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Rebels v Highlanders Super Rugby Rd.5 Preview

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Super Rugby moves to Melbourne in the second Super Rugby match on Saturday as the Rebels host the defending Super Rugby champions the Highlanders.

Both of these teams have played four matches this season. Both have won three, lost one and both have 13 points in the standings.


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While the Highlanders go into the match with the confidence of being Super Rugby champions the Rebels have home advantage which should make this a tight contest.

Three of the Rebels matches have been away from home while the Highlanders have had home advantage in two matches.

The Rebels have played the Highlanders four times in Super Rugby and they have only won one. That one victory was in Melbourne where the teams have met twice before.

The average score when the Rebels host the Highlanders is Rebels 28 Highlanders 38

Last week the Highlanders edged the Waratahs in Sydney while the Rebels comfortably beat the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

As the Highlanders match last week was in Australia they stayed over this week and prepared in Sydney. For this match they have been able to name what is an arguably stronger side than last week as a few players have returned form injury.

In the forwards, regular starting lock Joe Wheeler re-joins the team to partner with Mark Reddish. Loose forward Luke Whitelock returns to the side of the scrum after recovering from a knee niggle.

In the backs, Patrick Osborne returns to the left wing after overcoming a hip injury sustained during the Highlanders win over the Lions in round three. New recruit Jack Wilson (injury replacement for Richard Buckman), will play his debut game for the Highlanders on the right wing.

Returning to the bench is versatile loose forward, Dan Pryor, and front rower Josh Hohneck. Hooker Ash Dixon rotates into the starting team and Liam Coltman swaps onto the bench with Otago teammate and prop, Craig Millar, joining the replacements for the first time this season.

The Rebels have been consistent with their selections as they have made one change for this match.

James Hanson’s return to the starting line-up at hooker for Pat Leafa is the only change to the starting XV but there are changes on the bench. Fullback Reece Hodge has overcome injury and comes on to the replacements bench to replace Sione Tuipulotu.

The Rebels have had to travel a little more for this match so they are more likely to suffer from fatigue while the Highlanders are known for the fitness.

The Bookies have given the Rebels a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Highlanders should edge this by 4.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 3.

Average score: Rebels 24 Highlanders 38

Last four results
04 Apr 2014 Rebels v Highlanders 30-33 Dunedin
12 Jul 2013 Rebels v Highlanders 38-37 Melbourne
30 Mar 2012 Rebels v Highlanders 12-43 Dunedin
15 Apr 2011 Rebels v Highlanders 18-40 Melbourne

Rebels overall record against the Highlanders
Played 4 , Wins 1, Losses 3 , Draws 0

Match No.36:Rebels v Highlanders
Date : Saturday 26 March 2016
Venue : AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick Off local: 19:45 local
Referee: Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2:Jordan Way
TMO :Peter Marshall

Teams

Rebels

1. Toby Smith , 2. James Hanson , 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Luke Jones , 5. Lopeti Timani , 6. Jordy Reid , 7. Sean McMahon (captain) , 8. Adam Thomson , 9. Ben Meehan , 10. Jack Debreczeni , 11. Tom English , 12. Mitch Inman , 13. Tamati Ellison , 14. Dom Shipperley , 15. Jonah Placid

Replacements : 16. Pat Leafa , 17. Cruze Ah Nau , 18. Jamie Hagan , 19. Sam Jeffries , 20. Scott Fuglistaller , 21. Nic Stirzaker , 22. Dan Hawkins , 23. Reece Hodge

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Ash Dixon , 3. Siosiua Halanukonuka , 4. Mark Reddish , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Luke Whitelock , 7. Shane Christie (cc) , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Pat Osborne , 12. Rob Thompson , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Jack Wilson , 15. Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements : 16. Liam Coltman , 17. Craig Millar , 18. Josh Hohneck , 19. Dan Pryor , 20. Elliot Dixon , 21. Josh Renton , 22. Hayden Parker , 23. Jason Emery

 

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