Rebels Aim For First Win Across The Ditch

Image courtesy of skysports.com
James O'Connor will be a dangerman for the Rebels. Image courtesy of skysports.com
It’s hard to believe but the Melbourne Rebels hold a winning record over long-time powerhouse the Crusaders . That’s courtesy of a 28-19 win in the one match the teams played last season, but the Christchurch-based outfit is the warmest of favourites to reverse that result on Sunday.

The New Zealand side welcomes back star fly-half Dan Carter who returns on the bench, with Tyler Bleyendaal retaining his place in the starting line-up. He’s one of four changes to the team which accounted for the Highlanders 24-8 last weekend. The Rebels regain Gareth Delve who won’t start after a month out of the side with a series of minor injuries. Scott Higginbotham will continue to skipper the side.

The Crusaders won seven of their nine matches at home last season, and they’re currently on a five-match winning streak at venues around Canterbury. Not surprisingly, the Rebels have played four and lost four in New Zealand, although their overall record against Kiwi teams is much better with three wins from eight starts.

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