Rebels' Higginbotham to star in match against former team
WALLABY flanker Scott Higginbotham has enjoyed plenty of success while playing for the Reds against the Melbourne Rebels at Melbourne's AAMI Park.
The Reds have won both times they've played there and Higginbotham was in the line-up in the 33-18 triumph in 2011 and was there again in last season's 32-17 victory.
Now the 2012 Super Rugby Player of the Year runner-up will be hoping to taste victory again - only this time with the Rebels on Friday night.
Higginbotham headed south at the end of last season after playing 63 Super Rugby games for the Reds.
In one of those games, Higginbotham scored a try as the Reds went on a record-breaking 53-3 points scoring spree, ironically against the Rebels, on the way to winning the Super Rugby crown for the first time in 2011.
The 53 points is the highest points total ever recorded by the Reds in Super Rugby history while the winning margin of 50 is also their largest, eclipsing the 52-16 win over the Crusaders in 1996.
The Reds made it back-to-back wins this year after beating the Hurricanes 18-12 on Friday, their first victory over the Kiwis since 2007, and Reds director of coaching Ewen McKenzie is now preparing for a new battle as he knows how hard his former charge and his new teammates will make it for them.
"We've been to Melbourne twice now and they make it very difficult every time you play there," McKenzie said.
"Tactically, the Rebels will be a challenge and we've had a look at them already. They will be difficult and it will be another physical game. They always are."