McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City have ended the regular season of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) unbeaten, defeating the Greater Sydney Rams 71–24 at Ballymore, on Saturday afternoon.
The victory saw City secure the Horan-Little Shield and the Minor Premiership for 2015, ahead of the semi-final at Ballymore next Saturday night.
Playing in front of 2,257 fans, City put on a great display of running-Rugby to come away with the victory, scoring nine tries to three.
City head coach Nick Stiles was pleased to finish the regular season on top of the table and have Brisbane City etched onto the Horan-Little Shield.
“We have worked extremely hard this season to put ourselves in this position. It is great for the team to be able to celebrate with our loyal fans this afternoon. I’m very proud of the boys but we have an important semi-final match next week to get ready for,” Stiles said.
When asked about the top performers throughout the season, Stiles put the spotlight on a number of the uncontracted players.
“When supporters watch the games, it is easy to look at guys like Karmichael Hunt and Samu Kerevi, but it’s actually been the work of guys like Henry Taefu, Junior Laloifi, Ben Hyne, Waita Setu, Luke Beauchamp and those guys from club Rugby who have really stood up and played exceptionally this year.”
Brisbane City started strongly when Adam Korczyk opened the scoring in the seventh minute off the back of a dominant five-metre scrum. Jake McIntyre was successful with the conversion, giving the home team an 8–0 lead.
Samu Kerevi crossed under the posts in the 10th minute courtesy of some great play from Junior Laloifi and Nick Frisby. McIntyre knocked over the conversion to give City a 16–0 lead.
The Greater Sydney Rams controlled possession and territory for the next 10 minutes and it paid off when flanker Kelly Meafua scored in the 19th minute. Dewet Roos slotted the conversion and Brisbane’s lead was cut to eight-points, 16–8.
Just when it looked like City were rattled, a Liam Gill break led to Karmichael Hunt nudging the ball forward to a flying Junior Laloifi, who scored the first of his three tries under the posts. McIntyre kicked the conversion to push City to a 24–8 lead.
The home-side scored a great team try three-minutes later, with Alex Gibbon dotting down following a series of offloads from a number of City players. McIntyre missed the conversion, leaving City ahead 29–8.
The Rams hit back in the 35th minute when they were awarded a penalty-try after the referee adjudicated that Gibbon, who was dealt a yellow card, had tackled the Rams right winger early, which prevented a try being scored. Roos was successful with the conversion and the Rams trailed 29-16.
The score remained 29–16 when City and the Rams entered the sheds at half time.
City opened the scoring in the second half after some great direct runs from captain Liam Gill, providing the side with good field position. Henry Taefu crashed onto a ball and executed a nice switch that saw Karmichael Hunt score under the posts. McIntyre slotted the conversion to give Brisbane City a 37–16 lead.
The Rams hit back through flanker Jono Hayes in the 52nd minute, after some scrappy play from the home team, and Roos was successful with the conversion. The Rams trailed 37-24.
In the 58th minute, Laloifi crossed for his second try after some good lead up work from man-of-the-match Samu Kerevi. McIntyre slotted the conversion to give City a 45–24 lead.
McIntyre executed a great cross field kick shortly after to find a flying Gibbon, who crossed for his second try of the afternoon in the 60th minute. Prop Sam Talakai was unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving City ahead 50–24.
Halfback Moses Sorovi, who came on for Nick Frisby in the first-half, rounded off some great interplay between the backs with a try in the 62nd minute. The conversion was successful by McIntyre to give City a 58-24 lead.
Souths duo Andy Muirhead and Alex Casey both made their NRC and Brisbane City debuts this afternoon, with Muirhead playing a leading role in fellow Souths’ clubman Mika Tela’s try in the 66th minute, which McIntyre converted, giving City a 66-24 lead.
The Rams discipline cost them on two-occasions in the second half when Cameron Orr was sin-binned for repeated infringements, and Bradford Kapa also saw yellow for a dangerous tackle in the air.
Laloifi picked up his hat trick in the final minute of the match off another fantastic cross-field kick from McIntyre. He was unsuccessful with the conversion, but City wrapped up the Minor Premiership with a 71–24 win.
Brisbane City finish the season undefeated with eight-wins from eight-games, with a total of 38 competition-points.
City return to Ballymore to face the fourth-placed qualifier next Saturday in the semi-finals, 24 October, kick-off at 6:30pm (AEST).
McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City 71 (Junior Laloifi (3), Alex Gibbon (2), Adam Korczyk, Samu Kerevi, Karmichael Hunt, Moses Sorovi, Mika Tela; McIntyre 7 conversions) defeated Greater Sydney Rams 24 (Kelly Meafua, Penalty Try, Jono Hayes; Dewet Roos 3 conversions)
Source: Brisbane City