The simple equation helping the Rebels move on from Crusaders defeat

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

“If you win, you go through”.

A simple equation will be the Rebels’ mantra this week as they prepare for a must-win clash against the Chiefs.

Win and they will be into their first finals campaign as a club and also be the most successful Rebels side in history.

Lose and that all turns to dust.

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Halfback Will Genia says the opportunity the team has is not lost on the players ahead of Friday night’s AAMI Park match.

“I think that what the guys are really ready for is just the fact that we're in the position that if we win we know we'll be playing finals football,” he said.

“That's just exciting in itself.

“For the Rebels who have never played in finals football and for a lot of guys who were in other Super Rugby provinces in years gone by that haven't played in finals, it's just such an unreal experience and you can so often say things like at the start of the year, if you'd told us the last round if we had a game to win we'd be playing finals we would take it.

“Certainly that's the feeling around the group at the moment.

“In that sense, I definitely think we're prepared and I think in the way that the guys have trained thus far we're really looking forward to it.”

Genia was watching from home as the Rebels suffered a 66-0 drubbing at the hands of the Crusaders last weekend, leaving their season on the line in round 18.

The halfback said it was this effective sudden-death opportunity that helped them move on from the disappointing defeat.


“It's only natural, it's human nature to be upset and disappointed with such a loss and to have lost 66-0 was pretty disappointing but I think to the guys' credit we understand that we're in a position now where if we win this game, we're playing finals footy and we're creating history for the club.

“So, that's enough motivation to want to pick yourself up and I think the guys have done that really well."

Genia is one of just three Rebels who has played in the Super Rugby finals before - along with Quade Cooper and Matt To'omua - but this weekend's clash could prove the perfect preview of finals rugby, he said.

"I think the biggest thing for us is just knock out football's sort of come for us a week early in that if we win we go through," he said.

"Once you get to this point in the season, it doesn't matter where you finish on the ladder whether you're first or eighth or whatever it might be, whoever wins goes through, and I think if we have that attitude and we prepare with that in terms of having that mindset, I think we'll do well."

While this weekend could be the Rebels’ final home game, it could also be Genia’s last game in Melbourne, with his contract status still undecided.

Quade Cooper and Will Genia will head back to Suncorp Stadium to take on the Reds. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Marty CambridgeGenia has been linked to an overseas move, though the Rebels have been optimistic about retaining one of their biggest names.

The 31-year-old laughed off a question about his future on Tuesday but admitted he had the thought that this could be his

“It's all up in the air a bit,” he said.

‘I'll certainly enjoy (this weekend) from the perspective that it could be my last )Rebels home game), for sure, but I'll leave those things to unfold as the year goes on.”

The no. 9 hopes his long-time teammate Quade Cooper stays in Australian rugby, with the flyhalf also coming off contract.

“He was really unfortunate that he missed out on last season and those are things you can't ever take back,” he said.

“I think he just has so much to offer still to the game in Australia, still to the Rebels in this competition so I really hope he does stay because he's got so much to contribute.”

Lock Adam Coleman is under an injury cloud ahead of the game, but the Rebels are hopeful he can shake off a shoulder complaint to play against the Chiefs.

The Rebels take on the Chiefs on Friday June 14 at AAMI Park, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports and RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.