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Rebels ready for Rats in round one

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Rebels ready for Rats in round one

After falling short in the final match of last season, Southern Districts begin their 2015 Shute Shield campaign with fire in their belly.

Their journey towards an inaugural premiership beginning against Warraingah at Rat Park tomorrow.

“We were disappointed to fall short in the last game but I’m still very happy with what we achieved. We had an up and down year last year but we will draw from that and take it into this season,” head coach Matt Barr said.

Whilst Barr admits his side may be a little underdone heading into the opening round, he expects last years grand finalists to improve quickly with consistency the Rebels focus in 2015.

“We had good periods last year, but then we lost games to teams we shouldn’t have. We need to make sure that we are winning the games we should be winning and avoid those forward slumps."

Warringah’s preseason has been disjointed to say the least, with the 2015 coaching staff of Greg Marr, Michael Lipman and former Wallaby Mark Gerrard only finalised in the last few weeks.

“They’ve got a very strong playing roster so we are expecting a very tough clash.”

“I’d say the the senior player group would have taken control over the past few weeks to help with the transition so we expect them to still be very well structured tomorrow.”

Dewet Roos will make his long awaited return from injury at halfback, keeping former Australian Schoolboys number nine Waldo Wessels in second grade.

“He (Roos) played some footy through the trials and his form has been quite good so he’ll get the first chance at nine.”

It’s depth throughout the club that has Barr excited about 2015.

“It’s going to create that culture and environment where people are working harder because they realise they are under pressure to perform (and retain their spot), so that will be good for us.”

Waratahs forward Jed Holloway will lead the side for the second year and is another Barr expects to impress.

“He’s taken his game to another level. You can see some of the ideas he has picked up from the Waratahs and a lot of leadership and direction, so I think he’ll be great for us this year.”<

The Rebels travel to Warringah for the opening round, with Colts hosting the Rats at Forshaw Park from 12:20pm.

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