NRC: City vs Rams: Five things we've learned

by Brett McKay

It might’ve poured rain in Sydney on Friday night, but it was only raining tries in Brisbane, as Brisbane City held on for a thrilling 44-36 six tries to five Buildcorp National Rugby Championship win over the Western Sydney Rams under beautiful blue sky at Ballymore.

1. We might already have the Try of the NRC for 2016 sorted

Brisbane City flyer Mitch Felsman’s 61st minute effort is going to take some topping in 2016, with his 94-metre run down the right flank guaranteed to end up in the NRC highlights for the season.

After a couple of wide passes found the Brothers try-scoring machine in space, Felsman put down the hammer and found himself with only the fullback to beat and even slowing so his support runners could catch up to him.

But they couldn’t and Felsman kicked ahead for himself, gassed the remaining Rams defenders again and crashed over in the corner.

It’s easily as good as University of Canberra Vikings’ fullback Aidan Toua’s ripper from last season.

2. City kick off the Horan-Little Shield defence

The Shield was a wonderful addition in 2015, and it was great not only to see it on the line for the first time this season, but to have one of the great Wallabies wishing both sides the best of luck pre-match.

And if we’re honest, if all Shield defence games are played like this one for the rest of 2016, then the competition-within-a-competition will very quickly build its own traditions and rivalries.

With City holding on, and extending their hold on the Shield for a seventh straight game that dates back to Round 2 last season, the Vikings will be their next challenger in next week’s Round 3 clash and replay of last season’s Final.

3. Frisby picks up where he left off

One of the reasons Nick Frisby has been able to settle into Super Rugby so well in 2016 has been his live game development in the NRC over the past two seasons.

And his strong season for the Queensland Reds saw him rewarded with a Test debut in June against England, and Wallabies squad selection for The Rugby Championship.

He was desperately missed last week, as Brisbane City found themselves touched up by NSW Country.

But now back on deck for this game, his wonderful tactical kicking game and crisp passing service made City a completely different prospect, and indeed, he was one of their best in the 44-36 win.

4. Day of the Giants

It was a day when long shadows were being cast at scrum and lineout time, with City’s Lukhan Tui and the Rams’ Will Skelton both cracking the two metre mark, and Skelton’s second row partner Senio Toleafoa coming in at 197cm.

For the big blokes, it was a mixed day out; Tui scored a first half try, but didn’t play the second half at all after being knocked cold by a high shot that was surprisingly missed by the on-field officials and the TMO upstairs.

Skelton got through 65 minutes, which included a ten-minute sit down for too many first half infringements, which hopefully won’t follow him nest week should he win a Wallabies berth to face the Springboks.

Wallaby Will Skelton made his first appearance in the 2016 Buildcorp NRC. Photo: Sportography

5. Getting married no excuse to miss the rugby

Saturday afternoons in bright sunshine are welcome for wedding goers and rugby fans alike, but how do you make the most of the sunshine if you’re both a rugby fan and going to a wedding?

Easy, you do both!

Now, we’re not 100% sure if they were the bride and groom, but we applaud their commitment to keeping all engagements.

And if they were the bride and groom, well, congratulations from everyone at the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship!