Rebels see Chiefs as chance for first foreign win

Rebels Super Rugby captain Scott Higginbotham says that they are targeting the Chiefs this week as their last opportunity to get a rare Super Rugby victory in New Zealand this year.

The Rebels lost 33-30 to the Highlanders last Friday in Round 8 and Higginbotham says that the loss hurt the team as they believed that they could win the match.

Higginbotham said that if the Rebels – who have not won in South Africa and New Zealand – can secure a Super Rugby victory on foreign soil it would give the team a strong sense of belief.

The Rebels are hoping that timing of the fixture works in their favour as the Chiefs will be returning from their trip to South Africa where they picked up two draws after losing to the Force in Perth.

“We’re extremely disappointed that we couldn’t have just knocked that (first win) off last week because it was just there for the taking,” Higginbotham told AAP.

“We’re looking at it (the Chiefs) as the last opportunity we get to (win in New Zealand) this year, so we’d like to tick that box and come home with a win.”

Higginbotham said that the Rebels were aware that they need to cut down on the number of penalties that they are giving away.

“It keeps showing up and it is disappointing,” he said.

“They are things that are hard to change. You’ve got to work harder at that breakdown area, it’s something we’ve trained for but it’s still giving penalties away, it’s just not good enough.”

“We got penalised a couple of times for being off-side at the lineout, which is a tough one, some games you can get away with that, most you would, a few you wouldn’t, so we were unlucky.”

Higginbotham added that he believed that five-eighth Bryce Hegarty would be fit to play against the Chiefs after he suffered concussion early in last week’s Super Rugby loss.

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