NRC: Brisbane City down Melbourne Rising in Adelaide

NRC
by RUGBY.com.au staff

A second-half surge by Brisbane City helped secure victory over the Melbourne Rising as the NRC returned to Adelaide.

In perfect conditions for rugby, a high-scoring game entertained the crowd and Brisbane City timed their run perfectly, coming from behind to defeat the Rising 33-28.

City scored four tries to one in the second half, with Tautalatasi Tasi bagging a double; including the go-ahead try in the 63rd minute.

It left the Rising clawing for a try late to win but they couldn't find one.

After non-stop action with neither team looking to find touch in the opening stanza, it was the Melbourne Rising who broke the deadlock on the fifth minute, when a Justin Marsters pass found Archie King who sprinted to the try and planted the ball down.

It looked as though the Rising were going for a second try moments later, but some desperate defending by Brisbane City on their line meant they were only a converted try behind.

Marsters was in the thick of the action again, this time when he charged down a Karmichael Hunt kick on the 15th minute, which allowed Bill Meakes to cross the line to extend Rising’s lead.

Brisbane City responded when a Quade Cooper pass found Con Foley who had the simple task of planting the ball down to give City their first try of the afternoon.

A Cooper conversion meant they were trailing by a converted try midway through the first half.

Centre Sione Tuipulotu, crossed for Rising’s third try when he fended off Cooper to score his first and also extending the lead to 14 points.

A dominant scrum battle between the two sides was on show, as City won the ball and played Sam Wallis into space as he looked to the try line but fell a metre short.

As both sides were nearing half time, there was some confusion about how much time was left on the clock and Meakes must have saw the clock tick past the 40 minute mark, and kicked the ball out of play, but in an unusual twist of events the play resumed and it meant Rising had to do some extra defending as City came charging in.

The Rising had to play the remaining minutes of the first half with 14 men after George Noa was sent to the sin bin.

The clocked ticked past 47 minutes before referee Graham Cooper called an end to the frantic half, as the Rising went into the sheds with a 14 point advantage.

As the second half began, it was Brisbane City who struck first blood after the restart when Tasi ran onto a clever grubber kick by Cooper.

Brisbane City let their intentions be known putting pressure and forcing the Rising to make mistakes, and their reward soon followed when Brisbane played a penalty quickly which allowed Jaye Thompson to cross over as the Rising were caught napping.

Cooper having a field day off the tee levelled the scores on the 53rd minute.

Rising took back the lead a minute later, when scrumhalf Michael Ruru found the line to make it a seven-point ball game.

It was all-square again with 20 minutes to go, when Hunt crossed the line.

Tasi added his second and more importantly gave the lead back to City when he dotted down on the 63rd minute.

The remaining minutes must have been nerve wrecking for Brisbane City as the Rising had a chance to win it, when they were awarded penalty and opted for a scrum but a turnover ball meant they could not capitalise.

A penalty awarded to Brisbane City in the dying minutes, confirmed their win as they kicked the ball into touch to nab their second win of the season.

Brisbane City Head Coach Mick Heenan said: “It was a great effort from the boys, they showed a lot of mental toughness.

“It keeps us in touch of the top four in the competition, but it’s also huge for our self belief that we can have a game like that where not everything is going right, but we just kept at it and played some good footy against a good team.

“They (Rising) made us a pay for a few sloppy plays in the first half, but we kept at it and persevered and played some good footy in the second half.

“It was a huge effort from the Smith twins (JP and Ruan) to play 80 minutes against four Super Rugby props so that was a massive effort and to win some scrum penalties late in the game too was huge for them.

“Adam Korczyk played a captain’s knock today and I thought Quade Cooper managed the game well at flyhalf too."

RESULT

Melbourne Rising 28

Tries: Ruru, Tuipulotu , Meakes, King

Cons: King 4

Yellow Card: Noa

Brisbane City 33

Tries: Tasi 2, Hunt, Thompson-Te Muunu , Foley

Cons: Cooper 4