No half-measures in beating Reds: Macqueen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No half-measures in beating Reds: Macqueen

By Greg Buckle 03/05/2011 06:06:00 PM Comments (0)

Coach Rod Macqueen wants the Melbourne Rebels to avoid the trap of focusing too heavily on shutting down Queensland's brilliant halves combination on Friday night.

Macqueen says it's too easy for Super Rugby teams coming up against the Reds to think that the best way of winning is to curb Wallabies playmakers Will Genia and Quade Cooper.

The Reds lost 28-26 to the Hurricanes in Wellington last weekend but still lead the Australia conference with an 8-2 record, while new team the Rebels are on the bottom with three victories from 10 games.

"We'd love to be able to shut them (Genia and Cooper) down," Macqueen told reporters on Tuesday.

"Every team figures out if they're playing against Queensland if they can shut them down, they're going to win the game.

"That's alright to say, it's much more difficult to do. Once you start concentrating on individuals the rest of your game goes out.

"We've got to manage that and just be respectful of the players we're playing against and not give away too much to them."

Macqueen says he can take some positives from his side's 28-9 loss to the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

Julian Huxley's third penalty goal early in the second half left the Rebels only a point behind, but two late tries gave the Waratahs a 19-point win.

Five-eighth James Hilgendorf, who was in the starting XV ahead of high-profile England import Danny Cipriani last week, is nursing a shoulder problem ahead of Friday's clash at AAMI Park.

"He has tweaked his shoulder but I think he'll be okay," Macqueen said.

Macqueen added the Waratahs game was a missed opportunity.

"We made some mistakes. (But) we did a lot of the hard things really well, so there's some things we can build on there," he said.

"It is a game we could have won.

"When (established teams) know they've got the game, they take it away. We didn't do that and dropped the ball at crucial times.

"This really will probably be our hardest test this year."

The Reds thumped Melbourne 53-3 in round five in Brisbane.

Hooker Ged Robinson said the Rebels were determined to get some points before heading to South Africa next week to play the Bulls and the Cheetahs.

Melbourne have lost three successive matches since their bye in round eight.

"We see this as a big game for us to get back on track," Robinson said.

Macqueen described as "scuttlebutt" a newspaper report the Rebels had been told by the Australian Rugby Union not to sign Western Force's James O'Connor until a new salary cap is officially introduced.

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