Friday, 10 October 2014

An almost unchanged Rams' team will face competition benchmark in a do or die match

The GSR will welcome back Wallaby Benn Robinson in their starting line-up after his international duties. Robinson has played the first four NRC games for the Rams before getting the call from Link to beef up the national team's front row.

Along Robinson the other changes for the GSR are the return from injury of lock Jed Holloway and the inclusion of scrumhalf Mark Swanepoel.

As reported by the Rams' internet site, Director of Rugby John Manenti was very happy to see Robinson and Holloway back in the starting XV: “Benn Robinson was outstanding for us in his pre-Wallabies Tour games, and though we’ve been delighted with the form of Jed Gillespie and being able to bring in a guy with his experience and scrum knowledge, and he’s contributed really well, we’re obviously excited to have Robbo back."

The inclusion of Robinson will be a key to the front line battle, with Rising's scrum often being the foundation of their attacks. Robinson will combine with hooker Peni Ravai and tighthead prop Guy Millar, both have played all Rams' games so far.

The Melbourne Rising have enjoyed a week bye and used the time to recharge and prepare for the finals. The pause gave them the opportunity to regain some of their injuried players, with fullback Jonah Placid, prop Toby Smith and outside flanker Sean McMahon all fit and ready to start.
Tom English and Luke Jones, chosen for the Wallabies 32-men squad for Bledisloe #3 will try to impress the selectors even more in today's game.

Rising's head coach Sean Hedger has chosen two local players on the wing, with Endeavour Hills' Rennie Lautolo-Molimau on the right and Moorabbin's Joe Kamana on the left, as reported by Rising's internet site: “Rennie and Joe are highly capable footballers who have demonstrated their ability to play at this level,” Hedger said. “Joe has featured in every game this season and has been a real stand-out for the Rising, while Rennie’s debut against NSW Country was impressive; he needs to reach that level again, and push himself even further, and I am confident he will.”

With a bye scheduled for next week the Rams have to win this game to hope for a play off appearance, the Rising are already sure of hosting the semifinal at AAMI Park, but don't expect a complacent team.

The teams:

Great Sydney Rams

1 Benn Robinson
2 Peni Ravai
3 Guy Millar
4 Jed Holloway
5 Dylan Sigg
6 Hugh Perrett (C)
7 Chris Alcock
8 Pat Sio
9 Mark Swanepoel
10 Ben Volavola
11 Tom Hill
12 Henry Taefu
13 Henry Seavula
14 Jarome MacKenzie
15 Ben Batger

Reserves: 16 Hugh Roach: 17  Jed Gillespie; 18  Dave Lolohea ; 19  Steve Mafi; 20  Michael Kovacic; 21  Jai Ayoub; 22  Apolisi Latunipulu; 23  Dane Chisholm

Melbourne Rising 

1 Toby Smith
2 Pat Leafa
3 Paul Alo-Emile
4 Sam Jeffries
5 Cadeyrn Neville
6 Luke Jones
7 Sean McMahon
8 Lopeti Timani
9 Nic Stirzaker (C)
10 Jack Debreczeni
11 Joe Kamana
12 Mitch Inman
13 Tom English
14 Rennie Lautolo-Molimau
15 Jonah Placid

Reserves: 16 Tom Sexton; 17 Tuiatua Tuia; 18 Cruze Ah-Nau; 19 Pom Simona; 20 Reuben Rolleston; 21 Ben Meehan; 22 Lloyd Johansson; 23 Martin Naufahu

The Greater Sydney Rams-Melbourne Rising match at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta kicks off at 3:00pm
If you are not in Sydney, you can catch the game on-line courtesy of the Rams at
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