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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.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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