NRC: Brisbane ready to take chances after opening-round draw

NRC
by Emma Greenwood

Brisbane City captain Fraser McReight says his team will need to take their chances against Sydney on Sunday after finishing their opening NRC clash with a draw against defending champions Fiji Drua at the weekend.

A late try to Nick Chapman allowed City to draw level with the visitors just minutes from fulltime and while he set up the try, Isaac Lucas was unable to slot the conversion to seal the win.

McReight was not disappointed though, given the limited preparation City had following the end of the Queensland Premier Rugby season.

 

"It was a hard day but a draw's definitely better than a loss," McReight said following the match at GPS headquarters at Ashgrove.

"We've got to take our chances next week but I'm really proud of the boys' effort … there's plenty to build on for next week against Sydney Rays.

"It's the first game, so everything's not going to be perfect but there's a lot to build on."

A fast-finishing Sydney fought back from an early 26-0 deficit to NSW Country but just failed to reel the Eagles in.

 

Meanwhile, City coach Jim McKay was pleased with his side's effort given the short turnaround from the club season.

"It was a fair result in the end,” McKay said.

“Both teams played well and had a really good intent and approach to the game and although we’re disappointed to not take the win, it was a very good game.

“I was really pleased with how our team came together after a short preparation, and taking the score away, we showed a lot of intent and togetherness and that’s something we can really build on.

Isaac Lucas was among City's best against Fiji but could not land the winning kick. Photo: ARU Media/Sportography

“A lot of players made their debuts not only for Brisbane City but also at this level which was really impressive and is a fantastic effort.

“We certainly created a lot of chances and had some really good passages of play throughout the game, so we’ll be looking to build on our attacking opportunities in the coming weeks.”

City play Sydney in the opening leg of a double-header at Bond University on Saturday, with Queensland Country hosting Canberra in the second match.

Last year's finalists, Country will be out to topple the Vikings after suffering a 50-49 loss to the Western Force in their opening match in Perth at the weekend.

 

Coach Rod Seib said the one-point loss was disappointing after his side led for the majority of the game.

“Certainly both teams have a lot to work on defensively which was evident by the score-line, but we showed we are a team who can score points from anywhere as we look to treasure possession and build pressure through repeat phases," he said.

 “Defence will be a big focus for us. The Vikings are a strong attacking force, so we’ll have to be a lot better next week ahead of our Round 2 clash against Canberra."

The Vikings beat Melbourne Rising in their opening match, with Junior Wallabies playmaker Noah Lolesio among the stars.

 

FIXTURES

NRC Round 2. All times AEST

Saturday September 7

1pm - Fijian Drua vs Force, ANZ Stadium Suva, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au and Kayo Sports

4pm - Melbourne Rising vs NSW Country, AA Bailey Reserve, Adelaide, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au, Foxtel and Kayo Sports.

Sunday September 8

1pm - Brisbane City vs Sydney, Bond University, Robina, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au and Kayo Sports

3pm - Queensland Country vs Canberra Vikings, Bond University, Robina, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au and Kayo Sports