NRC: Melbourne Rising win a nail biter against the Greater Sydney Rams - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rising

NRC: Melbourne Rising win a nail biter against the Greater Sydney Rams

NRC: Melbourne Rising win a nail biter against the Greater Sydney Rams

The Melbourne Rising have come from behind to record a narrow 37 – 36 over a spirited Greater Sydney Rams.

The match was played in glorious conditions at the Latrobe Sporting Fields in Morwell.  The Rising have scheduled all home games at different locations; a great initiative that takes the game across the state.

First Half

The Rams took early possession and ran well with ball in hand.  Strong defence from the Rising quelled the attacking raids and managed to turn limited opportunities into decent field position.  The limited attacking plays by the Rising fizzled with some poor handling.

Filipe Vilitati soon found trouble with the referee, earning a yellow card for no arms in the tackle.  A Scrum penalty and quick lineout saw the Rams score the first try of the match.  Jed Gillespie was lucky to gather the ball on the wing and score in the corner.  Ayuob failed to convert the try, leaving the score at 5 – 0 Rams.

The Rams turned up the pressure at Scrum time, putting the Rising on the back foot all across the field.  Lopeti Timani joined Vilitari on the sidelines, earning a yellow card for slowing down the play after a Rising Penalty.

Despite playing with thirteen men, the Rising managed to find gaps and charge deep into Rams territory.  Ah Nau and Chubb both came close to scoring, but the Rams defence somehow managed to hold the line.  The pressure finally turned into point for the Rising with Colby Fainga’a scoring from the back of a rolling maul.  Debreczei missed the conversion, leaving the scores at 5 all.

After the restart the Rams were able to gain possession from a turnover deep in Rising territory.  In good field position, the Rams scored another try under the posts.  Marcus Carbone found was in good field position and found a gap in a weakened defence.  Ayuob converted and the visitors were out to a 13 – 5 lead.

In the shadows of half time the Rams repeated breakdown infringements at the ruck earned Jed Holloway a yellow card.  The Rising weren’t able to capitalise and the scored remained 13 – 5 to the Rams at the break.

The Rams Scrum was dominant throughout the match

The Rams Scrum was dominant throughout the match


Second Half

The Rising made some personnel changes, which made an immediate impact to the game intensity.  Deep in the Rams 22, a number of phases finally saw Tom English get his first touch and score his first of two tries.  Debreczei was able to convert and tie the scores up at 13 all.

The Rising continued to probe the Rams defensive line and almost scored through Debreczei, only to lose the ball within sight of the try line.  The Rising were soon rewarded with Jonah Placid skipping through the Rams defence to score under the posts.  Debreczei converted and the Rising moved to a 21 – 13 lead.

The Rams then stepped up their intensity and built an imposing score.  Braces to both Michel McDougall and Jed Holloway allowed the Rams race out to a 36 – 21 lead.  At this point the Rams were dominating all around the park and starved the Rising of any real opportunity.

With about 15 minutes to play the Rising again lifted in hope of an unlikely victory.  Sustained pressure on the Rams allowed Debreczei to set Jordy Reid up for a try under the posts.  The successful conversion narrowed the gap to seven points.

With time running and the crowd holding the breath, the Rising made one final charge towards the Rams line.  Despite a strong defensive effort, the Rising broke the Rams line and score out wide.  Tom English collected the deft pass from Jordy Reid, allowing him to score a brace.

With the Rising a point behind Jack Debreczei lined up for a pressure kick.  The crowd fell silent, Jack lined up, and kicked the conversion.  The Rising hit the lead for the first time 37 – 36.

The game was not over yet; two extra minutes seemed like and eternity for the crowd.  The Rams pushed hard towards the try line, only to be thwarted by Colby Fainga’a.  A penalty earned, the Rising finished the game with a kick to touch.  Final score 37 – 36 Rising.

Jack Debreczei takes the winning conversion attempt.

Jack Debreczei takes the winning conversion attempt.


The Game Changer

With the game slipping away, the Rising lifted in the last fifteen minutes in all facets of the game.  The two tries scored was a result of a big team effort in all facets of the game.


The Rams forward pack dominated the set piece and provided the opportunity for Jed Holloway to score a brace and earn the MOTM.  Credit to Dom Shipperley who had a wonder game at outside centre.

Oz Baabaa Watch

After a slow start Jai Ayuob played a good flyhalf game.  He showed a nice balance between kicking and passing to steer the team into an almost winning position.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Melbourne Rising 37

Tries: English (2), Fainga’a, Placid, Reid

Conversions: Debreczeni (4)

Greater Sydney Rams 36

Tries: Holloway (2), McDougall (2), Gillespie, Carbone,

Conversions: Ayoub (2)

Crowd: 480

All Photos courtesy of Kevin OConnor.

  • Pedro

    Thanks for the write up OT and the photos from Kevin O’connor look sweet.

    Another Rams game lost due to being out kicked from the tee. Ayoub most be feeling the heat, surely someone else has to step up.

    • Kevino

      First effort photographing a game with a decent lense, a lot of out of focus pics but good learning experience.

  • oztimmay

    Note the mouthguard in Jack D’s hand as he takes the conversion attempt. Nice and casual like.

    • Pedro

      Didn’t spill a drop.

      • oztimmay

        I wish there was a like button for this photo.

  • RobC

    Thanks Oz Tim. Excellent wrap.

  • robbo999

    Second time in two weeks that the Rising have got out of gaol.

    Frankly they did not deserve to win – they lost about 60% of their lineouts, their scrum was pushed around all game and they dropped a lot of ball. The line out in particular is a big worry as all the locks were Rebels and Lafea throwing. How the Rebels let Neville go is a mystery.

    Placid was good, as was Shipperly – other than that very ordinary

    Well done Rams -= they played well and just ran out of gas at the end.

  • Kiap

    A roll up of 480 is not too bad for an under-the-radar game in Gippsland. I rate this stadium better than many others being used this season.

    Rams were unlucky TBF (although they left points on the tee). Good write-up and pics, guys.

    • Pedro

      It’s a travesty that they moved the games away from central Melbourne where rugby is still a fringe sport.

      • Kiap

        Yeah, I suspect they’ll eventually settle on a home ground in the City. Problem is getting a decent one that’s affordable. None of their grounds this season are ideal. Frankston: too far from the CBD. Kardinia: just no. If they could transplant Latrobe Stadium next to AAMI it would be great. Ashwood Reserve is probably the compromise option.

        • Pedro

          My brother went to nearly all their games last year, this year can’t be bothered as they’re all in whoop-whoop. It’s just sad because they’re a great team and would increase the rebels hold but they’re throwing the marketing opportunity away.

        • oztimmay

          Problem with AAMI is that it cost $20,000 (or near about) to run a match. Even with crowds of 2,000 I don’t think they’d make any money. i’d look to borrow one of the Soccer grounds (like south Melbourne), which gives you the best of both worlds. As for the travelling roadshow I’m all for it, purely because more exposure is a good thing. Giving the option to bus people down was also a smart move. I’d consider a Balarat game next time.

        • Pedro

          You could be right, but sometimes you have to run at a loss to gain a market share. AAMi might not be the perfect fit, but from all accounts the Rising were gaining notoriety last season and it seems crazy to make things harder for the spectators, the bulk of whom will find it easier the more central the location.

        • oztimmay

          I understand your point. Guess we need to leave that with the new owners to get the balance right.

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