Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Super-Sefa back for the Rising, Wykes  to lead the Spirit

Both semi-finals will be a replay of round 4 encounters. On Friday September 11th the Perth Spirit flew east to Melbourne to be heavily defeated by the Rising by 20 points. Not to mention, the Rising got a bonus point in that game, they got a bonus point in every match they played in the regular season.
Compared to the XV that played the Spirit on Round 4 Sean Hedger’s Rising have made only 3 changes, whyle David Wessels has made a wholesale of changes for the Spirit.

Melbourne Rising

Sefanaia Naivalu
One of the Rising's changes is forced by injuries: Telusa Veainu’s season ended with an hand injury, two by international duties, with Luke Jones and Sean McMahon called by the Wallabies for the End of the Year Tour. To replace the two internationals the Rising will call up on local talent with Harlequin’s duo Sione Taufa and OJ Noa in the third row along with Lopeti Timani.
On the bench another local talent form the dual Dewar Shield champions Harlequin, Angus Hamilton, will hope for a Buildcorp NRC debut.
Also on tour Tom English, who started on the bench on round 4 as well as in the last regular season match played by the Rising.
Stability is one of the keys of Rising's success, with very few changes done every week by Hedger to his starting XV; the careful introduction of new players in a well oiled line-up has provided fresh blod when needed.

Perth Spirit

Sam Wykes
On the contrary Perth have named a team completely changed from the XV that took the pitch at AAMI back in September and also from the team that travelled to Dubbo to face the NSW Coutry Eagles.
Wessels has injected experience in his team with Western Force regulars Pek Cowan and Sam Wykes in the scrum and will have a formidable 9-10 combination in Prior  and Holmes.
Force's Stander will start at blindside flanker and he will definitely use his experience to try to pressure his less navigated opponent.

The teams

Both teams named for Saturday's semifinal looks strong and powerful, one of the winning points of the Rising has been the strenght of the scrum and the speed of locks and flankers to re-gain the ball launch the attacks from the incredibly fast backs. The new backrowers, Taufa and Noa know each other very well and have played a key role in Harlequin's success, will they be up for the challenge at National level?
I think so. But the expectations are for a much tougher game, it's finals time.

Melbourne Rising:

15 Jonah Placid (Melbourne Rebels)
14 Rennie Lautolo-Molimau (Endeavour Hills)
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 Sione Taufa (Harlequin)
6 OJ Noa (Harlequin)
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 Fereti Sa’aga (Melbourne Uni), 18 Cruze Ah-Nau (Footscray/Melbourne Rebels), 19 Pom Simona (Harlequin) (Vice Captain), 20 Angus Hamilton (Harlequin), 21 Luke Burgess (Melbourne/Melbourne Rebels), 22 Lloyd Johansson (Harlequin), 23 Martin Naufahu (Foostcray)

Perth Spirit:

15 Dane Haylett-Petty (Cottesloe)
14 Luke Morahan (Kalamunda)
13 Ammon Matuauto (Associates)
12 Solomoni Rasolea (Cottesloe)
11 Marcel Brache (Perth Bayswater)
10 Zack Holmes (Associates)
9 Ian Prior (Nedlands)
8 Alex Rovira (Associates)
7 Kane Koteka (Wests Scarborough)
6 Brynard Stander (Nedlands)
5 Brent Murphy (Perth Bayswater)
4 Sam Wykes (captain) (Wests Scarborough)
3 Oliver Hoskins (Cottesloe)
2 Robbie Abel (Cottesloe)
1 Pek Cowan (West Scarborough)

Reserves: 16 Harry Scoble (UWA), 17 Joe Savage (Palmyra), 18 Chris Heiberg (Perth Bayswater), 19 Kieran Stringer (Cottesloe), 20 Richard Hardwick (UWA), 21 Justin Turner (Associates), 22 Davis Tavita (Nedlands), 23 Christian Joubert (UWA)
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