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Thread: Rebels Reach Breaking Point.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Rebels Reach Breaking Point.

    Melbourne Rebels boss Baden Stephenson has alerted his board that the club may soon have to deal with a significant mental health issue as the team struggles with the angst of being on the road again after some coaches and players spent six months away from their loved ones last year.

    “I don’t want to dramatise or catastrophise anything but it is real, the pressure on wives, partners and kids,” Stephenson told The Australian.

    “I wouldn’t say the situation is a tinderbox, but I was with the team for five days and, I won’t lie, I have talked about it with my board, I am really concerned about the wellbeing of some of our people. We talk about our family values and how we treat our people and there could be a breaking point.”

    “I don’t want to dramatise or catastrophise anything but it is real, the pressure on wives, partners and kids,” Stephenson told The Australian.

    “I wouldn’t say the situation is a tinderbox, but I was with the team for five days and, I won’t lie, I have talked about it with my board, I am really concerned about the wellbeing of some of our people. We talk about our family values and how we treat our people and there could be a breaking point.”

    On February 12, 55 players, coaches and support staff effectively fled Melbourne, some without getting the opportunity to say goodbye to family members. They drove themselves to Canberra where they have been located ever since. With the Queensland Government imposing a 14-day hotspot on the Greater Melbourne area, they got out of town just hours before the lockdown was imposed. As a result, they will be permitted to fly to Brisbane on Friday in order to play the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby AU competition match at Suncorp Stadium that night.

    But then the real problems begin for the club and for Stephenson.

    But then the real problems begin for the club and for Stephenson.

    All of the Rebels players believe they will be catching a flight back to Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, ahead of their Round 3 match – they had a bye in last Friday’s opening round – against the Brumbies on March 6 at AAMI Park. There is a desperate need to play that game, which would be the first staged in Melbourne for a year.

    “On top of the welfare issues, we have a lot at stake commercially,” he said. “A lot of our members and supporters pledged their support in 2020 when we weren’t here. That goodwill is quickly running out and there is less emotional connection with the team because they simply haven’t been here.”

    But if they play that match, they may not be allowed to get into Perth for their next match against the Western Force on March 12 unless the WA Government cuts them an exemption – which seems highly unlikely. They had asked the Queensland Government to be allowed to fly into Brisbane on Thursday night – 13 days into the 14-day hotspot shutdown – and to be tested immediately. While they awaited their test results, they would have quarantined themselves. The government said no.

    A possible Round 3 solution would be to not return to Melbourne on Saturday but instead to travel from Brisbane to Canberra to play the Brumbies there, effectively swapping their home match for their Round 9 away match. The problem is that would result in the Rebels having spent a month away from home – when they were initially told five days.

    For all those players and staff who just played Super Rugby in 2020, that would be a month on top of 13 weeks away from home last year. But for the nine players and three staff members who went from the Rebels into the Wallabies bubble, it would be another four weeks on top of 22.

    Stephenson said he expected a decision to be made on the fate of the Round 3 match by close of business on Tuesday. “That cumulative fatigue is there and the uncertainty … I think the players and staff are so committed to the club and want to do well but it is just the pressures that are at home.”

    Because Melbourne is not, strictly speaking, a rugby town, most of the Rebels’ playing roster and coaches have had to relocate there. That means that their wives and partners have no access to family support, no babysitters, no one to turn to in a family crisis.

    Stephenson has been made aware that three AFL coaches suffered marriage break-ups last year and is concerned that something similar could happen at the Rebels if the team is kept on the road for the first month of the 2021 season.

    “I think some of these things are real. I don’t want to be the leader of a club where circumstances force a major issue.

    “I know some people would think, geez, you’re only away for a month, but on the back of last year and how quickly it came around and how quickly we had to get out of Melbourne this year …”

    And while Stephenson has all these problems to tackle, there is, as well, a minor logistical concern.

    Some 30 cars are still stranded in Canberra, an unwelcome reminder of when the players were forced to flee Melbourne. Somehow, Stephenson has to get them back to Victoria. Rebels office staff have volunteered to get themselves to the national capital and drive them home.

    Wayne Smith
    Senior Sport Writer

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Maybe they can get someone from the NZ Warriors on as a consultant.

    The Rebels are a bunch of wankers.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    a few rebel fans going off their faces on GAGR-Boof has them under control!

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    a few rebel fans going off their faces on GAGR-Boof has them under control!
    "well pack up your bat and ball and go home!,geez !"

    From some(ahem,ahem!!) unknown & very unsympathetic poster on GAGR.Why are people so unkind?

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    haha

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    the thread just keeps on giving!

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    Last edited by brokendown gunfighter; 23-02-21 at 19:48.

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    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    “.....Because Melbourne is not, strictly speaking, a rugby town,.....”
    I thought Melbourne was the rugby and sporting capital of Australia, haven’t they been telling us that for how long?

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    They are coming across as a bit petulant, aren't they?

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    I had a look at the thread earlier this afternoon and they seemed pretty sooky.

    I just had another look and it's like someone poured Napalm on the fire.

    What a bunch of entitled dickheads.

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    I was just trying to show some sympathy at them for a while explaining to them that they're not being castigated but theres plenty of other teams Australia wide in the same boat, but they wouldn't have it. So i went and brewed beer instead.
    Especially love the part about how Rugby owes them from Rebel Man.

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    When the Force fans whinged about getting axed. We were told to "Get used to it. Move on etc""

    I do feel for them not knowing when then are going home and all the what if questions. But is is what it is at the moment with Covid.

    The Force team have banned discussion in the team or with the coaches about "what if, ...... we have to go stay there and live in a bubble.... for how long???? etc etc""
    Their edict is concentrate on rugby training and deal with whatever happens, when it happens or if it happens.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post

    I just had another look and it's like someone poured Napalm on the fire.
    The identity of the person with the napalm stash is highly confidential. But wtf - it was Gunny.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    The identity of the person with the napalm stash is highly confidential. But wtf - it was Gunny.
    I was bored,your honour,Mr wobbly is my new bestie

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    I was bored,your honour,Mr wobbly is my new bestie
    There's some funny shit right there

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    The Warriors have announced they will remain based on the NSW Central Coast until at least June 21 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

    It means the club's first possible home game at Mount Smart Stadium would come in round 16 when they face the Dragons on Friday, July 2.

    The team was based in Australia for almost the entire 2020 season, relocating to the NSW town of Terrigal when the season resumed in round three.

    "It was our hope initially that we would be able to return home for our April 9 match against Manly Warringah but the resurgence in COVID-19 transmissions in New Zealand leaves us with no option but to extend our stay," Warriors CEO Cameron George said.

    "Indications are the introduction of any Trans-Tasman bubble will happen later than originally hoped. On that basis, we've had discussions with the NRL and our players and staff about delaying our return to ensure we have some continuity for the first 15 rounds of the competition.

    "We thank our members, fans and sponsors for their support, understanding and patience through these challenging times while we've been preparing for the 2021 season at our home away from home on the Central Coast.

    "Clearly this hasn't been the outcome we wanted, particularly after being away from home for the entire 2020 season, but I hope our determination to front up for our fans, our partners, and our country gives everyone cause to be proud of the club and excited to be part of another premiership challenge.

    "When it's safe to do so, we look forward to sharing the biggest homecoming party with everyone at Mount Smart Stadium but for now the players and staff are focused on the opening round of the season against Gold Coast on Saturday week."

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2021/03/06/...until-june-21/

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