Coleman, Genia in line for Rebels return

Vince Rugari

Melbourne Rebels coach David Wessels is hopeful Adam Coleman and Will Genia will both be back on deck for their do-or-die Super Rugby assignment in Dunedin next weekend.

The Rebels fell 37-23 to the Queensland Reds on Friday night, an upset result that leaves them with little margin for error if they are to reach the finals for the first time in franchise history.

In all likelihood, they will need to beat the Highlanders on the road in their last regular-season fixture next weekend to have any chance of sneaking into the top eight on the overall ladder.

It's no easy feat, considering Melbourne has only won in New Zealand twice before - but the return of Wallabies pair Coleman (adductor) and Genia (broken arm) from injury would give them the best possible shot.

Neither has played since the June Test window.

Wessels reckoned they are both a chance of playing and will be assessed on Monday, but said the Rebels didn't necessarily need them to win.

"To be honest I don't think we need reinforcements, what we need to do is play the way we can play when we're playing at our best," Wessels said.

"We just moved away from that at key times during the game.

"I think we can be a very good team and I certainly think we can beat the Highlanders if we play at our best."

The Rebels produced two scintillating tries in the first half but their only scores after the break were two Reece Hodge penalties.

Wessels said his side was too "cute" in attack and should have directed more traffic through the middle rather than trying to play around Queensland's resolute defence.

He was certain there was a quick fix.

"I'm actually really delighted with where the team is at on the whole," Wessels said.

"I sometimes say to Tom, when my daughter's naughty, I don't not love her. She's a good kid, but she's being naughty at that time.

"I don't think we're a bad team, I think we just played badly, and I think it's very possible for us in seven days' time to play well again.

"That's what we've got to get our minds around."