Rugby: Rebels ready for repeat win against Waratahs

Scott Higginbotham of the Melbourne rebels. Photo / Getty Images
Scott Higginbotham of the Melbourne rebels. Photo / Getty Images

Beating the Waratahs is a stand-out moment in the Melbourne Rebels' short Super Rugby history.

And it's a feeling they're desperate to repeat when the teams clash at Sydney's Allianz Stadium tonight.

Both skipper Scott Higginbotham and winger Lachlan Mitchell, who will become the first player to make 50 appearances for the Rebels, said their first ever win over NSW last season had made an impact.

"It's a game we're really proud of and we want that feeling again," Higginbotham said. "That was a significant win for the club and we're going there to keep that Weary Dunlop Shield."

Mitchell said it was a highlight of his four seasons with Melbourne.

The 26-year-old isn't under any illusions that another win will come easily and said the NSW line-up was even stronger than when they got the two-point victory in round 15 last year.

Both teams are coming off close losses where they were left ruing missed opportunities.

While the Rebels say they aren't borrowing the blueprint from the Brumbies on how to beat the Waratahs, their basic game plan is also about line-speed and slowing down the breakdown.

Fullback Jason Woodward (knee) and prop Laurie Weeks (concussion) are sidelined.

Angus Roberts and Paul Alo-Emile are their respective replacements while two Japanese internationals, hooker Shota Horie and centre Male Sa'u, have been included in the squad for the first time.

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