Brisbane City go down in NRC opener
WRAP - NRC ROUND ONE: The National Rugby Championship (NRC) has delivered four enthralling, exciting and telling matches to complete the opening round of the competition.
UC Vikings took the early ascendency on the ladder and players such as Henry Speight and Luke Morahan asserted their intentions for a national jersey, with impressive performances that saw both of them score two tries each.
Morahan's double helped secure the 20-16 win for the Perth Spirit, despite being outmuscled at the scrum by the powerful Melbourne Rising outfit.
The Sydney Rays enjoyed a bonus-point 50-30 win over the Western Sydney Rams, scoring three converted tries in the opening 14 minutes, with both teams showing scintillating flair in attack throughout the game.
Reigning champions Brisbane City went down in a hard-fought match against Country Eagles.
The Eagles overcame three yellow cards and a fast-finishing Brisbane City side, to secure an impressive 22-12 win over the back-to-back reigning NRC champions.
In the final match of the opening round, the Canberra Vikings flexed their muscles to take the early lead at the top of the table with a 58-20 win.
The UC Vikings dominated a young Queensland Country team that, despite having Wallabies lock Rob Simmons, had few answers for the Vikings' Super Rugby-laden forwards pack.
Round One Results:
Saturday, August 27
Country Eagles 22 - 12 Brisbane City
For Country Eagles:
Tries: Hanigan, Newsome, Needs
Cons: Deegan 2
For Brisbane City:
Tries: Strachan, Beauchamp
Cons: Russell 2
Perth Spirit 20 - 16 Melbourne Rising
For Perth Spirit:
Tries: Morahan 2, Havili
For Melbourne Rising:
Tries: Jeffries, Reid
Cons: Debreczeni 2
Saturday, August 28
Sydney Rays 50 - 30 Western Sydney Rams
For the Sydney Rays:
Tries: Woolf 2, Fitzpatrick, Jones, Dempsey, Simone, Roos
Cons: Sinclair 4
For the Western Sydney Rams:
Tries: Paenga-Amosa 2, Tufui, Allen
Cons: Asquith 3, Nikoro
Country 20 - 58 Vikings
For the Country:
Tries: Banks 2, Perese
For the Vikings:
Tries: Dargaville 2, Arnold 2, Speight 2, Abel, Jackson-Hope
Cons: Jooste 5
2016 NRC Round One Standings:
1. Vikings - 5 points
2. Sydney Rays - 5 points
3. Eagles - 4 points
4. Perth Spirit - 4 points
5. Melbourne Rising - 1 point
6. Brisbane - City 0 points
7. Western Sydney Rams - 0 points
8. Queensland Country - 0 points
Round 2 Fixtures:
Friday, September 2 - Sydney Rays v Perth Spirit, North Sydney Oval, 18.30 AEST,
Saturday, September 3 - Brisbane City v Western Sydney Rams, Ballymore Stadium, 15.00 AEST
Sunday, September 4 - Melbourne Rising v Country, Harlequin Oval, Melbourne, 13.00 AEST
Sunday, September 4 - Canberra Vikings v Country Eagles, Viking Park, 15.00 AEST