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NRC Team of the Season

Discussion in 'National Rugby Championship (NRC)' started by Rugbynutter39, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. GaffaCHinO Greg Davis (50)

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    If you want a non super rugby player brent murphy has been massive for the spirit at lock
  2. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    None of those three have played any Super Rugby.

    Maybe started a super rugby game is a good cut-off.
  3. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    The NRC Unheralded Team of the Year – you don’t know them…yet

    @RugbyReg has published his Unheralded Team of the Tournament on the blog front page – picked from players that the vast majority of average punters would not have heard of back when the NRC kicked off in August. Where they end up is not for us to say, suffice to say the NRC has granted them a valuable stage to showcase their talents. And for us to enjoy them.

    @RugbyReg's team is:

    15 David Feltscheer (North Harbour Rays)
    Snagged perhaps the individual try of the tournament against NSW Country, Feltscheer was a constant threat from the back for the boys from the northern beaches(ish). Was the ultimate example of the difference in amateur v professional when it came to size and build, but never let that get in the way of his effort!

    14 Andrew Kellaway (NSW Country Eagles)
    It’s only a matter of time until we see this man take the next step, remembering he is only just legally a man. Finished the comp as it’s leading try scorer (as he did in the World Junior Championships earlier this year as well) in front of a whole bunch of Rising players. A classy finisher and excellent support player.

    13 Sefanaia Naivalu (Melbourne Rising)
    Started the season as seemingly the only non-Super Rugby contracted player in the Rising team. This didn’t last long as a number of consistently excellent performances saw Naivalu snag a Rebel contract for 2015. The leading try-scorer in the Dewar Shield was just as imposing when he wore the Rising kit – credit to not only Sef’s abilities but the Victorian Rugby development pathway.

    12 Jim Stewart (Sydney Stars)
    Ignore the team name as no one expected too much from the Sydney Stars this year, despite possessing the clout of Sydney Uni and the dosh of Balmain. In the end, these expectations were met, however young Jimmy Stewart stood out from the get go. Impressing in their first round loss against eventual champions Brisbane City Stewart maintained his form all season. A team mate of Kellaways in the Under 20s, Jimmy is set for a wonderful life of his own if the NRC is any indication.

    11 Jerome McKenzie (Greater Sydney Rams)
    Whoa! Where did he come from? Well, from Penrith apparently. I, like many, had heard nothing of this guy in the lead up to the NRC, but his sizzling finishing grabbed attention in next to no time. Only made his starting debut in the third round, McKenzie scored his first of six tries in the comp that day against the Spirit. He was pushing for leading try-scorer status before injury cruelly ruled him out of the end of the season. Let’s hope he gets back to his best next year and we see much more of his flash and dash at a higher level.

    10 Sam Windsor (NSW Country Eagles)
    Green and Gold’s own Sam Windsor for no apparent reason other than a few of us jumped on the Windsor band wagon early on in the comp. Windsor impressed most with his all-round skills and match controlling composure. Sammy has gained plenty of experience on the fringes of the Brumby set up as well as having spent some valuable playing time overseas. He’s back on home soil now and you’d think if any pro set-up is looking for a dependable back-up ten, they could do a lot worse than tie-up Windsor.

    9 Sam Grasso (Queensland Country)
    Grasso got his chance in the NRC following injuries to Reds players Benny Lucas and Scott Gale, but when the opportunity came he grabbed it. And what an opportunity – a starting debut on the Gold Coast as a test match curtain-raiser. Grasso’s years of club experience proved invaluable for a struggling country outfit and he provided tremendous direction for his pack and proved a real danger running off his big men. A great example of what this tournament is about – an opportunity given and one taken. What’s next, we must wait and see.

    8 Sam Ward (North Harbour Rays)
    Came to prominence with a hat trick of tries against the Perth Spirit (unlucky to not have been awarded a fourth!) Ward has shown some surprising skills at the back of the Rays scrum. Another of these club players that has thrived on the higher level of competition and upon which the success of the NRC can be measured. Whether he makes it to Super Rugby is an as yet unanswerable question, but why not a 7s option? Surely Ward’s physicality and skills wouldn’t be out of place in the shorter version of the game?

    7 Jack de Guingand (Queensland Country)
    J’de G’ was always going to have to bide his time for Queensland Country behind their ‘Spirit Leader’ Beau Robinson. In the end it took a injury to Beau for de Guingand, a former University of Sydney player and now University of Queensland one, to get a start. It was a pretty handy start too as he scored a hat trick of tries in his team’s only real thrashing of the comp, at the hands of Perth. It wasn’t a one-off performance however as Jack’s uncompromising play became a real weapon for Country as their season continued. He put on a show of flanker play in his team’s demolition of Sydney in Townsville and is just another in a long line of damn handy open-sides available to the Queensland Reds.

    6 Tala Gray (NSW Country Eagles)
    Tala Gray is one of those young veterans who seem to have been around for ages yet whom still surprises at his age (still only 24). Plenty of experience with the Tahs and Brumbies as well as in France, Gray returned to Tah-land this year but was almost site unseen. That all changed come this competition as he tore it up for NSW Country in a series of performances that saw some folk suggest that Scotty Fardy’s Wallaby jersey on the UK tour would not look out of place on Gray’s hulking figure. With Kane Douglas gone there’s every chance, with a bit of shuffling, that Gray could be rewarded with a well-deserved Super Rugby start in 2015.

    5 Jed Holloway (Greater Sydney Rams)
    With Dave McDuling ‘ineligible’ for this team (having played Super Rugby this year), you’d be hard pressed to go passed Holloway as the captain of this “Unheralded XV”. May well be the main competition with the aforementioned Tala Gray for a vacant Tah starting spot next year, based purely on his vigorous NRC play. Has led from the front for the Rams in a real ‘follow me’ style. Still plenty of years ahead of ol’ Jed and you’d have to think it’s only a matter of time before he makes a professional starting spot his own.

    4 Brent Murphy (Perth Spirit)
    A veteran of Perth club rugby, with over 100 games for his beloved Perth Bayswater. Whilst a beneficiary of the Spirit’s early season selection tactics of backing their local players on away games, the unfashionable Murphy just continued to get stuck in and ended up a consistent force in his side’s climb to the finals. Never looked out of place against the likes of Neville, McDuling and Treloar.

    3 Guy Millar (Greater Sydney Rams)
    Eastwood have produced puh-lenty of quality props for Australian Rugby – names like Dunning, Young, Robinson spring quickly to mind. Is Guy Miller a chance of following in their footsteps? Well one thing he has going for him is his heritage. He’s South African! Pretty much exactly what we tend to look for in a young prop. Miller showed plenty of grit and ability for the Rams this year, as evidenced by the fact he started at tight head prop in every game the Rams played.

    2 Andrew Ready (Brisbane City)
    In an all-star squad for the NRC Champions, Ready would go pretty damn close to being my choice as their Player of the Year. Sure we saw some skills from the likes of Kuridrani, Kerevi and Frisby. No doubt that Schatz, Gill and Browning were classy. Ok, sure, in reality it would probably go to the City Skippa’ McDuling but Ready wouldn’t be far behind. The Tiger hooker demonstrated a massive ticker with a huge work rate and overall effectiveness across the park. Sure he had some big boppers either side of him, but he was also the cornerstone of a bloody powerful scrummaging unit too. Will be a part of the Reds EPS next year, but the coaches must be pretty damn confident that Ready is ready for higher honours should the need arise.

    1 Pettowa Paraka (Brisbane City)
    The Pocket Battleship! Albeit if you had the world’s biggest pockets. It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed an Aussie crowd give a prop a standing ovation but that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night when Paraka was replaced late in the NRC Grand Final. The two-try hero had won the crowd for his all-action play and powerful scrummaging. Yet to ‘come-of-age’ and turn 21, Paraka has been playing Premier grade club rugby for a couple of years now. The Perth Spirit must just hate the site of him as he snagged another brace of tries against them in the preliminary round. He’s been rewarded with selection in the Red’s Elite Development Squad for the 2015 season and is another we can expect to see in Super Rugby within a few years.

    My comment:
    If Dave McDuling is "ineligible" due to previous Super Rugby experience then:
    • Jed Holloway had 4 caps for the Tahs in 2013 and therefore he is probably disqualified. Replace by Jared Barry (Rams)
    • Tala Gray has 1 cap for Tahs. Also played Aust U20's and Aust 7'sand is therefore also probably disqualified. Replace by Tipiloma Kaveinga or Sam Quinn (both Stars)
    • Gray and Holloway both had contracts with the Tahs in 2014.

    Agree/Disagree with @RugbyReg?
    Post your Unheralded Team of the NRC.

    Any player without a Super Rugby Cap before the NRC started is eligible to be selected.
    SuperGrover likes this.
  4. Rugbynutter39 Mark Loane (55)

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    Not bad..but would replace Michael Gunn (Brisbane City) with Jack de Guingand (QLD Country)

    Also the other Brisbane City Prop was not bad either...
  5. Rugbynutter39 Mark Loane (55)

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    Plus didn't notice enough about Brent Murphy (Perth Spirit) so can't comment..maybe unsung hero..
  6. Rugbynutter39 Mark Loane (55)

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    Also pity about Jerome McKenzie's injury as surely (???) on NRC performances must have been pushing for Super Rugby contract..thoughts???
  7. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    One of your best Reg!
    Lee Grant and RugbyReg like this.
  8. Peter Toohey Bob Loudon (25)

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    1. Paraka 2. Ready 3. Alo-Emile 4. Holloway 5. McDuling 6. Gray 7. Butler
    8. Schatz 9. Frisby 10. Debrezceni 11. English 12. Kerevi 13. Inman 14. McKenzie 15. Placid
    RugbyReg likes this.
  9. qwerty51 George Gregan (70)

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    What's the criteria for the unheralded team? Excluded some Super Rugby players but included some?

    Here's my XV, criteria is excluding anyone with a 2014 Super Rugby contract or has played Super Rugby.

    1. Pettowa Paraka - Brisbane City
    2. Andrew Ready - Brisbane City
    3. Guy Millar - Greater Sydney Rams
    4. Tim Cree - Canberra Vikings
    5. Brent Murphy - Perth Spirit
    6. Alex Rovira - Perth Spirit
    7. Will Miller - NSW Country Eagles
    8. Sam Ward - North Harbour Rays
    9. Sam Grasso - QLD Country
    10. Sam Windsor - NSW Country Eagles
    11. Andrew Kellaway - NSW Country Eagles
    12. Jim Stewart - Sydney Stars
    13. Sefanaia Naivalu - Melbourne Rising
    14. Jarome Mackenzie - Greater Sydney Rams
    15. David Feltscheer - North Harbour Rays

    Oops I just realised this nearly exactly what Reg picked - good choices!
    Ash and (deleted user) like this.
  10. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    No real criteria. Just "unheralded". Players we didn't know too much about a the start but who impressed throughout.
  11. RugbyReg George Smith (75)

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    Kellaway has a 2014 contract does he not?
  12. qwerty51 George Gregan (70)

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    Not sure, I do remember Cheika saying there was a possibly of him playing this year if we had an injury crisis.
  13. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    They announced he was signed for 2015 onwards in July. He wasn't part of the Super Rugby squad this year.
  14. Hugh Jarse Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Kellaway's precise status is shrouded in mystery.
    Randwick acquired his services for 2014. He is a Hunters Hill lad (Norths?) before disappearing into the Scots system.
    Randwick have also acquired his twin brothers services.
    There is no doubt that he will be playing Super Rugby at some future point.
    He has been spotted in Tahs environs. IMHO it's a clever strategy by Cheik's and Rappy (NSW U20 mentor). Wouldn't be surprised to see him under some sort of "funny" retainer Tahs contract like Taniela Thor is with the Reds.
    Not sure that he is ready for Super Rugby next year.
  15. qwerty51 George Gregan (70)

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    Geez tough call to say he's not ready, topped the tryscorer and is pretty unanimously voted one of the best wingers in the NRC. That's about as much as you can do to put your hand up for Super Rugby.
    Braveheart81 and RugbyReg like this.
  16. Wilson Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    he has some defensive issues that will take time and effort to fix. That's not to say he'd necessarily be out of place at super level, but he might benefit more from time around a super squad and lots of game time at a lower level at the moment.
  17. Forcefield Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    Does he have any grounds he can hire out to the Waratahs?
    RugbyReg likes this.
  18. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I think the off season with a Super Rugby team will fix up a lot of that.

    There aren't many schoolboy outside backs who enter adult rugby as excellent defenders. It's difficult when you've spent your childhood being much better than most players and then suddenly progress to playing against players who are bigger and better than you.

    I am pretty certain he'll make his Super Rugby debut in 2015. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up playing a lot of the season.
    RugbyReg likes this.
  19. Rugbynutter39 Mark Loane (55)

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    Pity about Jerome McKenzie's injury as thought he was shoe in to be part of super rugby extended squad..
  20. Thinker Darby Loudon (17)

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    This thread will be a gold mine in 5 years. We won't have to be told how successful the comp was because players who already played Super Rugby played in it, like the ARC.

    Good stiff all.
    Lee Grant likes this.

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