Highlanders v Rebels Super Rugby preview

The Highlanders and the Rebels have only played each other once and that was last year in Melbourne and the Highlanders won convincingly.


This preview is particularly hard to compile as we only have one match in the stats from which we can try and show a trend.


When the Highlanders and Rebels played their only match it was in Melbourne last year and not in Dunedin. This week’s match is at Invercargill where the Highlanders have won 58 % of their matches.


The Highlanders on average score 20 and their opposition teams score 19 points when they play at Invercargill.


In contrast when the Rebels have played in New Zealand they have lost both of their matches and the average score was Rebels 17 opponents 39 (they have played the Blues and the Chiefs).


The Rebels lost Danny Cipriani half way through last week’s match and whilst he was on the Rebels were a vastly superior team. When Cipriani went off the Force immediately started getting into the match. Cipriani is missing this week but James O’Connor is back at 10 which is not his best position but he is an excellent all round player.


The Highlanders also lost their pivot Colin Slade half way through the match last week and similarly they lost shape when he left the field. Colin Noakes has been named to fill in at 10 for the home side.


The Highlanders will go into the match off a loss while the Rebels will start with some confidence as they won their first match of the season last weekend.


The Bookies have given the Rebels a 9 point start for this match – with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. We think that even without a first choice number 10 the HIghlanders will have too much power at the breakdown. The Highlanders should win by 8.


This match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and delayed in the UK on the Sky Sports website.


Average score: Highlanders 40 Rebels 18


Last result
15 Apr 2011 Highlanders v Rebels 40-18 Melbourne


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


Match No.35 :Highlanders v Rebels
Date Friday 30 March
Venue : Invercargill
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1:Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 2:Lourens vd Merwe
TMO : Kane McBride (New Zealand)


Teams


Highlanders:
1. Jamie Mackintosh (c), 2. Jason Rutledge. 3. Chris King, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 6. Adam Thomson, 7. James Haskell, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Chris Noakes, 11. Hosea Gear, 12. Shaun Treeby, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Kade Poki, 15. Ben Smith.


Reserves: 16. Brayden Mitchell, 17. Ma’afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Phil Burleigh, 22. Buxton Popoali’i.


Melbourne Rebels


1. Nic Henderson,2..Adam Freier,3. Laurie Weeks,4. Luke Jones,5. Hugh Pyle (vc),6. Jarrod Saffy,7.Tom Chamberlain,8. Gareth Delve (c),9. Nick Phipps,10. James O’Connor,11. Cooper Vuna,12. Lloyd Johansson,13. Lachlan Mitchell,14. Mark Gerrard,15. Kurtley Beale

Replacements: 16. Ged Robinson,17. Rodney Blake,18. Alister Campbell,19. Michael Lipman,20. Nic Stirzaker,21. James Hilgendorf,22. Julian Huxley

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