Super Rugby Round 16 - Reds v Rebels
Delve aims to shut Reds halves down
ESPN Staff
June 1, 2013
Melbourne Rebels' Gareth Delve goes up highest to win a line-out. Melbourne Rebels v ACT Brumbies, Super Rugby, Melbourne, February 22, 2013
Gareth Delve believes the Rebels learned important lessons from their heavy defeat to the Sharks © Getty Images

Preventing Queensland playmakers Will Genia and Quade Cooper from creating havoc will be pivotal to Melbourne's chances of defeating the Reds, according to the Rebels' Welsh back-rower, Gareth Delve.

"The key to winning is shutting down their danger men and the Reds have two of the best halves in the world who do pull the strings and actually make each other play better," Delve told the Herald Sun.

"They've certainly got a number of other players who have over the past couple of years grown in stature and are Wallaby regulars. James Horwill is back and has grown in stature. It's a big task for us but, with the confidence we've got, it's one we really feel up to."

The Rebels have never beaten the Reds in five previous encounters, most recently losing by 10 points in Melbourne in March. However two successive victories will see Damien Hill's men take to the field full of confidence.

Delve noted the Rebels' 64-7 thrashing at the hands of the Sharks as a turning point in their season.

"It's a combination of us being a pretty good team," he said. "If you look at our results and take that Sharks result (64-7) out of it, that was a bit of an aberration. While you don't want to make excuses for it, it happened and it was probably the kick up the a--- we needed.

"Since then we've tightened up everything, our standards at training. I think it's a realisation that when we don't get it right, those results can happen because we're playing in one of the best competitions in world rugby. And it's a case of never wanting that to happen again."

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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