NRC 2016 Rnd 4: Team of the Week - Green and Gold Rugby
National Rugby Championship

NRC 2016 Rnd 4: Team of the Week

NRC 2016 Rnd 4: Team of the Week

So the Eagles sit atop the ladder now as the only undefeated team, despite a valiant effort by the Fardy-led Rays. The Vikings have successfully defended their first challenge of the Horan Little Shield. The Perth Spirit made a stunning statement out west and the Queensland teams continue to bumble along.

I must say this was one of the toughest TOTW’s to pick this season. I will say it up front – in a backline dominated by Spirit players, 3 try hero Luke Morahan does not get a call-up. So on to the team!

Paddy Ryan1. Paddy Ryan  (NSW Country Eagles) – 1st TOTW appearance

While the NRC provides opportunities for young players to step up to the grade, it also provides opportunities for the more experienced players. Ryan has taken on the captaincy of the Eagles, which he has done superbly, and also developed a handy off-load game providing a new dimension to his game.

Tolu Latu2. Tolu Latu (NSW Country Eagles) – 2

Latu was at his physical best again on the weekend and while he spent time in the sin bin he all roun game was a standout. Another candidate for the back-up Wallaby hooker role, Andrew Ready, was also strong v the Rising.

3. David Lolohea Western_Sydney_David_Lolohea(Western Sydney Rams) – 2

For the 2nd week in a row the big fellah, Lolohea, finds his way into the Team of the Week. On the back of a dominant scrumming performance, Lolohea also gets his massive body around the park impressively. Young Spirit prop Shambeckler Vui continues to catch the eye with busy performances.

Blake_Enever_ACT_NRC_Head4. Blake Enever (Canberra Vikings) – 1

The Brumbies lock stood up big time in conditions made for forwards. Enever worked hard in a solid 80 minute performance with a number of crucial lineout wins. His opposite number, Senio Toleafoa, had plenty of positive involvements as well.

Lukhan Tui_NRC5. Lukhan Tui (Brisbane City) – 1

Tui has been one of Brisbane’s best all season which is not bad for the 20 year old (happy birthday Lukhan).  Was again extremely effective on each side of the ball and produced a memorable 40m run to set up a try for his team.

Jordy_Reid_Melbourne_Ri6. Jordy Reid (Melbourne Rising) – 2

There was plenty of talent wearing the 6 jersey this round with Ross Haylett-Petty, Sam Figg and Scott Fardy all very impressive however Jordy tops them this week. Reid was an all over the park in Melbourne on the weekend including a beautifully timed run to set up his team’s first try.

Will Miller tackled A61V4420.JPG7. Will Miller (Sydney Rays) – 1

It would have been odd for Miller to take the field for the Rays against the Eagles, a team he was such an important part of for the last two years. But the captaincy of Norths kept him loyal to his coach and the Rays and he was one of his team’s standouts against the Eagles, and the always impressive Rowan Perry, on Saturday.

Sam Ward8. Sam Ward (NSW Country) – 2

It was a big match for the Local boy and he was at his robust best, solid in defense and giving the Eagles an excellent platform with some impressive carries.  The big man, Isi Naisarani, was full of running for Brisbane City and added another two tries to his season tally.

Jake Gordon9. Jake Gordon (NSW Country) – 1

Former Brumby and Waratahs, and Eagles CEO, called it early by stating that Gordon must go on the Wallaby end of year tour. He’s reiterated it by suggesting he’s our best halfback since Catchpole (assume he means Ken, not Mark). He showed plenty of evidence of this on the weekend. Scott Gale‘s kicking game was on-point for the Rams as well.

Spirit-Jono_Lance-0110. Jono Lance (Perth Spirit) – 3

We saw the full gamut of Lance’s abilities on the weekend igniting his backline by taking the ball to the line and distributing, kicking sublimely and being rock solid in defense including pulling off one of the hits of the season. One of the surprise packets of this NRC has been Ben Meehan at flyhalf for the Rising where he again showed his ability to control the game and make effective match decisions.

Spirit-Marcel_Brache-0111. Marcel Brache (Perth Spirit) – 1

Brache was returning from injury for his first NRC game of the season and would surely loved the opportunities he received in this match. Strong in defense, as he usually is, he enjoyed getting his hands on the ball including a try running onto a delightful inside ball from Lance. QLD Country’s Tyrone Lefau again proved a handful whenever he got his hands on the ball.

Spirit-Ben_Tapuai-0112. Ben Tapuai (Perth Spirit) – 1

Benny Taps came on early for the Spirit, for the injured Billy Meakes and seemed to be the catalyst for the destruction that was to follow. His game smarts and strong running was on show for all and he was involved intimately with many of the Spirit’s many tries.

Izaia Perese_NRC13. Izaia Perese (QLD Country) – 2

This guy is the goods. It really is incredible his ability to beat a tackle and get over the advantage line as regularly as he does. Was absolutely brilliant in an out-classed QLD Country side and pulled off one of the hits of the season on former Wallaby Ben Tapuai. Apolosi Latunipulu was very strong for the Rams and gave the Vikings defense plenty of headaches.

14. Eric Vasukicakau (Perth Spirit) – 1

Eric VThe Flying Fijian finally got to stretch his legs on the flank for the Force feeder team yesterday. Alliteration aside, Eric V enjoyed the space his inside backs (and the QLD Country defense) were providing him out wide. He looks a wonderful talent and would have got a great deal of confidence out of that performance.

15. Jack Debreczeni (Melbourne Rising) – 1

Jack_Deb_Melbourne_RiThe controversial decision is Jack D over Morahan. While it is always hard to look past a hat trick scorer, I feel Debreczeni was more involved in securing his team’s win. The converted flyhalf  was heavily involved in a lot of the creative play that resulted in the Rising going out to a big lead in the first half.  In particular, his kicking was very important to the Rising and he scored a crucial try. Great to see his talents haven’t abandoned him.

  • brumby runner

    Well done Reg. As you say the decision to go with Debreczini over Morahan could have gone either way.

    There certainly are some promising players on show. Not least, Perese, Gordon, Vasukicakau, Naisarani, Ward and Perry.

    Looking good for the NRC Barbars later in the year.

  • Patrick

    Thank the stars, and the ARU, that we actually have this competition!

    • 30 mm tags

      To be more specific, let’s thank Bill Pulver who pushed and pushed to ensure this reborn competition got off the ground. He was ridiculed by many on both of our rugby website forums. Well done.

      • Patrick

        Not for this specifically, I think pretty much everyone was in favour of this.

        But it is a good point that this was his call and one of his first, and absolutely was the right thing.

  • Simon

    HM for Banks again at 15 for Qld Country. Another future full-time Super player I suspect.

  • Pedro

    Thanks Reg.

    I thought Staniforth was excellent in 6 for the Vikings, lots of depth at this level in that jersey.

  • harro

    Thanks Reg, great to see a lot of first-timers in this TOTW. I didn’t see the Spirit-Country match, was it a case of Country having a bad day or did the Spirit just play really well?

    • RugbyReg

      Spirit were excellent. It was nill-all after about 20 mins I think? Country actually played well for that period but then just rolled over and made some weak tackles. Momentum just flowed from that and even when QC got on a role, the Spirit were too far gone

  • Tim

    how’d fardy play? do you think he will get a call up?

    • RugbyReg

      he was good. Unless there are bigger issues, he will be back in the Wallaby squad soon enough.

      • Tim

        I think dean mumm needs a run in NRC

  • DK

    Haven’t watched much of the rising this year but Jordy Reid and Jack Debreczeni were huge! Bring back ‘real’ European tours with mid-week games and take these sort of guys.

  • Stin

    “For he shall be called – DAVID!”
    (“Just David?”)
    “Yes…..just David.”

    • RugbyReg

      don’t know what you’re talking about????

      • Stin

        Great stuff Reg!

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