Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Only one change for the Rising facing Sydney Stars on Sunday.

Another Melbourne Rebels filled squad announced by coach Sean Hedger for the second game of the NRC: in the starting XV only outside centre Sefanaia Naivalu is not (yet) part of the Super Rugby franchise.
Despite an impressive display in his first game at national level Harlequin's Sione Taufa loses his place in the starting squad to Australia’s U20 captain and 7’s Commonwealth bronze medallist flanker Sean McMahon.
Sean McMahon playing 7s for Australia - photo Getty
Sean McMahon playing 7s for Australia - photo Getty
McMahon was rested for the first game due to his recent involvement in the Commonwealth games and will bring to an already Super Rugby filled team extra experience and class.
His introduction will cost a place on the bench to Endeavour Hills’ Reuben Rolleston, another local Dewar Shield player who made a good impression on his national debut last week.
The conservative choices of coach Hedger  demonstrate his will to seek consistency week in week out and use at his best the biggest competitive advantage of his team: homogeneity.
Sydney Stars, despite losing the first game in the NRC opener on Thursday have a similar set up to the Rising, with the bulk of their players coming from the same team, Sydney University. Automatisms and chemistry should not be a problem for them as they were for Rising’s opponents last week, the North Harbour Rays, as confirmed by Hedger: "they are probably the most organised opposition we come up against in the early rounds. 95% of squad is from one club and we expect them to be organised right from the start". Asked which players was he more worried about, the head coach mentioned the possibility that Will Skelton will play: "we heard that he has been released to play for them, besides that the have really good speed out wide both theri two wingers have named in the Shute Shield team of the year, we need to be carefull. They are going to be hard to stop".

Additionally the Stars have had an additional three days of rest and training compared to the Rising, another factor to be taken into consideration.

Melbourne Rising Team:

1 Toby Smith (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)
2 Pat Leafa (Box Hill/Melbourne Rebels) (Vice Captain)
3 Paul Alo-Emile (Power House/Melbourne Rebels)
4 Sam Jeffries (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)
5 Cadeyrn Neville (Foostcray/Melbourne Rebels)
6 Luke Jones (Moorabbin/Melbourne Rebels)
7 Sean McMahon (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels)
8 Lopeti Timani (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels)
9 Nic Stirzaker (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels) (Captain)
10 Jack Debreczeni (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels)
11 Tom English (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)
12 Mitch Inman (Southern Districts/Melbourne Rebels) (Vice Captain)
13 Sefanaia Naivalu (Box Hill)
14 Telusa Veainu (Melbourne/Melbourne Rebels)
15 Jonah Placid (Melbourne Rebels)
Reserves: 16 Tom Sexton (Power House/Melbourne Rebels), 17 Tuiatua Tuia (Moorabbin), 18 Cruze Ah-Nau (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels), 19 OJ Noa (Harlequin), 20 Sione Taufa (Harlequin), 21 Ben Meehan (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels), 22 Lloyd Johansson (Harlequin), 23 Joe Kamana (Moorabbin)

Kick off at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney will be on Sunday August 31st at 3:00 pm
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