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Rebels see Tahs as Super Rugby must-win

NZN 23/03/2017 Melissa Woods

The Melbourne Rebels are relishing the chance to measure themselves against another Australian Super Rugby team as they head into a must-win clash with the Waratahs at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Rebels are winless after opening the season with three games against red-hot Kiwi teams, although they came close to toppling the Chiefs last round before being over-run in the final minutes.

The Rebels are targeting this game against the inconsistent Waratahs, whose season-opening win is their only one of the campaign, as the platform to resurrect their season.

They toppled the Waratahs 21-17 on their home turf in their most recent meeting, in round six last year.

"We've come through a hard part of the draw playing the teams who will be there at the business end so we know where we are and how far we are behind those leaders, and it will be good to measure ourselves against another Australian team from them," said attack coach Morgan Turinui.

"Considering we're 0-3, this match is hugely important and the way the competition is structured with the Australian conference, the derbies are double points.

"You get the points against the South Africans and Kiwis where you can but there are double points on offer when we play each other because we're all fighting for that one guaranteed finals spot."

The Rebels came through the Chiefs match unscathed, although are hopeful of being able to bring Wallabies forward Lopeti Timani (knee), Welsh lock Dom Day (shoulder) and burly centre Mitch Inman (concussion) into the line-up.

Turinui said he was wary about the Waratahs including Test five-eighth Bernard Foley, who has been sidelined with concussion.

"He's a great player and a calming influence so I think he will give them great direction," Turinui said of the returning Foley.

"If you look at some of their games maybe they have lacked a tiny bit of composure ... he will settle down their footy in attack.

"If we do get the result we know we would have earnt it."

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