Forget Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale, the attack the Melbourne Rebels are focusing on is their own.
The Rebels are keenly aware of the dangers posed by Folau, Beale and their backline cohorts when they play the NSW Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
But they’re even more concerned about fixing their own spluttering offense after back to back losses against the Western Force and Crusaders.
“We certainly understand the threats … and there’s also (ex-Rebels halfback) Nick Phipps, who’s playing really well and directing things well,” said Melbourne coach Tony McGahan.
“If we worried about those seven guys there than we’re missing the point.
“We need to worry about ourselves and the things we need to tidy up ourselves.”
The Rebels hopes of getting back on a winning track have suffered a blow with the loss of attacking fullback Jason Woodward (knee). Utility Angus Roberts is set to start at fullback in his place.
Melbourne have also lost veteran prop Laurie Weeks, who suffered concussion in their loss to the Crusaders, with Paul Alo-Emile his replacement.
The Rebels were puzzled by the amount of penalties incurred by their scrum against the Crusaders.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika reportedly had strong words for referee Jaco Peyper’s handling of the scrum in his side’s loss to the Brumbies and Peyper will officiate again on Friday night.
Cheika also met with Peyper and SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray through the week.
McMahon said he wouldn’t be seeking a pre-game meeting with Peyper himself but he expects his scrum to be treated equally.
“We’re looking forward to getting a fair run of it,” he said.
“The Waratahs had Jaco Peyper last week and he’s obviously had a bit of heat on him with regards to the Waratahs coaching staff so we’re looking to make sure that we get an even rub of it and it’s back to neutral and whoever’s doing what on the night will get refereed and not what happened last week.
“We’ve been through three trials and two games and I don’t think we’ve been penalised very much at all on both sides of the ball.
“We don’t think we will have any problems this weekend.”