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Everything You Need To Know: Rd 5 v Waratahs

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Melbourne Rebels fifth round meeting with the Waratahs at AAMI Park, Melbourne, on Friday.

Match Details

Melbourne Rebels v NSW Waratahs
Friday 24 March 2017
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kickoff: 7.45pm(AEDT), 9.45 (NZ)
Gates Open: 4.30pm (AEDT)
Conversation: #REBvWAR
Curtain Raiser: Melbourne Rebels U20s v NSW Gen Blue, kickoff: 4.30pm (AEDT).

The Story:

The Weary Dunlop Shield will be on the line when the NSW Waratahs come to town for the Melbourne Rebels’ first Australian derby of the year at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Rebels will defend the shield after they claimed it for the second time when they defeated the Waratahs in Sydney last year for the first time in the club’s history with a 21-17 victory at Allianz Stadium.

The Rebels are coming off a confidence-boosting performance against the league-leading Chiefs last week while the Waratahs dropped their third consecutive game with a loss to the Brumbies.

The Waratahs lead the head to head record between two sides with nine wins from 11 previous meetings.

Team News: 

Rebels winger Sefa Naivalu and prop Laurie Weeks successfully returned from injuries against the Chiefs on Friday night.

Naivalu made his first appearance for the season after a leg injury sidelined Super Sefa for the opening two rounds while Weeks overcame a cork that saw him miss the Round 2 clash with the Hurricanes.

The Rebels will name their team for Rd 5 on Wednesday.

Upcoming Milestones:

100 Super Rugby Caps – James Hanson

James Hanson is set to record his 100th Super Rugby appearance against the Waratahs on Friday night. The hooker made his Super Rugby debut off the bench for the Reds against the Crusaders in Round 2, 2010. The 28-year-old made 82 appearances for the Reds before he joined the Rebels in 2016.

75 Rebels Super Rugby Caps – Laurie Weeks

A week after Laurie Weeks broke the Melbourne Rebels record for most appearances with 74, the prop will become the first player to record 75 Super Rugby appearances for the club.

Last Time They Met:

2016 Super Rugby- Round 6

Melbourne Rebels 21 (Tries: Debreczeni, Smith; Con: Debreczeni 1; Pen: Debreczeni 3) defeated NSW Waratahs 17 (Tries: Dempsey, Carraro; Con: Foley 2; Pen: Foley 1)

The Melbourne Rebels have secured a historic victory in Sydney with a 21-17 win over the NSW Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Rebels, who move to equal first on the Australian Conference ladder with the Brumbies on 17 points, held off a second-half charge from the Waratahs to secure their first victory in the Harbour City in six games.

The Rebels and Waratahs traded penalties in the first ten minutes before Jack Debreczeni crossed for the game’s first try in 20th minute after patient build up in attack had the Waratahs pinned on their goal line.

A wide ball from captain Nic Stirzaker found Debreczeni, who threw a dummy inside before crashing over on the 15th phase to give the visitors an 8-3 lead midway through the first-half.

The Rebels added a second try four minutes later when Lopeti Timani burst through the defence and found prop Toby Smith in support for his first try of the season.

Read full match report here

Head to Head:

Round 1, 2011: Waratahs 43 defeated Rebels 0, AAMI Park, Melbourne.
Round 11, 2011: Waratahs 28 defeated Rebels 9, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Round 2, 2012: Waratahs 35 defeated Rebels 19, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Round 9, 2012: Waratahs 30 defeated Rebels 21, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Round 3, 2013: Waratahs 31 defeated Rebels 26, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Round 15, 2013: Rebels 24 defeated Waratahs 22, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Round 6, 2014: Waratahs 32 defeated Rebels 8, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Round 15, 2014: Waratahs 41 defeated Rebels 19, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Round 2, 2015: Waratahs 38 defeated Rebels 28, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Round 11, 2015: Waratahs 18 defeated Rebels 16, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Round 6, 2016: Rebels 21 defeated Waratahs 17, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney