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)
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