Rebels’ Wallabies head into camp on Sunday, while the rest of the camp goes to Perth to take on the Force in World Series Rugby.