The final action in Round 5 of Super Rugby sees the Waratahs take on the high flying Rebels in an Australian derby in Sydney on Sunday.
Waratahs v Rebels, Sunday 18th March, Sydney, KO 07:05 (South African time)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
Weather Forecast – Sydney
The Waratahs have 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat against their name and they finished Round 4 in third spot in the Australian Conference with 6 points, 2 points behind the Reds and 9 shy of their opponents here. In their only home game so far they took advantage of a late error by the Stormers to snatch a 34-27 win in Round 2 and they also punished some shoddy play from the Sharks in a 24-24 draw in Durban in Round 3. The Tahs were 4.5 point favourites for last week’s visit to Jaguares in Buenos Aires but they swamped early doors, trailed 33-7 at the break and a couple of late tries saw them eventually go down 38-28.
This is the first derby of the season for the Tahs and in 2017 they won 4 and lost 2 against local opposition and they did beat the Rebels home and away.
All the early evidence suggests the Rebels will be a very different proposition for the Tahs in comparison to last season. They have won all 3 of their matches so far, covering handicaps each time and 2 of their victories were derby matches, home wins over the Reds (45-19) and the most recently the Brumbies (33-10). In between they beat the Sunwolves 37-17 in Singapore and the Rebels have scored a total of 18 tries in setting the pace in the Australian Conference.
Waratahs: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Michael Wells, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Alex Newsome, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Ross Haylett-Petty, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Substitutes: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Colby Fainga’a, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 Sydney Waratahs 50-23 Rebels (Tries 8-3 )
2017 Melbourne Rebels 25–32 Waratahs (Tries 3-4)
2016 Sydney Waratahs 17-21 Rebels (Tries 2-2 )
2015 Sydney Waratahs 18-16 Rebels (Tries 3-1 )
2015 Melbourne Rebels 28–38 Waratahs (Tries 4-4 )
2014 Melbourne Rebels 19–41 Waratahs (Tries 1-6 )
2014 Sydney Waratahs 32-8 Rebels (Tries 4-1 )
2013 Melbourne Rebels 24–22 Waratahs (Tries 2-1 )
2013 Sydney Waratahs 31-26 Rebels (Tries 3-2 )
Waratahs 19/20 Hollywood
Draw 25/1 WSB
Rebels 12/10 WSB
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Tahs have to cope with the affects of plenty of air miles whilst the Rebels already have a couple of derby wins under their belts.
This looks likely to be the biggest test yet for the Melbourne side but given they overhauled their squad for the new season they might just have more improvement to come. A chance is taken on the away win.
Bet. 3 units Rebels to win the game, 12/10 WSB
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