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Melbourne Rebels

  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 12th Apr 2014
  • KO 08:35
  • Ground: Subiaco Oval, Perth

Super Rugby: Chiefs v Melbourne Rebels preview

Last updated: 12th April 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

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The Chiefs are looking to get back to winning ways against Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.

Now back at home after a defeat to the Force was backed up by two draws in South Africa, Dave Rennie's men need an 80-minute performance.

Sluggish starts have been the Chiefs' problem and have led to a raft of changes - both in personnel and positionally - in the team to face the Rebels.

Gareth Anscombe steps in at fly-half for the injured Aaron Cruden, Augustine Pulu is retained ahead of All Black scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow, while Bundee Aki makes his 2014 debut as Tom Marshall moves to full-back.

In a pre-planned move, Liam Messam is rested from the starting line-up but is on the bench, meaning Kane Thompson, Sam Cane and Tanerau Latimer form the back row.

The Rebels, who prop up the Australian conference on eleven points from six Super Rugby games this season, have made one change to the starting XV on duty during the 33-30 defeat at the Highlanders last weekend.

Flanker Colby Fainga'a is fit to return on the blindside, relegating Sean McMahon relegated to the bench. Utility back Tom Kingston has also recovered from injury and replaces Alex Rokobaro among the replacements.

Lock Hugh Pyle will become the first player to make 50 Super Rugby appearances for the fourth-year franchise.

Last year's meeting saw a high-scoring affair that the Chiefs won 39-33, with Anscombe scoring a hat-trick from full-back.

Chiefs: 15 Marshall, 14 Nanai-Williams, 13 Horrell, 12 Aki, 11 Muliaina, 10 Anscombe, 9 Pulu; 1 Mackintosh, 2 Marshall, 3 Tameifuna, 4 Fitzgerald, 5 Retallick, 6 Latimer, 7 Crane, 8 Thompson

Replacements: 16 Harris, 17 Manu, 18 Hohneck, 19 Filipo, 20 Messam, 21 Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lienert-Brown, 23 Payne

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Woodward, 14 Sau, 13 Ellison, 12 Inman, 11 English, 10 Hegarty, 9 Stirzaker; 1 Smith, 2 Horie, 3 Weeks, 4 Pyle, 5 Jones, 6 Fainga'a, 7 Fuglistaller, 8 Higginbotham (capt)

Replacements: 16 Leafa, 17 Ah-Nau, 18 Alo-Emilie, 19 Neville, 20 McMahon, 21 Burgess, 22 Kingston, 23 Roberts

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