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'We’re not there to take part': Philip, Rebels maintain finals hopes

Thu, 19/05/2022, 1:05 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Rebels hosted to the Chiefs in the final game of the round 13.

Melbourne Rebels vice-captain Matt Philip is confident they can keep their finals chances alive as they look to take down the Hurricanes in Wellington.

The Rebels need a win and the Highlander to lose to the NSW Waratahs to set up a blockbuster final round match-up at AAMI Park.

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After coming close against the Chiefs, Philip believes they are building confidence and momentum at the right time to take down a Hurricanes side missing Ardie Savea.

“We’re going to Wellington to do a job. We’re not there to take part,” Philip told reporters.

“We’re building momentum, we’re building confidence and we think we’re in with a real shot this week if we execute our game plan and do our roles.

“We’d love a fast start like the Waratahs (achieved last week) but we’ve got our own game.”

The Rebels were dealt a harsh lesson on their last trip to New Zealand, stunned by the Blues as they were dominated 71-28 a fortnight ago.

“We’re not going to be shocked by the intensity they come out with. Going over there is a lot different from them coming over here. It’s their playing ground and home field and they will be looking to make a statement, pretty early” Philip believes.

“We’re not going to be shocked this time around and we’re ready to put in a good performance than the last time we went across the Tasman."

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They receive a timely boost with Matt To'omua cleared to return after missing the past three weeks with a head knock.

He slots into inside centre with Stacy Ili ruled out, with Philip confident his defensive edge can help contain opposite number Jordie Barrett.

“Having ‘Pup’ back is huge,” Philip believes.

“He has a wealth of experience and is a character around the team that the boys love playing with. I’m stoked that he’s back in, he’s a steady hand who played a lot overseas and in NZ. I think that experience, that calm head but also his defence is an under-played part of his game which is very strong."

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