Melbourne Rising are back in the winner’s circle, with a dominant 46-28 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship win over Brisbane City at Harlequins Oval.
Rising jumped out to a 30-14 lead with four first half tries, as the back-to-back NRC Champions struggled to put phases together, and though it wasn’t all smooth sailing in the second forty, kept the scoreboard ticking after the break for the six tries to four win.
Brisbane City posted the first points after halftime, however, with centre Toby White crossing two phases after Under-20s star lock Lukhan Tui made a break from well inside his own half.
Rising were creating plenty of opportunities again, but just couldn’t finish them off, something that has plagued their NRC campaign this season.
They did finally score in the 72nd minute when no.8 Harley Fox stayed low on the pick-and-drive and burrowed over to seal the result.
City centre Patrick James scored from a Nick Frisby quick tap, but Rising fullback Jack Debreczeni strolled through from a scrum win for his second on fulltime to confirm the comprehensive win, making up for last week’s disappointment in Tamworth against NSW Country.
“Yeah, we needed that win, especially after last week, and it was pleasing to start well and then play well over 80 minutes, and not just bits and pieces,” Melbourne skipper Nick Stirzaker said after the win.
“It’s always nice to win your home games, it’s pretty important, and we’ve got Canberra next week who are obviously a very strong side as well, so we’ll look forward to that.”
Earlier, the Rising kicked things off through openside flanker Ikapote Tupai in his starting debut, scoring his first NRC try after a Jordy Reid break, and then Reid crossed next himself in the 12th minute as the home side bolted out to an early lead.
It was all the Rising soon after, launching wave after wave of attack on the City tryline, and when Debreczeni ran through to score in the 19th minute, things were beginning to look ominous already for the visitors.
City were able to hit back, with two tries to impressive young backrower Isa Naisarani relishing a move to no.8, but as has been an issue for them this season, City conceded a try in between these two, when Rising winger Jonah Placid finished off a nice Tom English break.
Rising went to the sheds leading 30-14, but you had the feeling they weren’t quite done.
MELBOURNE RISING 46
Tries: J. Debreczeni 2, I. Tupai, J. Reid, J. Placid, H. Fox
Cons: J. Debreczeni 1/2, B. Meehan 4/4
BRISBANE CITY 28
Tries: I. Naisarani 2, T. White, P. James
Cons: J. McIntyre 1/3, P. James 1/1