Rebels team focused for clash against Hurricanes in Round 5

Wed, Mar 20, 2024, 1:00 AM
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media

The Melbourne Rebels have announced their travelling team to take on the Hurricanes in Palmerston North for Round 5 of Super Rugby Pacific 2024.  

The team will be looking to get their second win away from home, in the opening game of the week against a strong Hurricanes side.  

Victorian prop and stand out from Round 4 Isaac Kailea will start for the first time for his home club. After putting together a set of strong performances at loosehead off the bench in the opening rounds, Kailea has made his way into the number one jersey alongside fellow Victorian Jordan Uelese at hooker and Sam Talakai at tighthead.  

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Angelo Smith combine as locks, starting together as a pair for the first time this season. Tuaina Taii Tualima will start on the blindside, with Vaiolini Ekuasi at openside flanker.   

Rob Leota will again lead the side from 8, with his high energy carries and pressure on the opposition defence crucial for the Rebels.

Looking forward to the Hurricanes match up, Captain Leota is keen for the Rebels to demonstrate their physicality in both attack and defence.  

Speaking with media earlier in the week, he highlighted the need to stay connected. “Having that right mindset is the overall focus for us, we want to be physical and we’ve got to go together” said Leota, previewing the groups intent for Round 5.  

Ryan Louwrens starts at scrumhalf and flyhalf Carter Gordon will again work to move his team around the park and pose as a running threat with ball in hand.  

David Feliuai will combine with Lukas Ripley in his first start of the season, looking to replicate the same form the last time he played the Hurricanes away, scoring a hattrick.  

The back three is made up of speedsters Glen Vaihu, Lachie Anderson and the reliable Andrew Kellaway, who leads the Rebels’ try scoring and poses a genuine threat under the high ball.  

Alex Mafi returns to the team looking to replicate his outstanding performance against the Western Force, alongside Rebels fan favourite Cabous Eloff and Taniela Tupou. With Josh Canham as reserve lock and Daniel Maiava lining up as back row impact, set to bring his high work rate to the game late.  

Scrum half Jack Maunder moves into replacement scrum half, complemented by Nick Jooste and Mason Gordon who can cover play maker roles.  

Mason, younger brother to Carter, makes up the 23 as a potential debutant and if he takes the field against the Hurricanes Mason & Carter would become the third set of Brothers to have represented the club after Dane & Ross Haylett-Petty and Tom & Joe Pincus. 

The Melbourne Rebels face the Hurricanes in Round 5 of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season, kicking off at 5:05 PM AEDT / 7:05 PM NZT, Friday, March 22 at Central Energy Trust Arena.   The match will be shown ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport. 

Reserves 

1. Isaac Kailea 

2. Jordan Uelese 

3. Sam Talakai 

4. Angelo Smith 

5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 

6. Tuaina Taii Tualima 

7. Vaiolini Ekuasi 

8. Rob Leota (c) 

9. Ryan Louwrens 

10. Carter Gordon 

11. Glen Vaihu 

12. David Feliuai 

13. Lukas Ripley 

14. Lachie Anderson 

15. Andrew Kellaway     Reserves    

16. Alex Mafi 

17. Cabous Eloff 

18. Taniela Tupou 

19. Josh Canham 

20. Daniel Maiava 

21. Jack Maunder 

22. Mason Gordon* 

23. Nick Jooste    * potential debutant 

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