Melbourne Rebels flyhalf Andrew Deegan says he couldn’t be prouder of the grit his teammates have shown this season, as the Rebels embark on their final regular season game this weekend after eleven weeks on the road.
Despite the time away from Melbourne, team morale remains high – a testament to the Rebels’ players and staff, according to Deegan.
“Eleven weeks on the road – you can probably get sick of each other, but the boys are still really enjoying each other’s time, said Deegan.
“Getting down to the beach is quite handy and there’s been a few ping pong games going on.
“But the Force are in the same situation too and we feel for them.
“I guess there’s that mutual respect that both teams are on the road keeping the game alive, so hopefully we put on a good spectacle on Saturday afternoon.”
Saturday’s clash in Newcastle will be a memorable fixture in more ways than one – with the match kicking off Super Saturday, while also providing the Rebels with a great chance to qualify for a maiden Super Rugby finals birth.
Deegan says players are looking forward to being part of Rugby Australia’s special day but remain focused on the job at hand.
“It’s all in our hands now – we’ve got to win the game, to put it simply.
“If we get that, it puts us into finals, so we’re obviously looking at this game and how important it is to us and what we can do this week to make sure we get that win.
“To get up to Newcastle at 3 pm – it looks like the weather will be quite sunny, so hopefully both teams can throw the ball around."
Facing a Western Force outfit stirred by a narrow Super Time loss to Melbourne in Round 4, Deegan anticipates a tough eighty-minute contest against a side eager to cause a final round upset.
“They’ve tested teams all the way to the end and I think they’re going to throw everything at us.
“Their footy over the last nine or ten weeks has been exceptional.
“We’ve got to be ready.”
The Rebels tackle the Western Force on Saturday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle at 3 PM.