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Rebels look to Reds' playbook for blueprint against Blues

Rebels look to Reds' playbook for blueprint against Blues

All BlacksMay 1, 2024

Taking a leaf from the Reds' book will be the goal for the Rebels when taking on the Blues in Melbourne in DHL Super Rugby Pacific on Friday.

It took the Blues until injury time to break the Reds' spirit in Brisbane at the weekend and claim a 41-34 win to lift them one point short of the leading Hurricanes on the points table.

The Rebels, who have been as high as fourth on the points table this year, came unstuck when going scoreless as the Crusaders found form in putting 39 points on the Rebels in Christchurch.

The Rebels still want to make the playoffs, a goal they have never achieved. With five rounds to play and such a tight table from fourth to 11th, they had to treat each game as the most important because every point was crucial.

Back at home, the Rebels have had plenty to occupy their minds, not least the front rowers. The starting three were pulled from the field in Christchurch after only 30 minutes as the Crusaders attacked their scrum.

Big ladder implications in round 11 AND the first #SuperRugbyPacific game in Tonga! 🇹🇴

Which match are you looking forward to most? pic.twitter.com/VPEPCmoCo6

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 30, 2024

The pressure will be similar against the Blues, who have had an impressive season with their scrum.

Rebels captain Rob Leota told Melbourne media that they failed to match the Crusaders physically and they needed to respond on Friday.

The Rebels' scrum in Christchurch was not how they liked to perform in that facet, and while the Crusaders were bolstered by experienced players returning from injury, it didn't take away from the Rebels' not being ready.

"The front row for the Blues, there's a few All Blacks, and the Blues have been going well, so it's about getting up and being excited for the challenge of taking them on."

The Reds showed what was required to take on the Blues. They were physical and, on defence, came off their line hard.

"What we can take away from that Reds game is being really physical and to be able to do that for the full 80 minutes."

Rebels v Blues: Friday 3 May, 9.35pm NZT, AAMI Park, Melbourne.

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