Sunday, 21 September 2014

With the fifth win out of five games the Rising are 10 points abreast of the second placed NSW Country Eagles and there is no sign of slowing down.

Joe Kamana, emerging Rising star - photo Jude Keog for Fairfax
Joe Kamana, emerging Rising star - photo Jude Keogh for Fairfax
On Saturday the Rising travelled to Orange to play the Eagles, in what should have been an even contest, but the game was a no contest. Even suffering two yellow cards in the 80 minutes of play, the Melbourne outfit went back home with 37 - 16 a bonus point win.
Behind the Rising all other teams have had ups and downs, but none has shown anything near the same level of consistency. Out of the other three teams which looked like contender, the Vikings, the Rays and the Stars, have all disappointed the fans.The Canberra Vikings managed only a 37 all  raw against the winless Stars on Saturday, the Rays have won their two last games but they started the season too slow.

The Rising will host the Vikings on Thursday in their second televised match of the season, the short turn around could be the only hope for the visitors, given that Sean Hedger stuck pretty much with the same team for the first five games, maybe a little of fatigue may help the Vikings in what look like an impossible game to win.

Anyhow, results aside the NRC has so far shown to be what every rugby fan was expecting, the right platform to inject new talent and the opportunity for less exposed Super Rugby players to prove their case for a position in the starting XV. Many young players have had the chance to emerge and show their skills at national level and there is no doubt that in four or five years time we will look back at the NRC and we will remember the first time we saw the face of that wallaby.
By Unknown on 06:02 No comments so far More

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Tonight the only two undefeated teams will clash in Tokyo.

Schalk Burger
After 4 games in the Japanese Top League only two teams have won all their matches, this will come to an end tonight in the first match of the fifth round when the pool B top of the table Kobelco Steelers will be hosted by the Suntory Sungoliath, kick off at 7:30 p.m. Japanese time

Before heading back to South Africa to be part of the Springboks for the last two matches of the Rugby Championship impressive back rower Schalk Burger has been named in the starting lineup for the hosts. Along him the second foreign player chosen by Aussie coach Andy Friend to start is Samoan Tusi Pisi. An understandable choice, given that between the two of them they have collected 3 out of 4 Man of the Match awards so far.

Burger will face fellow South African 6 ft 11’ giant Andries Bekker who has been named again in the starting XV by coach Gary Gold, also from the Republic.
Also in the starting team New Zealander Fraser Anderson, who has scored his first try of the season last week against the Red Hurricanes.

Toyota Verblitz, currently third on the ladder will host Kinetsu Liners tomorrow in a bid to close the gap to the leaders.

Aussie favourite Nick Cummins has been named in the staring team for Coca Cola Red Sparks away game versus the Ricoh Black Rams.

In the pool A leaders Yamaha Júbilo will have a tricky match on Sunday against Kubota Spears, from which Toshiba Brave Lupus and Panasonic Wild Knights, sitting in second and third position one and two points adrift respectively can profitate. Both team will have relatively easy games: Brave Lupus will visit bottom of the ladder Toyota Shuttles tomorrow and the Wild Knights will host new comers Sanix Blues on Sunday.

By Unknown on 19:13 No comments so far More

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Kobelco Steelers and Suntory Sungoliath remain undefeated after 4ht round.

Pool B

Similar pattern in the games for the two leaders of Top League’s Poole B: Steelers and Sungoliath started on an high and cumulated a sound margin before letting their opponents to attempt an unsuccessful comeback.

NTT Red Hurricanes - Kobelco Steelers 26 – 36:

South African giant Andries Bekker was the first on the scoreboard with a try in the 13th minute for the visitors. The Steelers went up 29 -0 thanks to tries from wingers Rakuhei Yamashita and Kanzo Nakahama and a penalty try.
Japanese wingers Koki Shigeno and Yoshimi Watanabe scored a brace each for the hosts in the second half, but it was too late for Red Hurricanes.

Suntory Sungoliath – Ricoh Black Rams 38 – 25:

Schalk Burger’s Sungoliath remain undefeated with a win against the Rams. After a convincing start that gave them a 24 – 0 lead at half time, the Sungoliath slowed down in the second part of the second half and allowed the vistitors to attempt a comeback that saw them score 21 unanswered points. Samoan international Tusi Pisi was awarded man of the match denying the South African his third MOM in a row.

Coca Cola Red Sparks – Toyota Verblitz 23 – 25:

Still no tries and no joy for the Honey Badger, his Red Sparks lost a close encounter against Toyota. Despite trailing by only 2 points the host weren’t capable to overcome the visitor’s defence in the last 20 minutes.

Canon Eagles – Kinetsu Liners 36 – 31:

A brace from Gene Fairbanks and a major from Radike Samo weren't enough for Kinetsu Liners to overpower Canon Eagles, who put the game behind the visitor’s reach thanks also to a try from former league player Michael Bond, however local player Ryohei Mitomo with one try and 5 kicks was the most prolific scorer for the hosts.
Radike Samo, an Aussie favorite

Pool A

Júbilo remains on top of the ladder with an easy win over the Blues, Brave Lupus had to fight more to past NEC Green Rockets and stay in contact, and the Wild Knights smashed the Shuttles.

Sanix Blues – Yamaha Júbilo 12 – 52:

The Júbilo roll over the newcomers of Top League thanks to a dominant display. Two braces apiece for kiwi Mose Tuiali'I, Japan’s Kyosuke Horie and Tongan international Rocky Havili for a total of eight tries were too much for the Blues, who scored with New Zealand imports Siliva Ahio and Karne Hesketh.

Toyota Shuttles – Panasonic Wild Knights 5 – 54:

Withouth injuried aussie Berrick Barnes the team captained by Melbourne Rebel’s hooker Shot Horie pass with ease against the Shuttles. A total of 6 tries for the visitors started with aussie Daniel Heenan at the 2nd minute and continued till after the siren. Winger Akihito Yamada scored a brace for Panasonic and was awarded man of the match

Kibota Spears – NTT Shining Arcs 29 – 27:

A penalty well after full time by Harumichi Tatekawa gave the host a narrow win against the never giving up visitors. South African flyhalf Elton Jantjies was perfect form the tee with 5 out of 5 and British born Filipino international Matt Saunders scored a try for the Shining Arcs, but this wasn’t enough for the visitors to take home the 4 points.

By Unknown on 19:06 No comments so far More

Friday, 12 September 2014

The fijian scored - and converted - a try with 5 minutes to spare but his team went down 30 - 26.

Nemani Nadolo started on the bench for the Green Rockets in their away game against Toshiba Brave Lupus at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu, and come into the game for Newzealander Neil Brew in the second half when his team was trailing 25 - 10. Brew also scored a try in the first half.
Despite the good effort from the white and green players Toshiba was much better and thank to a brace from Japan's Shohei Toyoshima they took the win. The winger was also named man of the match for his effort.
Brave Lupus are momentarily on top of Group A waiting for the rest of the round to be played between today and tomorrow.

By Unknown on 16:40 No comments so far More

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tonight’s game risk to be another easy win for the Rising

The unbeaten Melbourne team will face a so far not impressive Perth team coming from a “home” defeat aginst the Rams in Adelaide.

The reason the Rising are hot favourite for tonight’s game lie not only in the difference of morale between the two teams but mainly in the squads announced.

With Pek Conwan and Matt Hodgson away on Wallabies duties Spirit’s coach, David Wessels had to choose a brand new front row made out of three debutant WA local players: Joe Savage (Palmyra), Harry Scoble (UWA) and Chris Heiberg (Bayswater). They will face an all Super Rugby front row with Toby Smith, Pat Leafa and Paul Alo-Emile that has already manhandled many opponents and served as a perfect base to launch Rising’s quick backs. With the prospect of another strong hooker coming fresh in the second half, Melbourne born Irish Tom Sexton, and Rebel’s prop Cruze Ah-Nau, when the Spirit will be calling on another bunch of local players from Cottesloe.

In the second and third row the visitors will have to make the most of Force’s Brynard Stander at blindside, who will need to balance the relative inexperience of the rest of the pack, mainly of openside debutant Richard Hardwick. The Rising will display again their ball stealing turn over factory starred by Commonwealth Games 7’s bronze medallist Sean McMahon and Wallabies U20 captain Luke Jones.

Under these premises the scrum and the breakdown risk to be one side traffic events for the whole game.

Similarly critical will be the run on debut of Associates’ scrumhalf Justin Turner who will have in Nic Stirzaker a very tough direct opponent.

In the backs the match look slightly fairer, but if the forwards will be able to feed speedsters SuperSefa and run on debutant Joe Kamana, the night in Melbourne will be a long one for the black and gold visitors

Prediction: Melbourne by 21

The teams:

Melbourne Rising

15 Jonah Placid (Melbourne Rebels)
14 Telusa Veainu (Melbourne/Melbourne Rebels)
13 Sefanaia Naivalu (Box Hill)
12 Mitch Inman (Southern Districts/Melbourne Rebels) (Vice Captain)
11 Joe Kamana (Moorabbin)
10 Jack Debreczeni (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels)
9 Nic Stirzaker (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels) (Captain)
8 Lopeti Timani (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels)
7 Sean McMahon (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels)
6 Luke Jones (Moorabbin/Melbourne Rebels)
5 Cadeyrn Neville (Foostcray/Melbourne Rebels)
4 Sam Jeffries (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)
3 Paul Alo-Emile (Power House/Melbourne Rebels)
2 Pat Leafa (Box Hill/Melbourne Rebels) (Vice Captain)
1 Toby Smith (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)

Reserves: 16 Tom Sexton (Power House/Melbourne Rebels), 17 Tuiatua Tuia (Moorabbin), 18 Cruze Ah-Nau (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels), 19 Pom Simona (Harlequin) (Vice Captain), 20 Sione Taufa (Harlequin), 21 Luke Burgess (Melbourne/Melbourne Rebels), 22 Lloyd Johansson (Harlequin), 23 Tom English (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)

Perth Spirit

15 Zack Holmes (Associates)
14 Brad Lacey (Wests Scarborough)
13 Ammon Matuauto (Associates)
12 Luke Burton (UWA)
11 Nili Fielea (Cottesloe)
10 Dillyn Leyds (Palmyra)
9 Justin Turner (Associates)
8 Alex Rovira (Associates)
7 Richard Hardwick (UWA)
6 Brynard Stander (Nedlands)
5 Brent Murphy (Perth Bayswater)
4 Rory Walton (Wests Scarborough)
3 Chris Heiberg (Perth Bayswater)
2 Harry Scoble (UWA)
1 Joe Savage (Palmyra)

Reserves: 16 Robbie Abel (Cottesloe), 17 Alec Hepburn (Cottesloe), 18 Oliver Hoskins (Cottesloe), 19 Corey Thomas (UWA), 20 Kane Koteka (Wests Scarborough), 21 Michael Ruru (Nedlands), 22 Davis Tavita (Nedlands), 23 Va’a Mailei (Palmyra)
By Unknown on 18:05 No comments so far More

Saturday, 6 September 2014

A dominant second half display form the Melbourne outfit.

Tom English in a Rebels' match
With 50 unanswered points in the second half the Rising gain their third bonus point win to settle on top of NRC ladder, the final score of 18 - 79 punishes the home side, who suffered down a man in two occasions during the match, both scrumhalves Nick Frisby and Will Genia the culprits.
Tom English scored four tries for the Rising but for the man of the match award he had good challenges from Sean McMahon and Sam Jeffries, both dominant at the breakdown and from local competition hero Sefanaia Naivalu, already nicknamed SuperSefa, again at ease in the NRC.
The Rising went first up on the scoreboard with a try from Jonah Placid after four minutes, and scored a second with Naivalu straight away. But the home side was quick to react and tries flew in the first half with both teams crossing the whitewash in several occasion and seven tries between the two in the first stanza.
In the second half only one team was seen on the pitch with multiple majors coming at ease.
Former Wallaby Lloyd Johansson ended the game at flyhalf and scored his first points in the competition with a try and two conversions.

Good to see star scrumhalf Will Genia back in action, although his game hasn't been one to remember. He conceded first Rising's try of the second half with a stray pass, then was sinbinned by Steve Walsh for a cynic foul on City's try line.

Melbourne Rising

Tries: Jonah Placid, Sefanaia Naivalu, Tom English (4), Lopeti Timani (2), Telusa Veainu, Pat Leafa, Lloyd Johansson
Conversions: Jack Debreczeni (6), Lloyd Johansson (2)

Brisbane City

Tries: Chris Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Liam Gill
Conversions: Jake McIntyre (1)

Melbourne Rising (1-15): Toby Smith, Tom Sexton, Paul Alo-Emile, Sam Jeffries, Cadeyrn Neville, Luke Jones, Sean McMahon, Lopeti Timani, Nic Stirzaker (C), Jack Debreczeni, Tom English, Mitch Inman (VC), Sefanaia Naivalu, Telusa Veainu, Jonah Placid. RES: Pat Leafa (VC), Tuiatua Tuia, Cruze Ah-Nau, Pom Simona (VC), Sione Taufa, Luke Burgess, Lloyd Johansson, Joe Kamana

Brisbane City (1-15): Pettowa Paraka, Andrew Ready, Sam Talakai, Marco Kotze, David McDuling (C), Michael Gunn, Liam Gill, Jake Schatz, Nick Frisby, Jake McIntyre, Harry Parker, Samu Kerevi, Toby White, Chris Kuridrani, Matthew Feaunati. RES: Matthew Mafi, Sef Faagase, Phillip Kite, Adam Korczyk, Brad Wilkin, Will Genia, James Dalgleish, Rex Tapuai
By Unknown on 00:00 No comments so far More

Friday, 5 September 2014

The South African back rower was awarded for the second time in a row MOM.

Burger receiving the MOM prize (last week) - photo RJP
Playing at Number 8 Schalk Burger has scored the deciding try in an hard fought match between Suntory Sungoliath and Canon Eagles.
With the home side trailing 13 - 17 with less than 10 minus to play, the impressive South African crossed the line for a five pointer which Samoan international Tusi Pisi converted for the eventual final score of 20 - 17.
The adaptation to Japanese rugby of 71 times capped springbok seams to be one of the easiest witnessed in the past years.
Canon Eagles may have deserved a better score, given that they sustained a period of play with 2 players on the sin bin, in which they even managed to score a try with scrum half Takeru Fukui. But Sungoliath were more able to transform each opportunity into point.


Suntory Sungoliath 20 (13)
Tries: Hatakeyama 31', Burger 72'
Conv.: Pisi 2/2
Pen: Pisi 2/2

Canon Eagles 17 (10)
Tries: Fukui 34', Thomson 44'
Conv.: Mitomo 2/2
Pen: Mitomo 1/1
By Unknown on 16:36 No comments so far More

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Nick Cummins has been named in the starting XV for the first time.

 Cummins in Japan - photo @Japonrugbynet 
After entering mid way through the first half last week the Australian winger will have his run on debut for Japanese side Coca Cola West Red Sparks in tomorrow’s home game against Kobelco Steelers. The other non-Japanese player in the squad is New Zealander Tim Bateman at outside centre, with fellow kiwi Solomon King named on the bench.
For the visitors two other quality players from the land of the long white cloud: former Chiefs number 8 Matt Vant Leven and former Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis.

The Steelers sit first on the ladder of Pool B with two wins out of two games, the Red Sparks made up for their narrow loss in their first game against Suntory Sungoliath with a win over NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes last week.

Former Wallaby Berrick Barnes has recovered form the injury that forced him out last week and will start for Panasonic Wild Knights at Yamaha in the most awaited game of group A. Júbilo sits on top of the table after two bonus points win, the Wild Knights were surprised in their first game have comprehensively beaten Kubota Spears last week.

Panasonic are captained by Melbourne Rebels hooker Shota Horie and will also have Aussie Daniel Heenan in their staring line up.
By Unknown on 18:28 No comments so far More

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rising keep to winning formula for the top of the ladder encounter

Melbourne Rising are top of the ladder on better points difference from NSW Country Eagles after two bonus point wins and will face third placed and undefeated Brisbane City at Ballymore on Saturday at 3:00 pm
Luke Burgess, quality sub - photo Melbourne Rebels
Luke Burgess, quality sub - photo Melbourne Rebels
Plenty of experience on display again from the Melbourne team with Head Coach Sean Hedger operating only one changes in the well oiled team to face another unbeaten team in round three of the NRC.
The inclusion in the starting XV is hooker Tom Sexton, the Melbourne born former Leinster Irish player will have his long awaited run on debut in Australia after skipping the entire Super Rugby season with a knee reconstruction and brings his high work rate and skills to an already dominant scrum. The Rising have profited largely in both first two games from a very solid scrum platform and Sexton inclusion will bring a fresh body for Pat Leafa, who will sit on the bench.
Again only non-Rebels contracted player in the starting team will be impressive outside centre Sefanaia Naivalu, who will again combine with Mitch Inman in the midfield.
Wallaby scrumhalf Luke Burgess, released from international duties for this Saturday’s clash against South Africa, will join the team on the bench and would be a quality replacement for captain Nick Stirzaker in the second half.
Vice Captain and leadership group local player Pom Simona will sit on the bench along with his Harlequin’s team mate Lloyd Johansson.

Melbourne Rising:

15 Jonah Placid (Melbourne Rebels)
14 Telusa Veainu (Melbourne/Melbourne Rebels)
13 Sefanaia Naivalu (Box Hill)
12 Mitch Inman (Southern Districts/Melbourne Rebels) (Vice Captain)
11 Tom English (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)
10 Jack Debreczeni (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels)
9 Nic Stirzaker (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels) (Captain)
8 Lopeti Timani (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels)
7 Sean McMahon (Endeavour Hills/Melbourne Rebels)
6 Luke Jones (Moorabbin/Melbourne Rebels)
5 Cadeyrn Neville (Foostcray/Melbourne Rebels)
4 Sam Jeffries (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)
3 Paul Alo-Emile (Power House/Melbourne Rebels)
2 Tom Sexton (Power House/Melbourne Rebels)
1 Toby Smith (Melbourne Uni/Melbourne Rebels)

Reserves: 16 Pat Leafa (Box Hill/Melbourne Rebels) (Vice Captain); 17 Tuiatua Tuia (Moorabbin); 18 Cruze Ah-Nau (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels); 19 Pom Simona (Harlequin) (Vice Captain); 20 Sione Taufa (Harlequin); 21 Luke Burgess (Melbourne/Melbourne Rebels); 22 Lloyd Johansson (Harlequin); 23 Joe Kamana (Moorabbin)
By Unknown on 16:00 No comments so far More
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