Fiji Time: 10:34 PM on Thursday 26 November

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Hurricanes wary of improving Rebels

Friday, May 09, 2014

WELLINGTON - The Melbourne Rebels have come of age this year and it's nothing to do with their growing Kiwi connection, says Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith.

The 11th-placed Rebels have become accustomed to the rigours of Super Rugby, Smith believes, and provide a genuine threat to the seventh-placed Hurricanes' title charge when the teams meet in Melbourne tonight.

Smith says the competition's youngest side have understandably taken time to find their feet since being introduced in 2011.

Some heavy defeats dotted their campaigns in finishing 15th, 13th and 12th.

Such losses are becoming rarer and their propensity to topple established teams more frequent.

Smith is in regular contact with former Wellington teammates Jason Woodward and Scott Fuglistaller, who have forged prominent careers at the Rebels.

"They say they've just slowly got a lot better and their training ethic has improved," Smith said.

"It shows on the field. They start producing results and they don't need to recruit star players any more - they can actually take grass-roots players and get them in that professional environment."

Impressive fullback Woodward and flanker Fuglistaller were joined this season by three more proven New Zealand Super Rugby players - prop Toby Smith, centre Tamati Ellison and winger Telusa Veainu.

The Hurricanes blew a big lead last weekend to lose 39-30 to the Waratahs in Sydney, snapping a four-game winning streak.

The loss reminded coach Mark Hammett of the first time his Hurricanes played the Rebels, in 2011 when the newcomers fought back from 17 points down to win 42-25 in Melbourne.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.62630.6073
JPY 58.360055.3600
GBP 0.31090.3029
EUR 0.44330.4313
NZD 0.72260.6896
AUD 0.65270.6277
USD 0.47310.4561



Exchange Rate updated on 26th November 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Torture suspects known to police
  2. Sex assault claim
  3. Ryder's 7 for Bua tournament
  4. 'Stay clear', mariners told
  5. Minister's plea for help
  6. Fiji teams presents i tatau
  7. The voice of the islands in Paris
  8. No restriction to harbour entry
  9. Founders honoured
  10. Corruption awareness

Top Stories this Week

  1. Left for dead Wednesday (25 Nov)
  2. MV Suilven sinks Wednesday (25 Nov)
  3. Exit 'reason' Friday (20 Nov)
  4. Village headman arrested Friday (20 Nov)
  5. 8 years for raping man Tuesday (24 Nov)
  6. MV Suilven sinks in Suva Harbour Tuesday (24 Nov)
  7. Minister defends PM's trip Friday (20 Nov)
  8. Friend indeed Monday (23 Nov)
  9. 'Racial slur' Sunday (22 Nov)
  10. Sevens hurdle Tuesday (24 Nov)