They’re sitting on top of the Aussie conference ladder but the Melbourne Rebels feel they’ve got more to give.
After wins over the Reds, Force, Waratahs and Cheetahs the Rebels sit one point ahead of the ACT Brumbies at the top of the Australian conference, currently the only Australian side in a finals spot.
They’re yet to beat a New Zealand team this season but have a prime opportunity to add to their ledge when they travel to Auckland to face the Blues.
Rebels hooker James Hanson said his side was yet to play its best footy, or even a game of consistent rugby.
“It’s good to know that you still haven’t played your best footy but still able to get those wins,” he said.
“I think we’re still chasing that 80 minute performance where we can get a really good win and walk off the field and we’re really happy with everything we’ve achieved.
“Until then we’re still going to keep working hard.”
The Rebels have been shown up by Kiwi teams, though they’re not the only Australian struggling against trans-Tasman cousins, and even in their wins, errors have cost them at critical stages.
“All the mistakes we made are fixable and we’ll be working hard this week to limit those errors,” he said.
“I think it’s just that confidence of playing with each other that we’ll get from playing each week.”
While the Blues are the worst-performing of the five New Zealand teams, Hanson said they wouldn’t be lulled into any complacency.
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The Blues beat the Rebels 59-7 in a preseason trial but both sides will field far different sides this time around.
“You can’t ever relax,” Hanson said.
“There’s always those teams that no matter if they’re closer to the bottom than the top like a lot of the Kiwi teams, that they’re always gunning for you and you’ve got to make sure every part of your game is 100 per cent.”