National Rugby Championship

NRC 2016 Rnd 6: Team of the Week

NRC 2016 Rnd 6: Team of the Week

Phew. That was a pretty damn amazing round of NRC. Two absolute bowl overs by QLD Country and the Western Sydney Rams gave hope to underdogs everywhere. Meanwhile the Spirit and the Rays won, and won well, at their respective home games. As to the best of the individual performances? Well it was tough to nail down, but let’s give it a crack.

Ben Daley_NRC1. Ben Daley (QLD Country) – 1st TOTW appearance

It was great to see Dales back in his element on the weekend. He powered over Paddy Ryan in the scrums, ran hard and often and was an experienced head amongst his young team mates.

Damien Fitzpatrick2. Damien Fitzpatrick (Sydney Rays) – 1

Fitzpatrick’s form as part of the oh so important ‘spine’ of the Rays team was on show again against the Vikings where he was ever present. He must have been good to keep QLD Country’s Alex Casey out of the team.

Western_Sydney_David_Lolohea3. David Lolohea (Western Sydney Rams) – 4

He’s back again, and why not? Lolohea’s form just continues to charge on and this week we saw more of his ball work abilities with some nice off-loads. A big, skilful prop – this is a career worth watching.

Izack Rodda_NRC4. Izack Rodda (QLD Country) – 1

Young Rodda has been one of the most consistent players for QLD Country this year, and his work rate in Toowoomba was exceptional. He probably ended up in his head to head batle with Ned Hanigan. Lukhan Tui was also excellent for Brisbane City.

Spirit-Ross_Haylett-Petty-015. Ros Haylett-Petty(Perth Spirit) – 2

RHP has settled back into rugby, after an enforced injury absence, like he hasn’t been away. His work load against Brisbane City was eye-catching, rewarded with a late try. Late comer, Filimone Tufui of the Rams, had plenty of positive touches in their win. 

Sam-Figg16. Sam Figg (NSW Country Eagles) – 2

The only player to make the team from a losing side, Figg was close to the Eagles’ best and was a constant threat to QLD Country in attack and defence. If it wasn’t for Figg it may well have been another Ram in the hard working Rhys Allen in the TOTW.

Tupou Sopoaga7. Tupou Sopoaga (Western Sydney Rams) – 1

As you would expect, Sopoaga was at the heart of most of what the Rams were doing against Melbourne this weekend. His work with the ball was first class and caused heartache in the Rising team. The Spirit’s Richard Hardwick put in a quality performance as well.

Western_Sydney_Tyrone_Viiga28. Tyrone Viiga (Western Sydney Rams) – 1

Viiga scored three tries not just with brute power (although there was a fair chunk of that) but also with rugby smarts. He constantly put his team on the front foot and made the game easier for his rookie halves. Wallaby Ben McCalman was damn good himself, scoring two tries of his own.

Sydney Rays Headshots Session9. Matt Lucas (Sydney Rays) – 3

Lucas demonstrated all his wares as he lead his team to an dominant victory over the Vikings on Saturday. Not the 3 try game that Jake Gordon had last week, but a well rounded performance that displayed control and maturity important for such a position. Waldo Wessels was a key performer for the Rams victory too.

Western_Sydney_Mitchell_Walton10. Mitchell Walton (Western Sydney Rams) – 1

Walton was a late change to the Rams lineup taking over the 10 jersey allowing his skipper, Paul Asquith, to shuffle one spot further out. Walton was a revelation in partnership with Wessels in the halves, and ensured the Rams made the most of the strong platform his forwards provided him.  The Rays’ Angus Sinclair looked sharp outside Lucas as well.

Harry Jones11. Harry Jones (Sydney Rays) – 1

We’ve been waiting all season to see the best of Harry Jones, similar to what we saw in the NRC last year. We saw plenty of it on the weekend where his two try effort where his finishing skills were front and centre, but his broader skills in setting up others. There some classy moments by Eagles pocket rocket Christian Kagiassis too.

Duncan PaiaauaNRC12. Duncan Paia’aua (QLD Country) – 1

Duncan bounced back from a brain snap last week to again demonstrate his potential as a 2nd playmaker for the Reds next year. He scored two tries, had a hand in at least one of the others, made some very good breaks and fronted up in defence. He just beat out Rays, Irae Simon, and Kyle Godwin, of the Eagles, who had his best game of the year.

Spirit-Billy_Meakes-0113. Billy Meakes (Perth Spirit) – 1

Meakes has had an injury disrupted NRC but when he’s on the field he has proven to be an astute buy by the Force/ARU. He was at it again on the weekend with his powerful presence in the midfield forming a dangerous combination with Ben Tapuai.

Spirit-Marcel_Brache-0114. Marcel Brache (Perth Spirit) – 2

Brache is another from the west who has had is NRC campaign waylaid by injury. He was back on the weekend and was dangerous whenever he got the ball making plenty of metres and scoring a well deserved try. Young Liam McNamara looked sharp on attack for QLD Country.

Josh Turner15. Josh Turner (Sydney Rays) – 1

Josh Turner was nothing short of electric for the Rays on the weekend scoring two lovely tries himself, while having a third disallowed. The pocket rocket has a bit of the David Feltscheer, a former Rays fullback, and was very dangerous from the back. Reece Robinson showed he’s got some fullback chops in a rare display in 15 for the Eagles. 


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