Dewar Shield Rd 3 Preview News

DEWAR SHIELD PREVIEW: MELBOURNE v BOX HILL

The Unicorns head into their first home match following a Round Two bye, and a miraculous come from behind draw with Footscray in Round One away. While last year’s runners up Box Hill are two from two after wins against 2014 premier Harlequin and fellow finalist Moorabbin gave them the perfect start to the season.

Luke Burgess, Cam Crawford, Jordy Reid and Telusa Veainu will represent Melbourne, while Ben Meehan and Radike Samo are the allocated Rebels in action for Box Hill.

Unicorns’ Head Coach Anare Koliavu is expecting a stern challenge on Saturday, and laid down the marker to his side, who no doubt will be keen to extract revenge on the Broncos after they scored a late penalty goal to win last season’s Preliminary Final.

“After two wins from two, against quality teams who both made the finals last year, we expect them to come into the game with a lot of confidence,” he said. “We expect a physical encounter, as well as some slick play from their new players, especially in the backline.

“We expect them to have a go at us from anywhere on the field, and we have prepared for it. For us, it’s about being aware of their strengths, and attacking and exposing their weaknesses.”

“Our focus is on getting better as a team every week; I’m expecting all fifteen players that step on that field, as well as the bench, to put in a big performance. No players are guaranteed a place, and there’s plenty who are pushing for that starting position every week; we don’t want any passengers.”

For Box Hill Head Coach Andrew Slyfield, it’s hard to know what to expect from the Unicorns.

“They have only had one game, in which they had a slow start, and then in the second half they got going with the help of their Rebel players out wide,” he said. “They also have a new coach in 2015, so you can’t expect the same structure and systems as last year.

“In the week off, we have focused on our off- field processes and team culture. Since almost half the players are new to the Club, we view team bonding as very important. In regards to game preparation it has been business as usual, and worrying about what we can control.

“Sema Hafoka has been impressive in the loose forwards for us thus far, and we will again look for him to have another big game. He is a great gain for us and Victorian Rugby; our players love playing alongside him due to the energy he brings to the game and the skills he possesses.”

Source: Rebels Media Unit


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