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Post-Cipriani Rebels the Beale thing


Stathi Paxinos

Danny Cipriani.

Danny Cipriani. Photo: Getty Images

INAUGURAL Melbourne Rebels coach Rod Macqueen has witnessed the remarkable and almost instantaneous transformation the team has had since Danny Cipriani departed.

Yesterday, when asked if the recruitment of the one-time England five-eighth had been a mistake, Macqueen replied: ''That's a difficult one to answer.'' When asked if he regretted it, he said: ''I wouldn't go that far''.

''Sometimes these things work out, sometimes they don't,'' Macqueen said. ''I think at the end of the day, Danny brought some good things to the club and as we all know there were issues.''

The Rebels last month released Cipriani from the remainder of his contract after the 24-year-old had announced he was leaving at the end of the season to play for the Sale Sharks and attempt to reclaim an England berth. Cipriani's place at five-eighth was taken by Wallabies star Kurtley Beale, who moved from full-back.

With Beale in the playmaker's role - a preview of which was seen when he replaced Cipriani midway through the round nine game against New South Wales - the Rebels have looked a different team, performing beyond expectations to push the Bulls in an honourable 41-35 loss before snaring the upset of the year by beating the seven-time champion Crusaders 28-19 last Saturday.

The Rebels are 12th on the table on 24 points, three points behind traditional Australian powerhouse NSW, and play the struggling Western Force this Sunday.

Cipriani's recruitment to the new franchise last season was announced with fanfare as the Rebels' first signing, despite his reputation as a wild boy. But the Englishman was punished several times for off-field incidents in his 1½ seasons as a Rebel and his form was inconsistent.

Macqueen, who has been succeeded as coach by Damien Hill but remains on the club's board, conceded Cipriani's image never fit with the culture the Rebels were trying to foster.

''It is fair to say that was always an issue, we were constantly fighting,'' Macqueen said. ''I think Danny tried, but I think it's also fair to say we had issues there.

''When you have problems like that you've got to work through them and that's what we tried to do and we got some good things out of Danny when he was here and hopefully he got some good things from us, not only on the field but off the field.''

Macqueen said he could see only good things for the team with Beale guiding it - his influence already being seen in the improved performances and increased confidence of half-back Nick Phipps - and the likes of James O'Connor to return from injury.

''There's no doubt that this team is doing some really good things this year and you can see it with the enthusiasm that's coming from the players,'' Macqueen said. ''I think the attitude of the players and the team at the moment is really good. It's one of really having a go and showing off what they're capable of doing.

''We've seen a lot of tries and we've seen some really good rugby being played and I think when you've got a positive attitude like that anything can happen, so we've got to be hoping that will bring more results for us.

''Every good team needs to have good ball players in it and Kurtley's certainly bringing that to us and obviously the same thing with O'Connor, when he's on the field, and the players are really working well around them. The pleasing thing is how well the team is playing as a whole and how well they're working their shapes.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all

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