The Rebels host the Chiefs in Melbourne in Round 18 of Super Rugby on Friday and a quarter final place is at stake.
Rebels v Chiefs, Friday 14th June, Melbourne, KO 11:45 (South African time)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Refs: Ben O'Keeffe, Graham Cooper
TMO: George Ayoub
Weather Forecast - Melbourne
The Rebels were thrashed 66-0 away to the Crusaders last week, a drubbing which leaves their play off hopes on a knife edge. After winning 5 of their first 7 matches the Melbourne side have won just 2 and lost 6 of their subsequent 8 outings and another defeat here would see them fall out of the play off picture. Any sort of victory would guarantee a quarter final although after falling 9 points behind the Brumbies in the Australian Conference the Rebels would be travelling.
The Rebels have won 4 and lost 3 of their home fixtures this season and the Stormers, Bulls and Waratahs have all won in Melbourne in the second half of the regular season.
Aside from last week’s hiding in Christchurch 2 other matches against New Zealand opposition this season saw the Rebels go down 29-19 to the Hurricanes in Wellington in Round 12 but they did beat the Highlanders 24-19 in Melbourne in Round 3.
The Chiefs were on a bye last week but they remain in with a shout of the play offs. They have to win this game and then hope other results later in the weekend don’t see them overhauled although if victory were accompanied by a bonus point they would be in very good shape.
After losing their first 4 matches of the season including a 54-17 hiding off the Brumbies in Canberra and a humbling at home to the Sunwolves, the Chiefs have won 6 and drawn 2 of their last 11. Most recently they stunned the Crusaders with a 40-27 victory in a Round 16 clash staged in Suva to make it 3 wins and 1 draw in their last 5 outings.
Although the Chiefs only visit to Australia this season saw them thrashed by the Brumbies they do have a decent record in Australia in recent times with 6 wins in their last 8 visits. The Chiefs have also won 5 of 6 head to heads against the Rebels including a 27-14 bonus point victory when the teams met in Melbourne in 2017.
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Campbell Magnay
Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Tumua Manu
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 Melbourne Rebels 14–27 Chiefs (Tries 1-4 )
2016 Hamilton Chiefs 36-15 Rebels (Tries 5-2)
2015 Melbourne Rebels 16–15 Chiefs (Tries 2-2 )
2014 Hamilton Chiefs 22–16 Rebels (Tries 2-1 )
2013 Melbourne Rebels 33–39 Chiefs (Tries 5-6 )
2011 Hamilton Chiefs 38–10 Rebels (Tries 4-1 )
Rebels 1/1 at GGGaming
Chiefs 1.03/1 at BetoLimp
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
This is an interesting one as both teams can still make the finals. When doing my weekly handicap projection video I expected the Chiefs to be firm favourites and when the bookies priced up I jumped in as I did in the Highlanders game. While the Highlanders line moved though this one has been stable and I am surprised, given how poorly the Rebels have been performing. Yes a win will send them through but the Chiefs will be targeting a bonus point win and based on current form I am more than happy to take a touch over 1/1 on an away win.
Bet: 4 units Chiefs win at 1.03/1 at BetOlimp, Claim your 1st deposit bonus of up to R3,000 here
(Unit Scale 1 to 10)
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