Both the Rebels and Chiefs are still in the running for a playoff spot. The Rebels will almost certainly secure a spot with a win as they are 34 points.
The Chiefs need a bonus point win and hope for the best with other results that must come there way.
This setup up this match to be one where both teams will go out to secure a bonus point win which could give us a classic.
The Chiefs are coming off a memorable win over the Crusaders which will give them huge confidence going into the match.
The Rebels will want to put last weeks thumping at the hands of the Crusaders behind them going into this game.
One thing that will count for them is that Will Genia and Quade Cooper is back this week after missing the Crusaders match.
They are two of the six changes to the side as they look to make their first appearance in the playoffs.
To do so they need to beat a team that have done what not many other teams could do this season, beating the Crusaders.
Also back in the starting team is Anaru Rangi, Jermaine Ainsley, Luke Jones and Marika Koroibete.
The home side will still be without Coleman and Maddocks who struggles with a shoulder and knee respectively.
The Chiefs have made three changes for the match with Angus Ta’avao to start at tighthead prop which also see Nepo Laulala primed to make an impact off the bench in jersey 18.
Nathan Harris returns at hooker and co-captain Brodie Retallick returns from injury eager to impress at lock, combining with workhorse Tyler Ardron.
The Chiefs and the Rebels had a totally opposite season with the Rebels starting well and fade away again in the later stages of the the competition.
The Chiefs had a poor start to the season and they have been building the last month or so to the team that won the competition a few years ago.
This does not spell anything good for the Rebels but they do have their home crowd to cheer them on on Friday.
The teams are evenly match and we should see great mini battles develop during the game upfront and at the back.
The rucks will be crucial contest and with both teams able to play from broken play defensive systems needs to be on par.
Again here the Chiefs are maybe holding the cards as we saw the massive defensive effort they put in against the Crusaders whereas the Rebels we unable to stop them last week.
A lot can change in a week and the Rebels would have worked hard at this and we expect a massive epic battle come Friday.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- This will be the seventh Super Rugby meeting between the Rebels and Chiefs, with the Hamilton side having won five of their previous six encounters including their last two on the bounce.
- The Melbourne Rebels have failed to score a first-half point in either of their last two Super Rugby games against New Zealand opposition, going into the half-time break 26-0 down on each occasion.
- The Chiefs have won 10 of their last 11 Super Rugby games against Australian opposition (L1), losing only to the Brumbies (54-17) in that time.
- The Chiefs have made 12 offloads per game in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other team in the competition and four per game more than the Rebels (8).
- Marika Koroibete (Rebels) has scored five tries and provided two try assists in his last five Super Rugby games and crossed for a try in his only previous game against the Chiefs in 2017.
Prediction: Chiefs has been playing the best rugby at the moment and one feel that they will take this one, Chiefs by 12
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Campbell Magnay
Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Tumua Manu