The CSU NSW Country Eagles have suffered their second defeat of the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship season, going down to the undefeated reigning premiers Brisbane City 61-29 at Ballymore, who retain the Horan-Little Shield.
The understrength Eagles were missing 10 players from the starting side that beat the Sydney Stars last week, but still led 21-8 midway through the first half.
The Eagles opened the scoring in just the third minute when Jack Pennington crossed off an inside ball from Dave Horwitz and pushed away to an unexpected 12-0 lead when Pauli Tuala crossed from close range.
The Brisbane City forwards capitalised on a strong period of pressure to open their account, but the Eagles hit straight back with Tuala crossing for his second try midway through the second half to claim a 21-8 lead.
Still undefeated in 2015, last year’s premiers found their way late in the half and crossed twice, including a great try to Karmichael Hunt on the stroke of half time to lead 24-21 at the break.
Brisbane City extended their lead seven minutes into the second half with Junior Laloifi crossing on the left flank before Samu Kerevi crossed for three tries in 13 minutes to give the home side a 52-21 in the 60th minutes.
Brogan Roods scored for the Eagles in the 72nd minute, but the comeback was short lived as Brisbane City crossed once more in the final minutes to continue their unbeaten start to the 2015 Buildcorp NRC season with a 61-29 victory.
The Eagles now have just four days to prepare for their next clash against Brisbane City in Newcastle. Tickets for the match are available at the Eagles website.
Brisbane City v CSU Country Eagles at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Brisbane City 61 (S Higginbotham, C Neville, K Hunt, J Laloifi, C Kuridrani, S Kerevi 2, A Gibbon tries; J McIntyre 7 cons) def CSU Country Eagles 29 (J Pennington, P Tuala 2, B Roods tries; J Lance 2, D Harvey cons)
Source: CSU Country Eagles