Rebels ready for Reds in Super Rugby final

Feeling in career-best form, Melbourne hooker Jordan Uelese says his team is confident they can upset Queensland in the Super Rugby AU qualifying final.

ames Tuttle of the Reds passes the ball whilst being tackled by JORDAN UELESE of the Rebels during the Super Rugby match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.
ames Tuttle of the Reds passes the ball whilst being tackled by JORDAN UELESE of the Rebels during the Super Rugby match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Queensland Reds at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Melbourne's Jordan Uelese says they have a plan to limit the damage of Queensland bull Taniela Tupou as the teams compete for a Super Rugby AU grand-final berth.

Uelese is backing his Rebels to cause a boilover at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, with the winner to take on the Brumbies for the title in Canberra on September 19.

It's Melbourne's first final in their 10-year history and comes after playing the entire season out of Victoria.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels earlier this week pointed out Test prop Tupou's penalty tally and said he wanted to "paint a picture" for referee Nic Berry.

But the Rebels forwards are taking it into their own hands to stop the "Tongan Thor", a renowned scrummager who can also cause havoc around the field.

Uelese said the addition of Wallaby Jermaine Ainsley and Matt Gibbon to the Melbourne pack is a major boost.

"Taniela is a good scrummager, we're not going to lie," Uelese said.

"He's a powerful athlete but we've played against him enough to know how he scrummages and his tendencies.

"We definitely have a plan to attack that."

Set to be named on Sunday in the Wallabies squad for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship, Uelese feels his game, and most importantly his lineout throwing, has improved this season.

He put that down to regular game time after finally overcoming a troublesome knee injury and extra practice with former British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling.

"We're throwing two or three times a week and our lineout percentage is pretty high - the stats don't lie," Uelese said.

"My throwing had been my downfall ... but I've worked on that and also the mental side of things, not letting players get inside my head, so I think it's something I've improved on heaps."

In their last meeting Melbourne were held up on the line five times before a 19-3 loss, so they have faith they aren't far off cracking the Reds.

"We get a bit of confidence in that if we convert one or two of those tries, we're in the game," he said.

"Our forward pack is really raring to go, so it's probably all about converting those opportunities in the opposition 22."