Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Melbourne Rising presented themselves to the Victorian community rugby

The event has been hosted in the premises of Harlequins Rugby Club, where the NRC team will train all the season long and the first 6 week of pre-training has been held so far.

Victorian Rugby Union director and Melbourne Rebels GM of Community Rugby Peter Leahy was the first to address the public made up from VRU clubs officials, Victorian Rugby Referee Association members and Melbourne Rising team members. Leahy praised, as often in the NRC teams presentation the creation of the new national competition as the coronation of the pathway from young players form School Rugby up to the Wallabies. He was proud to mention that Victorian rugby in the last 12 years has produced 23 national level players, in contrast with the seven in the twenty years before.

Melbourne Rebels' Rugby Operation Manager Baden Stephenson, who was involved in the first attempt to build a national competition in 2012 in Sydney, focused his speech on the community and clubs involvement and pointed out that the Rising are pursuing a family oriented pricing, with kids under 12 allowed for free at AAMI Park.
Stephenson was also very complimentary of the support of all Dewar Shield clubs and especially of Harlequins' the host of the night.

MC Pete Fairbairn then had a Q&A session with Head Coach Sean Hedger and with Prop Cruze Ah Nau.
The first was very pleased with the spirit of all players involved, from the initial 40 Dewar Shield selected as Rising prospects he choose 16 of them to be part of the team during 6 weeks of training and skills assessment. Hedger has opted for a mix of experience and youth in his group, knowing that youth and enthusiasm are not the only keys to success. The coach praised also the ease of the club and Rebels' players to mix and form a group already close.
Questioned about the style of play he will give to his team, without going into details, Hedger mentioned that the block of Rebels' players will facilitate the use of pre-existing schemes and that the new rules, intended to provide less stoppages and more speed to the game, well suit his style.
Cruze Ah Nau, who plays with Footscray when not on Rebel's duty, has said to be happy to have several team mates with him and that he is looking forward to the new competition.
By Unknown on 04:48 No comments so far More

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Footscray over Endeavour Hills with a bag of tries

In the last game of the round, with the top fliers set, the remaining five teams played for glory. And glory has come to Turner Reserve for the Bulldogs. The host dominated the scrum thanks also to a powerful display of Rebels' hooker Cruze Ah Nau and were able to control better the ball in open play, with newly announced Melbourne Rising duo Martin Naufahu and Shane Imo very sharp in the midfield. The visitors have to be praised for keeping playing and take ten points back at the end of the game, but overall displayed a poor at the set pieces, their tackling wasn't up to the opponents and the tight five couldn't create the necessary platform for the backs to put pressure on the Bulldogs.

Footscray's forwards putting pressure on Endeavour Hills - photo @22metri
Incapable of containing the opponents Endeavour Hills conceded a second try, this time was doggies' fullback to cross the line after a quick pass from Imo.
After just three minutes the visitors where able to contra and thanks to one of their best players on ground, outside centre Toese Vousiuto, who manufactured a try with a mix of power and speed. Unfortunately for Endeavour Hills, Footscray went on the scoreboard straight away, with inside centre Imo blitzing their backs after the kick off. This episode was a blow for the hopes of staying in touch for the visitors and they switched off their lights for long time after that.
Footscray had the bonus point try before the end of the half and another one just after the pause. After 15 minus in the second half the score was an embarrassing 45-7, with the visitors not able to reply.
With rain intensifying the ball become even more slippery and almost every scrum that followed the numerous forward touches was won by the hosts. For the frustration of Endeavour Hills scrum half, Junior Palia, he also a newly announced Rising player, even when his team gained the ball, he rarely had a clean platform to start with, contrarily of his opposite number, japanese Daisuke Yamada, who was able to launch his backs with more ease.
In the the last ten minutes of play Endeavour Hills was finally able to control better the ball and this resulted in two tries, one for fullback Stanley Lolohea and the second personal for outside centre Vousiuto.

But the Bulldogs put their final stamp on the game with a try after the siren whose conversion was awarded to their captain, who, despite not being familiar from the tee scored the easy two points to fix the final result at 52 - 17.

Scoreboard:

Footscray

Tries (8): Amituanai 2'; Lolesio 9', 42'; S.Imo 13', 55'; Williams 40'; Ah Wong, 47'; #22 80'
Conversions (6): M. Naufahu 5/7; T. Didak 1/1

Endeavour Hills

Tries (3): Vousiutu 12', 72'; Lolohea 68'
Conversions (1): Brown 1/3
By Unknown on 18:40 No comments so far More

Saturday, 19 July 2014

In a one sided game at Ashwood Reserve, Harlequins trash Melbourne Uni

The students lost their feeble hope to make the play off with their home loss against Footscray last week. Today they demonstrate that they are not yet at the level required to compete against the best in the tournament.
After a decent start, where Melbourne Uni had controlled the ball in Harlequins 22 and had a chance to put 3 points on the scoreboard with a penalty from flyhalf Ioane Sefo, the students disappeared from the field and they were again to be found in the last quarter of the game. When the win was long in the safe, Harlequin slowed down a little and Melbourne Uni scored their only 7 points of the game with a fine score from substitute Aiedabua.
All the rest was a feast of Harlequin dominance. At the end of the game defending champion scored 8 majors for a total of 52 points, 45 of them unanswered.
Former wallaby Lloyd Johnasson has once again carried most of the weight, with excellent open game kicking, decision making and physical presence. Around him Maradona Farao, who started at flyhalf and finished as scrum half, was a constant threat for the visitors. At the scrum Quins had the upper hand and the mobile forwards were also very effective in open play, two tries for hooker Kolo Mahe and one for prop Dale Stevenson demonstrate this.
Quins lock Angus Hamilton owned the line out grabbing most of the throws and stealing a couple of balls from opposition.
When the forwards were the base of Quins dominance, the backs has used the huge spaces created by the forwards to launch their attacks, Johansson and left winger Taylor Acheson scored 2 majors each, outside centre Majokah Schuster crossing the line once.
The perfect day for the defending champions was spoiled only by the late try of the visitors and by the yellow card for number eight Pom Simona, who was the last one to infringe during the late Uni's resurgence.
For the students Ioane Sefo and Sam Richards were the stand outs, but they were not able to lift their teammates, in a day that will not be remembered.
Very good direction form Oliver Kellett and his two assistants.

Other Games:

Endeavour Hills - Box Hill 15 - 45
Footscay - Southern Districts 21 - 25
Power House - Moorabbin 36 - 19
Bye  Mebourne
By Unknown on 02:49 No comments so far More

Saturday, 12 July 2014


With a large victory over Southern Districts Moorabbin clinches a play off berth

The rams were in desperate need for at least one point to fence off Melbourne Uni's chase, after a slow  tart they take control of the game and close it with 5 tries and 20 points margin over the pirates. The students loss agains Footscray would have made the result of this game redundant.
The game has started under an heavy shower, the rams in desperate need for at least one point to fence off Melbourne Uni's chase looked for early points, but Tepuna Kajer's kick for an easy penalty wasn't successful.

Moorabbin's Joe Kamana - photo 22metri

Moorabbin suddenly stopped playing and despite the wind and the rain ceasing, couldn't control the ball. Too many handling errors and missed tackles costed the rams the lead. The pirates pushed in several occasions and right wing Thomas Kei crossed the line at the 18th minute for a deserved lead to the visitors. Heine McFarland's conversion fixed the partial to 0 - 7.
Moorabbin wasn't able to react for another ten minutes and looked like a beaten boxer in his corner. Left wing Joe Kamana provided the wake up call for his team mates with two excellent line breaks, the second of which inspired Mike Uoka try. The lock crossed the chalk with power and determination. Kajer conversion provided the extra point and locked the result.
Before the final whistle Kajer slotted another penalty to fix the first half result on a more comfortable 10 - 7 for the hosts.

In the second half the rams finally fond again the fluidity of the first half of their season and in 15 minutes put the game out of reach for the visitors. First Kamana e then Fowles scored for the hosts. Remarkably the second try, has been scored when the rams where playing with one man less, Junior Tuiatua being sent in the bin for a tackle on a player in the air. Kajer missed both conversions. The pirates got a reaction right after the second try with McFarland scoring chasing a kick from his own half.
The pirates needed to score twice to win the game and launched several attacks but the rams' defence was able to fence off their assaults.
When Southern Districts' flanker Hillier Wilkinson tackled a player without the ball and received a deserved yellow card the chase and with it the game virtually ended.
The rams scoring another two tries with reserve prop Uini and Kajer, who moved from fullback to wing in the second part of the term.

The final result, 32 - 12, is fair representation of the game and the values on the pitch, but the rams need to improve the next two weeks to be able to put their mark on the post season.

In the other games Harlequin defeated Endeavour Hills 36 - 19; Melbourne beat Power House 24 - 6 and Footscray defeated Melbourne Uni 17 - 15.

The play offs teams are now locked with Moorabbin joining Box Hill, Harlequin and Melbourne, with the last two round still very important to decide the shape of the finals.
By Unknown on 04:31 No comments so far More

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Moorabbin looking for a point to clinch the last position in the playoffs.

With three rounds to go, only one verdict isn't out in the Victorian competition. Despite a terrible form in the last weeks the rams need only one point to join Box Hill, Harlequin and Melbourne in the finals. Melbourne Uni is still hoping to tipping them from the fourth spot, but they'll need two large bonus point wins from their remaining two games.
On the top, the surprise package of the season, Box Hill, has a bye to recharge the batteries before the last frantic weeks of the season, meanwhile second placed Harlequin, trailing the broncos by only one point, will have a confortamble home game against the last placed Endeavour Hills. The reigning champions are still hoping to make the top of the ladder to be able host an eventual final for the second year in a row.
Sitting third on the ladder, Melbourne will host Power House in a tricky game which could provide some headache to the unicorns without two of their high performing Rebels players,  Telusa Veainu and Jordy Reid.
With the NRC looming and the Melbourne Rising squad to be announced soon this round will be an opportunity for many players to make head coach Sean Hedger's shortlist.

Harlequin - Endeavour Hills
Quins had a bye last round and for sure they will come out firing against the bottom placed Endeavour Hills. Despite fijian national Alex Rokobaro has been called at the last minute by Tony McGahan to join the Rebels in South Africa, the quins have plenty of talent to win this game with a 4 tries bonus point.

Melbourne - Power House
Unicorns don't lose since 5 rounds and will go into the game as favourite agains an inconsistent Power House. The visitors last week against Footscray fought up to the last minute to steal a win, Melbourne must not drop the guard for the whole 80 minutes, but a win is at hand. The absence of Reid will test Melbourne's back row.

Moorabbin - Sth Districts
The pirates won 2 games in a row for the first time in the 2014 season and have a perfect opportunity to make 3 in a row against the rams. For Moorabbin a narrow defeat may be enough to clinch the play offs and they'll fight to keep in touch against the visitors, although they desperately need to improve their form for the finals if they want to challenge their opponents.

Melbourne Uni - Footscray
Do or die for the students, only a win with bonus point and some help from Southern Districts will give them a chance to make the play offs. But he much improved side hasn't an easy task against the bulldogs, always not an easy opponent. The higher motivation of Melbourne Uni should bring them over the line if that will be enough to secure a bonus point it's open.

The ladder:

Pos
Team
Points
1Box Hill57
2Harlequin56
3Melbourne51
4Moorabbin50
5Melbourne Uni40
6Southern Districts35
7Power House34
8Footscray31
9Endeavour Hills22
By Unknown on 17:18 No comments so far More
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