Super Rugby

Wessels : Rebels still have a lot of work to do

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Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby Head Coach Dave Wessels is not letting his team’s victory over the Reds go to their heads as he called the players back in for morning training session on Sunday.

Wessels cut the weekend short to address a performance that has plenty of room for improvement despite a club record 45-19 win over the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park on Friday night.

“I’m pleased that we won but we still have a lot of work to do,” Wessels said on the Rebels site.

“If you look at the key parts of our game, we need a lot of work there to be genuinely consistently competitive.

“There’s a lot of work to do which is why we came back and trained on Sunday.

“We trained yesterday and doing a double session today, so we’ve got to go pretty hard to fix some of the things that we’re not happy with.”

With the side on the plane headed to Japan on Tuesday morning, Wessels has kept his players in the dark over team selection for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

The coaching staff have put the onus on the players to earn selection for this weekend’s game.

“I want to see the players who understand that we need to get better, so I want to see that application in training,” Wessels said.

“We haven’t named the starting team to the players yet, we normally would by this point of the week, but I want to see everyone’s application at training.

“We don’t celebrate a win to hard, we’ve had one win and that’s it, so we need to see peoples desires to want to get better at training if they want to make the trip to Japan.

“We need to get some work done before we travel to Japan so we felt that we would front end the workload at the start of the week and make sure we get on the plane confident about some of the things that have been troubling us.”

Wessels confirmed that his side got through the season opener against the Reds without any injury concerns with Sefa Naivalu continuing to show positive signs after his early exit with a head knock.

The perpetual Ganbatte Trophy, introduced between the two sides when the sides first met in 2016, will be on the line for just the second time when the Rebels take on the Sunwolves on Saturday.

The Sunwolves are coming off a bonus point loss to the fancied Brumbies 32-25 in an impressive performance.

“If we’re going to beat the Sunwolves, we’ll need to play better than we did on Friday,” Wessels said.

“We just need to get better so if we can keep winning while we’re learning it will be pretty handy so that’s our focus more than anything.”

The Melbourne Rebels take on the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.

The Rebels return home to host the Brumbies on Friday 9 March.

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