Melbourne Rise over the Vikings - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rising

Melbourne Rise over the Vikings

Melbourne Rise over the Vikings

The Melbourne Rising have claimed the Horan Little Shield with a big 60-44 win over the Vikings in Canberra, scoring nine tries to six. A hat trick to Tom English and a double to Lloyd Johansson saw the Rising come away with the victory.

The Match

The Rising had first use of the ball and were looking good before a knock on in the Vikings 22 saw them come away with nothing in the opening minutes.

Both sides were unable to capitalise on good field position in the opening 10 minutes with the Vikings failing to find touch from a penalty and then unable to secure a lineout, whilst the Rising knocked on after a number phases right on the Vikings line.

The Rising finally took advantage of the weight of possession and opened the scoring after 15 minutes after strong forward play in the Vikings 22. It was Rising captain Tom English who scored in the left corner to give his side a deserved 6-0 lead.

The visitors controlled the next stretch of play mostly through their forward pack and never let the Vikings get into any rhythm. Scrum half Mick Snowden, who was in for Nick Stirzaker, was having a great game and a quick tap caught the Vikings napping and eventually Sam Jeffries dived over for the second rising try and Debreczeni’s conversion made it 14-0 after 25 minutes.

The Vikings were having to try anything to get around the strong Rising defence, and they nearly got a result after Robbie Coleman re-gathered his own grubber kick and found Sam Carter in open space but the pass was forward to deny the Vikings their opening points.

With less than ten minutes remaining in the half, the Rising went further ahead to a somewhat contentious try to Jack Debreczeni after he danced through and around some defence that seemed to be waiting for an obstruction call from the referee after he got tangled up with Lloyd Johansson in the lead up.

The Vikings finally got on the board before the half time break, on the back of penalty that gave them a chance to launch a rolling maul and Josh Mann-Rea controlled it at the back for the try to make it 20-6.

That sparked the Vikings into action as they launched another attacking raid just before the half time break and another rolling maul from a penalty saw Josh Mann-Rea with his second of the day to make it 20-12 at half time.

The Rising came out in the second half prepared to attack and they used their backline effectively to keep the Vikings on the back foot and Tom English was in for his second try of the day after a neat backline move to restore the 14 point margin.

It didn’t take long for the Vikings to return the favour with their forwards making small gains off pick and drives in the Rising 22 and Tom Staniforth burrowed over to get the Vikings back in the game at 26-20.

It took ten minutes of the half for the Vikings to hit the lead for the first time after an error from Jonah Placid where he allowed the ball to bounce and was caught in possession.

Form the penalty, the Vikings went to what they know best in the rolling maul and Josh Mann-Rea had his hat trick in the bag. Thompson’s conversion had the Vikings in front at 28-26 but almost immediately the Rising went back in front after an intercept try to Lloyd Johansson.

The end to end action continued with Robbie Coleman slicing through the Rising defence and the Vikings went back in front at 36-32 with Sam Carter getting on the try scorers list after being denied earlier.

The scoreboard attendant barely had a minute to rest as the Rising went back in front after a nice break fro Ikapote Tupai down the left wing and he found Johansson for his second try of the match. Debreczeni converted to put the Rising in front by four points with 20 minutes remaining.

The game started to heat up a notch with a number of big hits and the referee had enough after after Lausii Taliauli almost cut Mick Snowden in half with what was deemed a no arms tackle and was give an ten minute rest.

The Rising took advantage of a penalty in the Vikings 22 and the extra man was too much for the Vikings to hold out as replacement Alex Toolis slammed the ball down to make it a ten point game and the right off the restart, the Rising all but sealed the game as Tom English found open space down the left wing and had his third try of the game as the Rising nudged past the 50 point mark and an 18 point lead.

There was a chance of a late Vikings comeback as Isaac Thompson converted his own try to make it a ten point game with less than ten minutes remaining and despite some desperate play, they couldn’t bridge the gap and the Rising added a late try for good measure to Sione Tuipulotu as the Rising ran out 60-44 winners.


The Melbourne Rising retain the Horan-Little Shield they haven’t held since Round 2 of 2015

The Game Changer

The game really opened up in the second half with both teams a chance to win but the Rising over ran over the Vikings in the second half to secure the win.


Plenty of contenders but Mick Snowden from the Rising gets the nod after a late starting call up with Nick Stirzaker ruled out and lead his team very well, finding space around the edges and getting his side on the front foot.

Oz Baabaa Watch

Ikapote Tupai (Rising) – Melbourne used their forwards well at times and was heavily involved throughout.
OJ Noa (Vikings) One of a few in the Vikings side without a Brumbies contract but played well in a beaten Vikings side.

The Details

UC Vikings: 44

Tries: 6
Mann-Rea (3) 36', 40', 51'
Staniforth 47'
Carter 56'
Thompson 73'

Conv: 4
Thompson (4/6) 47', 52', 56', 73'

Taliauli 64' – YC

Melbourne: 60

Tries: 9
English (3) 14, 44', 69'
Johansson (2) 53', 59'
Jeffries 23'
Debreczeni 32'
Toolis 67'
Tuipulotu 80'

Conv: 3
Debreczeni (3/9) 33', 60', 70'

Referee: Graham Cooper
Attendance: tbc

University of Canberra Vikings: 1. Faalelei Sione, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 3. Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 4. Blake Enever, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Tom Staniforth, 7. Jarrad Butler (c), 8. OJ Noa; 9. Joe Powell, 10. Robbie Coleman, 11. Lausii Taliauli, 12. Jordan Jackson-Hope, 13. Andrew Smith, 14. Andrew Robinson, 15. Isaac Thompson. Replacements: 16. Connal McInerney, 17. Sione Taula, 18. Ray Dobson, 19. Dean Oakman-Hunt, 20. Jordan Smiler, 21. Brent Hamlin, 22. Nick Jooste, 23. Eli Sinoti. Coach: Wayne Southwell.

Melbourne Rising: 1. Tom Moloney, 2. Pat Leafa, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. Sam Jeffries, 5. Steve Cummins, 6. Jordy Reid, 7. Ikapote Tupai, 8. Harley Fox; 9.* Mick Snowden, 10. Jack Debreczeni, 11. Tom English, 12. Lloyd Johansson, 13. Sione Tuipulotu, 14. Ah-Mu Tuimalealiifano, 15. Jonah Placid. Replacements: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Toby Smith, 18. Fereti Sa’aga, 19. Alex Toolis, 20. Sione Taufa, 21.* Keisuke Yamada, 22. Isaiah Leota, 23* Dom Shipperley. Coach: Zane Hilton.

* Lineup Changes
  • Rebels3

    Great game against two contenders. Iv said it before but I’ll say it again, tom staniforth is a gunn, incredible workrate and his set piece is good as well. I’d be surprised if he isn’t around the wallabies come 2019.

    Jack D is back where he belongs but his kicking for goal is horrendous. For what I believe is the 5/8 with the biggest potential in Australia he looks very lackadaisical. Very frustrating, hopeful experience will complement his undoubted talent.

    • jamie

      Agreed. For someone with so much potential, especially so regarding his kicking, he just hasn’t delivered.

  • jamie

    What a bloody scoreline. Rugby like this in decent weather is great to watch.

    • Working Class Rugger

      But Rugby isn’t about entertainment. No, it’s about the slog and building pressure through taking shots for goal. That’s why Rugby is so popular in our market. Or at least that is what Matt Burke wants to believe.

      • Mr Wobbly

        Interesting (but not surprising) that the first mention of the NRC in a Fairfax rag since… I don’t know when, is an opinion piece bagging it.

  • brumby runner

    Time for Southwell, the Vikings coach, to take a good hard look at his game plan. Kicking the ball away on first or second phase is not the way to win in the NRC. Vikings are the only side, I believe, to have a dominant kicking game as their main game plan, and it is simply a recipe for trouble when they’re up against someone like Debreczini who can return it if he feels the need with interest.

    Ball in hand, even from your own half is the way to win NRC games.

  • MST

    Well that went to script. Poor passive lethargic no-pressure defence from the Vikings and as always like a revolving door once the ball goes wide; always outnumbered. Coleman at 10 is becoming increasingly ridiculous and was a passenger for half the game.

    You cannot have the 4,5,6,7 and 8 combination the Vikings had in the field without realising you will struggle for speed and mobility both in attack and defence. Even when they subbed it was for a like for like with Smiler.

    i am hoping by the end of the season someone either on the Vikings team,or in the coaching staff will realise you cant just rely on kicking out of your 22 as your solitary exit option. Its ridiculously predictable – teams are set waiting for it.

    The crowd collectively sighs with frustration at the stupidity and predictability every time they kick.

    The referring looked questionable, but the Vikings stupidity in game plan and selections really had the script written before the game started.

    The crows at the game may starting to dwindle as their patience has worn thin – its hard and frustrating to sit and watch it!

    PS: Who needs Moore when you have the other OAP in Bongo.

    • brumby runner

      Couldn’t agree more with your observations MST. Very poor team selections coupled with a dire game plan that is not meant to test the defensive line until the last 10 minutes of the match is a recipe for mediocrity, which is what the Vikings are currently offering.

  • Pedro

    ” Lausii Taliauli almost cut Mick Snowden in half with what was deemed a no arms tackle” – Just came to check this was acknowledged. Ultimately the rising deserved the win, their fast start was the difference.

    • MST

      It looked good live but how legal it was I will reverse judgement until I see a replay. The crowd doubted Lausii used his shoulder noting he has had shoulder problems the last few games. Rising defiantly deserved the win.

      • Pedro

        He went low and hit him with his acromion front on he was intending to wrap arms but the hit meant he couldn’t.

        Definitely a no arms tackle technically but it was attempted as a regulation tackle, it was just so brutal that it looked bad. It certainly isn’t the kind of tackle that should be punished in my opinion.

        • MST

          Exactly what the crowd were blowing up about. Nanny refereeing. A bloke make a good hit and gets penalised. It looked legal (just ok) as the arms were getting there.

        • Pedro

          Pretty much. Especially disappointing as it shut down the Rising hot on attack.

          To be fair though, the vikings seemed the more deserving of a yellow over the course of the match.

        • MST

          Vikings discipline at times really lets them down. They did seem to get some rough decisions especially the pass to Carter that was called forward that looked Ok IMHO. There was one for the Rising down the left that resulted in a try that was not called and sitting in the crowd in line with it, it looked pretty dubious even giving it the benefit of the doubt; certainly worse than the Carter one looked.

        • brumby runner

          No issue at all with the Coleman forward pass to Carter. Must have been a good metre forward. Why he didn’t just grubber the ball again I don’t know. Sam was at full stretch (and he’s been showing a good turn of pace lately) and with nobody in front of him, try time looked on.

  • GoMelbRebels

    OJ Noa played for the Rising in 2014. I wondered where he went…

  • Keith Butler

    Didn’t see the game. Entertaining but doesn’t say much for the defences of either side. Hope the Rebels don’t leaked tries like that in 2017.

Melbourne Rising

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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