NRC 2016 Rnd 3 - Qld Country v Sydney Rays - Green and Gold Rugby
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NRC 2016 Rnd 3 – Qld Country v Sydney Rays

NRC 2016 Rnd 3 – Qld Country v Sydney Rays

I’m sure Qld Country were expecting an improved showing coming into NRC 2016, but things haven’t gone to plan. For the Sydney Rays though everything is coming up roses. They’ve gone home with maximum points from their two outings while country are yet to earn a point. Queensland Country will be out to turn things around but it’s a big ask against the competition front runners.

The Match

The rain had fallen steadily all day on the Gold Coast, but by kick off time things were looking a little better. The rain held off during the game but for a few sprinkles and the ground while wet had held up nicely. Things didn’t start as planned for the Rays as Country had built on  the improvement they showed last week and their scrambling defence held the Rays scoreless until nearly half time.

Mitch Third

In fact Queensland Country were the first to score through some nice work from Parese. Unfortunately Country surrendered their hard fought lead late in the half. The Rays scored twice in the last five minutes of the half, once after the hooter, to take a 16-8 lead to oranges.

The minutes around half time are amongst the most important in any match and today they were enough to lose Country the game. 47 minutes in the Rays scored their third try, and Richard Woolf’s second, to take a commanding 22-8 lead just before the finishers started filtering onto the field. Ten minutes later the Rays scored their forth try and it was looking like the floodgates might open in the last quarter.

To their credit, and with the help of the reserves bench, Queensland Country held it together and started to peg back the lead. They were helped partially by Harry Bergelin’s yellow card in the 65 minutes. Richard Woolf scored moments later and Tom Banks went over late to bring Country within striking distance of a draw but the Rays held country in their own half with stout defence and eventually hey knocked on to end the game.

Tom Banks in full flight

Tom Banks in full flight

The Rays, to me, looked the better team all game and Country looked to be gamely hanging on. Country got better as the match went on but three tries around half time cruelled any chance they had.


The Game Changer

The championship minutes! How many coaches and captains have banged on about them to their teams over the years. I certainly heard it a lot when I was a much younger man. Country either didn’t hear it or didn’t pay attention today and it cost them.

The G&GR MOTM

Tom Banks again had a good game in a losing side. Richard Woolf looked good and scored two tries before being injured very late in the game. But the guy who looked the best to me was the Rays little general Matt Lucas. He steered them around the park intelligently and kicked their goals. He’s out Man of the match.

Player watch

For Country Duncan Paia’aua had a good game and Connor Mitchell was busy. As one of only two Wallabies on the field Rob Simmons was largely anonymous. For the Rays, apart from the two already mentioned, flyhalf Angus Sinclair had a good game


The Details

Qld Country: 22


Tries: 3
Perese 27'
Third 65'
Banks 78'

Conv: 2
Tuttle (1/1) 28'
Third (1/2) 66'

Cards:
n/a

Sydney: 30


Tries: 4
Woolf (2) 35', 47'
Palmer 40'
Brown 58'

Conv: 3
Lucas (3/4) 37', 40', 59'


Cards:
Sinclair 9' – YC
Bergelin 65' – YC
Referee: Jordan Way

Attendance: tbc


Queensland Country: 1. Ben Daley, 2. Alex Casey, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Tyrell Barker, 7. Conor Mitchell, 8. Jack Cornelsen; 9. James Tuttle (c), 10. Mitch Third, 11. Liam Jurd, 12. Duncan Paia'aua, 13. Izaia Perese, 14. Liam McNamara, 15. Tom Banks. Replacements: 16. Feleti Kaitu'u, 17. Sef Fa'agase, 18. Kirwan Sanday, 19. Angus Scott-Young, 20. Maclean Jones, 21. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22. Mack Mason, 23. Tyrone Lefau. Coach: Toutai Kefu.

Sydney Rays: 1. Ezra Luxton, 2. Damien Fitzpatrick, 3. Lawrance Hunting, 4. Connor Vest, 5. Nicholas Palmer, 6. Harry Bergelin, 7. Will Miller, 8. Michael Wells; 9. Matt Lucas (c), 10. Angus Sinclair, 11. Harry Jones, 12. Con Foley, 13. Irae Simone, 14. Richard Woolf, 15. Cameron Clark. Replacements: 16. James Hilterbrand, 17. Rory O'Connor, 18. Mitch Lewis, 19. Adrian Hall, 20. James Brown, 21. Dewet Roos, 22. Sam Lane, 23. Seb Wileman. Coach: Simon Cron.

 

Alex Casey  Izack Rodda Izaia Perese Mitch Third

Tom Banks offloads to Duncan Paia'aua

Tom Banks offloads to Duncan Paia’aua

Mitch Third about to score despite close attention

Mitch Third about to score despite close attention

  • MisterDel

    Glad QLD country are building and a little more competitive this season, hoping they keep it up until their game in Toowoomba that I’m hoping to attend.

    • RugbyReg

      in a 7 week competition you can’t afford to be building too long.

      They need to start putting it together for 80!

      I prefer a Lefu – Perese centre combo too, with Mason at 10.

  • Pedro

    Thanks for the write up Sully, Qld country are just a bit off the pace so far but they’ve got some good rugby in them.

    Rays really look well coached and have a sprinkling of class, it’s good to see them continue their good form.

    I think Lucas is a good shot of going to Europe with the wallabies, he looks very comfortable in his leadership role. His backup Dewet Roos is also a bit of a gun too.

    • I was surprised to see Lucas do the goal kicking as well.

      • Pedro

        Yeah I did a double take too. He kicked really well in North Sydney last weekend. Nudging a couple from the sideline.

        • Lee Grant

          Also notice that he was kicking from hand with both feet – and not to the point but Harry Jones can hoof with both feet a long way..

          Like the look of reserve 10 Mack Mason for Country. I thought he was the best for the Aussie U20s this year and am glad that we got him back from the Melbourne Storm.
          .

  • Kiap

    I thought Country were in with a shot but it was snatched away in those minutes leading into half time. Like you said, Sully, the championship minutes! Summarised it precisely, plus you’ve done a top job capturing all the photos as well.

    That last one of Third about to score is great. And despite being on the losing side every week so far, this Banks bloke seems to have a lot going for him.

    • Pedro

      I was wondering if Sully was going to disobey reg and do it all himself. You can’t argue with the results though, sweet review and top notch snaps.

    • Took about half as many photos as usual and watched a lot more. I also stayed in one spot rather than moving up and down the sideline and around the in goals.

  • RobC

    Thanks Sully. Rays too good. But Country is improving! Duncan P, looks the goods

National Rugby Championship
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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