Rebels hoping to bounce back against Crusaders

The Melbourne Rebels are hoping to rebound from their heavy Super Rugby loss to the Western Force in Perth with a victory over the Crusaders at AAMI Park.

Former Wallabies half back Luke Burgess admis that the Rebels might have got ahead of themselves in the run up to their humbling to the Western Force after a they make a fantastic start to the season.

The Rebels started a week later than their Australian rivals due to an early bye but comfortably beat the Cheetahs in their opening match.

The Melbourne side then went to Perth and suffered a 32-7 humbling against the Western Force and hope to win back some pride this weekend when they host seven-time champions the Crusaders on Friday.

“It was a disappointing result for us,” Burgess told AAP

“You could say that (we got ahead of ourselves). That would be an obvious criticism but I think the Force had a lot of motivation and they played well.”

The Crusaders have not had the best start to their own season and needed a late penalty to beat the Stormers last week and have now won one match in three so far this year.

Burgess is expected to go up against All Black No.9 Andy Ellis says that he expects the Rebels to lift their game for the Crusaders.

“It’s always great playing the Crusaders because they bring best out in you,” he said.

“Andy’s a fantastic player with a lot of experience and a World Cup winner’s medal in his cabinet.

“He gives them a lot in attack and defence.”

Ellis had similar praise for Burgess and said that the former Wallaby had been noted by the Crusaders as one of their danger men.

“He’s got a really good rugby brain,” Ellis said of Burgess.

“He looks like he’s really excited to be back playing footy in Australia.

“We see him as one of the key guys and he links well between his forwards and his backs.

“From my side of things I’m going to have to make sure I control our ruck and not give him too much space.”

Ellis added that he expects the Rebels to come out firing after their poor performance against the Force and knows they are tough to beat at home in Melbourne.

“We’ve talked this week about having a lot of respect for them.

“We really consider them one of the teams to beat.

“When you look at their stats right across their game, and especially in attack they’re lethal.”

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