It's time for this seasons first weekly Rebel Rant Medal votes -- Fans Unite's very own award to determine the best Melbourne Rebels player from this season by giving out 3, 2 and 1 votes after the end of each game.
This week the Rebels defeated the Cheetahs 35-14 at AAMI Park in the teams first game of the season, and in a match where all 23 players played a part, it is hard to pick out three standout players to award votes to when it was a big team effort, but we've managed.
1 vote: Tom English
The young winger was fantastic all night. In the first half he was involved in retrieving several turnovers and carrying them back the other way. He was the games most attacking player, running 168 metres from 12 carries -- 49 metres more than the next player. He also beat the most defenders (11), but his efforts were outstanding all night, always looking to move forward.
2 votes: Luke Burgess
The experienced Wallabies scrumhalf showed his worth after the Rebels retained him from his guest stint last season. The 30 year-old was involved in everything; setting up plays, making smart passes, and even scoring a very sleek try of his own. His smarts on the ball showed the Cheetahs up.
3 votes: Scott Higginbotham
There was no wonder why everyone was looking forward to seeing Higgo again, he was phenomenal. Involved in dominating and winning many rucks, he was hard in the tackles, leading from the front, and even showing us his skills with the boot. Higginbotham played a part in all facets of the match, and his quick kick over the top to set up Jason Woodward's try in the first half, as well as running to his own try in the second, were two of the games top highlights. There was nobody more worthy than our captain.
A lot of players had good games for the Rebels; 19 year-old former Rugby Sevens player Sean McMahon impressed on debut, playing a big part in setting up Burgess' try by showing some speed. Mitch Inman and Tamati Ellison were very active in the centres -- in fact Ellison may've been a little unlucky to miss out on a vote. Pat Leafa and Hugh Pyle were good in the front pack, and even Toby Smith and Laurie Weeks were good in the front row against a Cheetahs forward line that was almost 36kg heavier than them.
The Rebel Rant Medal - 2014 Overall Leaderboard
(after round 3)
3 - Scott Higginbotham
2 - Luke Burgess
1 - Tom English