Chieka impressed by Rebels’ Timani

Date published: February 21 2015

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika took note of the physicality shown by Rebels second row Lopeti Timani in the Waratahs' Friday win.

The champions got back to winning ways in Melbourne but the Rebels constantly threatened them, coming into the contest full of confidence after defeating the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Timani grabbed his second try in two games, with the 193cm, 117kg 24-year-old grabbing his second try in as many games.

“It’s very obvious he has a massive amount of physicality in his game,” said an impressed Cheika.

“The mastery for him will be about delivering it consistently. You know he’s going to be physical.”

As for his own side, Chieka was delighted to see his men keep their composure despite the threats from the Rebels late on.

Taqele Naiyaravoro scored two tries in a 38-28 win for the 2014 champions but Cheika appreciated the threat posed by the Rebels half-backs.

"There was part of the game when we were really wobbling, but we held our nerve and earnt our way ahead. That’s really good character,” added Cheika.

“The Rebels are a dangerous team and if they can keep the consistency around their physicality of their game for the whole season, they’re going to win a lot of games.

"Every time they get the ball, they’ve got something going,

“They’ve got half-backs who run at the line, either (Nic) Stirzaker or (Luke) Burgess and that’s almost a bit of an art form lost.”