McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City return to Ballymore this Saturday to take on the Greater Sydney Rams in the final regular-season round of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) for 2015.
In Round 8, Brisbane City kept their unbeaten record alive with a hard-fought 37–31 victory over a Super Rugby-laden University of Canberra Vikings outfit in Canberra. The Rams head into Saturday’s match following a 63-39 loss to the Perth Spirit in Western Australia.
Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles has made just the one change to his starting team, with two further changes on the bench for Saturday’s Horan-Little Shield Final. The solitary change sees outside back Alex Gibbon promoted to the starting XV in place of Chris Kuridrani on the right wing.
The front-row of Pettowa Paraka, Andrew Ready and Sam Talakai have been front-and-centre of City’s charge this year and they are supported by the industrious Ben Hyne and Cadeyrn Neville in the second-row. Adam Korczyk made a successful return to NRC action last week, as did captain Liam Gill alongside Waita Setu in the back-row.
In the backline, vice-captain Nick Frisby and Jake McIntyre continue their successful partnership with the latter currently the competition’s leading points-scorer (97). Henry Taefu and Samu Kerevi resume their solid combination in the centres with Junior Laloifi, the competition’s leading try-scorer (11), and Karmichael Hunt rounding out the backline.
On the bench, Ryan Freney has been selected ahead of Markus Vanzati this week, and will be joined by Matt Mafi and Feao Fotuaika as the front-row reserves. Easts lock James Moore had a strong performance off the bench in Canberra, as did Brothers back-rower Luke Beauchamp. Moses Sorovi continues as City’s reserve scrumhalf and he is joined by two of South’s best backs this year, Mika Tela and Andy Muirhead.
Stiles said that his team is ready for the match against the Greater Sydney Rams after two tough away games.
“We are really looking forward to playing at Ballymore again in front of our loyal home fans. They have been very supportive over the past two seasons and we all really get a lift when we play at home,” Stiles said.
“The Horan-Little Shield is up for grabs on Saturday and it is important that we try and keep that Shield in Queensland and hopefully share it with the fans after the match.”
When asked about the changes, Stiles said it is essential to give everyone in his squad an opportunity this season and to reward players who have been working hard behind the scenes.
“We have selected Alex this week because he has been a very good contributor over the last month off the bench and deserves another starting opportunity.
“The same goes for Mika Tela who is coming off the bench this week. He played very well for Souths during their Premiership run in Queensland Premier Rugby. He has also performed in every opportunity he has had with City this year and has earned another opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Greater Sydney Rams boss Jim Williams has been forced into several changes to his starting XV.
Cameron Orr, Siliva Siliva and Sam Needs all return to the starting front row this week. Cam Betham reverts to the bench, with Max Holland joining as reserve hooker. Kelly Meafua will start at blindside flanker this week, Jono Hayes moving to openside and Cohen Masson to the back of the scrum in the Number 8 role. Sevaro Domoni is on the bench, hoping for his first game of the season.
QRU has introduced a new ticket offer for the 2015 season, with registered junior club participants under the age of 16 given free entry to any Queensland-based NRC game when accompanied by a paying adult.
Tickets start at just $5 for juniors, $10 for concession and $15 for adults when purchased online prior to the match.
Tickets can be purchased at www.redsrugby.com.au.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 3:30pm (AEST) and the match will also be live streamed at www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/nrc/nrcondemand.
Brisbane City team to play Greater Sydney Rams:
1. Pettowa Paraka – Reds/Easts
2. Andrew Ready – Reds/Easts
3. Sam Talakai – Reds/GPS
4. Corey Thomas - GPS
5. Cadeyrn Neville – Reds/Manly
6. Waita Setu - GPS
7. Liam Gill (C) – Reds/Sunnybank
8. Adam Korczyk – Reds/University of Queensland
9. Nick Frisby – Reds/GPS
10. Jake McIntyre – Reds/Sunnybank
11. Junior Laloifi – Sunnybank
12. Henry Taefu – Sunnybank
13. Samu Kerevi – Reds/GPS
14. Alex Gibbon – Southern Districts
15. Karmichael Hunt – Reds/Brothers
16. Matt Mafi - Brothers
17. Ryan Freney - GPS
18. Feao Fotuaika - Sunnybank
19. Ben Hyne - Brothers
20. Luke Beauchamp - Brothers
21. Moses Sorovi – University of Queensland
22. Mika Tela – Souths
23. Andy Muirhead - Souths
Greater Sydney Rams team to play Brisbane City:
1. Cameron Orr
2. Silivia Siliva
3. Sam Needs
4. Will Munro
5. Jack Douglas
6. Kelly Meafau
7. Jono Hayes
8. Cohen Masson
9. Dewet Roos
10. Paul Asquith
11. Afa Pakalani
12. Michael McDougall
13. Jordan Heyer
14. Brad Curtis
15. Brenden Hartmann
16. Max Holland
17. Matt Gibbon
18. Cameron Betham
19. Brad Kapa
20. Sevaro Domoni
21. Kaleb Rech
22. Rohan Saifoloi
23. Matt Teki