Rebels need to tighten up

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:09
Large tony mcgahan

The Melbourne Rebels have ambitious plans to stamp themselves as one of the best defensive teams in Super Rugby with new coach Tony McGahan.

The Melbourne Rebels have ambitious plans to stamp themselves as one of the best defensive teams in Super Rugby with new coach Tony McGahan.
Under McGahan, the Rebels are working hard to turn their biggest weakness into their greatest strength this season. 
Last year they conceded 515 points, including 65 tries. The only side to have a worse defensive record was the now relegated Southern Kings.
Speaking to AAP ahead of their first pre-season clash with the Waratahs on Saturday in Albury, McGahan said defence was an area he quickly identified that the Rebels could improve.
"We feel that if we can get good improvement there we're going to turn some of those close defeats into victories and that's what we're about."
Rebels back Tom English said defence was a priority.
"We've moved in a new direction where we're a very defence-oriented team so we've been working hard on our contact and our breakdown so we're really looking forward to getting into it", he said.
"We want that to be our point of difference.
"We're going to hurt sides; we're looking to turn over ball and really make them earn points."
English said the Rebels needed to change their mind-set in defence as well as improve their technique.
"You've got to want to get dirty and help out your mate beside you but it's also a lot of technique so we've been doing a lot of drills focusing on the breakdown, focusing on the tackling technique and really nailing down the detail there."
When their attack fired the Rebels managed to score some exciting tries last season and English said they still had a licence to thrill.
"There's still going to be some of that razzle-dazzle but we're going to earn that off the back of our hard work.
"We're not going to be throwing 50/50s, we're going to be working for our points."
The Rebels are set to line up against former teammates Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps on Saturday. English said he hoped the duo noticed a difference.
"Hopefully we will come out and they won't know what we're doing.
"Hopefully we will paint a different picture and put them on edge; it will be fun to stick it to them", the wing said. 
McGahan said he would give every fit player a run in Albury, with Bryce Hegarty and Angus Roberts sharing the flyhalf duties.
"Most players will play a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 60 [minutes]", the coach added. 
There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h10 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 18h45 Sixways
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Harlequins v Wasps 18h45 Twickenham Stoop
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 17 October 2015
Munster v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Irish Independent Park
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Sale Sharks 13h00 Allianz Park
Treviso v Ospreys 13h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
South Africa v Wales 15h00 Twickenham
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 15h05 Johannesburg
New Zealand v France 19h00 Millennium Stadium
Sun, 18 October 2015
Ireland v Argentina 12h00 Millennium Stadium
London Irish v Leicester Tigers 14h15 Madejski Stadium
Australia v Scotland 15h00 Twickenham
Sun, 11 October 2015
United States v Japan 18 | 28
France v Ireland 9 | 24
Italy v Romania 32 | 22
Argentina v Namibia 64 | 19
Sat, 10 October 2015
England v Uruguay 60 | 3
Australia v Wales 15 | 6
Golden Lions v Griquas 29 | 19
Samoa v Scotland 33 | 36
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 34 | 34
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26