Rugby: Rebels back attack tactics

Jarrod Saffy of the Rebels looks to pass the ball during a Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby captain's run. Photo / Getty Images
Jarrod Saffy of the Rebels looks to pass the ball during a Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby captain's run. Photo / Getty Images

The Melbourne Rebels won't follow the Brumbies' blueprint and will play to their own strengths by backing their expansive attacking game in tonight's clash with the Lions.

It will be the first time the Rebels have tackled the Lions and coach Damien Hill says his players are approaching the match with great enthusiasm.

While the Lions lead Australia 1-0 in their three-test series, the Rebels can take heart from the Brumbies' 14-12 upset of the Lions dirt-trackers in Canberra last Tuesday.

Hill says they'll show faith in their own up-tempo possession game, rather than repeating the Brumbies' field-position tactics. "For most of them it's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we're approaching it as such.

"There's not too many chinks in the Lions' armour. We've taken the approach that we still want to be true to the Rebels' style of play.

"We also know that we need to be exceptionally clinical and a lot smarter with our decision-making if we're going to give ourselves a chance."

After a wildly fluctuating season, Hill admits his own coaching future would be boosted by a shock win over the Lions. "Performances are a key to your success as a coach. If we can be successful then that would be great for everyone involved."

Former Wales No8 Gareth Delve will captain the Rebels while lock Hugh Pyle, on the cusp of a test squad call-up before injuring his shoulder four weeks ago, returns in a boost to their pack.

- AAP

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