Melbourne Rebels lock Matt Philip believes the Club’s finals destiny is still in its own hands ahead of the side’s must-win clash against the Sunwolves.
With four rounds remaining, the Rebels sit second in the Australian Conference to the Brumbies by only a point, as the Club chases its inaugural finals appearance.
While believing the whole team mentality is still centred around taking the season one week at a time, Philip says it’d be silly not to acknowledge the major goal, which is to secure a 2019 finals berth.
“I think one positive thing about the situation we’re in now is that the finals are in our control, it’s a position I want to be in and a position I want to stay in,” Philip said.
“I’d say we have acknowledged it and we’ve said as a team that we want to make finals.
“I think we’d be disappointed as a group if we don’t make finals and I know I’ll definitely be disappointed.
“We’ve acknowledged the situation we're in now (and) that the brumbies are one point ahead of us, so we’ve got to make every win count.”
On a more personal note, Philip has enjoyed another consistent season in his second year at the Club, playing in all but one of Melbourne’s 12 games in 2019.
After sustaining a foot infection in Round 4 which threatened to put Philip out for a lengthy period of time, the lock now says his body is the best it’s felt all season.
“During the first part of the season I had a few niggles with my foot and my knee, but in the last three or four games, I’ve started to feel really good in my body again,” Philip said.
“It’s given me a lot of confidence to get around the park and get the ball in my hands a bit more and let me do the things I like to do a bit more.”
The Rebels will be looking to kick-start their final four games with a victory over a threatening Sunwolves outfit, who’ve played significantly better in 2019 than their ladder position suggests.
And after letting a golden opportunity slip to defeat the Bulls last Friday night, Philip says his side will need to up the ante in defence.
“We’ve just to keep to our system and be physical, there’s no secret science to defence, it’s all attitude in my mind,” Philip said.
“If we keep a good attitude for 80 minutes, we’ll be fine and we’re looking to rectify that this weekend.”