Rebels run riot but Crusaders loom - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels run riot but Crusaders loom

Melissa Woods 24/01/2011 06:19:44 PM Comments (0)

Veteran Melbourne halfback Sam Cordingley says he's happy with his new side's progress after two rugby trials but says their true test is looming in the form of the high-flying Crusaders.

The Rebels, who play their historic first Super rugby game next month, have opened with successive trial victories over Tonga, the last a 54-0 thumping.

Cordingley says improved communication and teamwork during the second game left the team feeling cautiously optimistic ahead of their third trial, against Fiji, in Ballarat on Saturday night.

However the islanders are badly under-strength with their best players in Europe and it's been difficult to get an accurate gauge of Melbourne's worth.

That will come on February 5, when the new boys host the most successful team in Super history, the Crusaders, at AAMI Park in their final hit-out before round one against the NSW Waratahs on February 18, also at home.

"From an on-field perspective, it's hard to say at the moment how were going, said Cordingley, who is up against boom youngsters Nick Phipps and Richard Kingi for the No.10 jersey.

"The real test is going to be up against the Crusaders which we're really looking forward to."

Former Red and Brumby Cordingley and English recruit Danny Cipriani have formed a blossoming halves combination, which the 34-year-old felt worked well.

"I think it was really good. We spoke before the game that if we wanted to get anything out of the game we had to be organised and get those calls in early.

"Danny communicates pretty well and you can see he's got a lot of skill so the longer that combination is in place the better."

Coach Rod Macqueen is likely to give the duo another outing against Fiji.

"I think with Fiji we'll probably try to solidify the game a little bit more and try a few more things that we've been getting together on the training field and it's another week to get those combinations right," Cordingley said.

"It's probably less about trying to score a whole heap of points and more about trying something on a field and see what works and what doesn't.

"Against the Crusaders we'll probably be trying to step it up in terms of our result."

The Canterbury-based side is likely to be without former league star Sonny Bill Williams, who is lining up for his first Super season.

Williams suffered a lower leg injury against Wales in New Zealand's final game of their northern hemisphere tour at the end of last year.

The 25-year-old said recently he hoped to be fit for their opening competition game against the Blues, meaning he would miss the Rebels trial.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news