National Rugby Championship
Brisbane and Melbourne set up blockbuster
ESPN Staff
August 31, 2014

Perth Spirit 21-26 Brisbane City 26

Brisbane City came from behind to record an entertaining victory at McGillivray Oval on Sunday, winger Junior Laloifi posting the only try of the second half after an end-to-end opening stanza. The Spirit led by as many as 11 points late in the first half when six tries were scored, but City hit back with Laloifi's match-winner a memorable end-to-end try.

Pettowa Paraka scored two tries for City, with Chris Kuridrani also crossing before Lalofi touched down the match winner. Dillyn Leyds bagged a brace for the Spirit, for whom hooker Heath Tessmann also crossed.

Former Wallabies captain James Horwill played the first half for Brisbane, and provided a good burst in the lead-up to a try, while Test hopefuls Kyle Godwin and Matt Hodgson featured for the hosts, with the latter yellow-carded in the second half.

Brisbane City's Chris Kuridrani makes a break © Johan Schmidt Photography
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Melbourne's Telusa Veainu makes a break © Karen Watson Photography
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Sydney Stars 13-45 Melbourne Rising

Melbourne Rising claimed their second bonus-point victory from as many outings in the National Rugby Championship, putting the Stars to the sword six tries to two.

The Rising led 21-13 at half-time before running away with the fixture in the second stanza.

Fly-half Jack Debreczeni ran the show as chief playmaker, taking advantage of a wonderful platform laid by the dominant Melbourne Rising scrum to unleash the side's outside backs.

Nic Stirzaker, Mitch Inman, Telusa Veainu, Sam Jeffries, Sefanaia Naivalu, Joe Kamana crossed for the Rising, while James Dargaville and Jimmy Stewart crossed within five minutes in the first half.

The Eagles' Stephen Hoiles dives for the try line © ARU
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Queensland Country 13-37 New South Wales Country Eagles

Queensland Country lost to New South Wales Country Eagles in their National Rugby Championship opener at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

The Eagles led 21-5 at the break, after tries from New South Wales Waratahs back-rower Stephen Hoiles and a brace from Australia Under-20 winger Andrew Kellaway, and they went on with the job in thje second stanza - scoring another two tries, the last of which saw Kellaway bring up his hat-trick with a 70-metre intercept.

Canberra's Robbie Coleman tackles Greater Sydney's Afa Pakalani © Getty Images
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Greater Sydney Rams 18-37 Canberra Vikings

Canberra Vikings scored 29 unanswered points to defeat Greater Sydney Rams at Pirtek Stadium, taking advantage of a torrent of loose balls after their star-studded pack found their cohesion midway through the first half.

The Rams battered the Vikings with repeated phases in the red zone to claim an early 10-0 advantage, through unconverted tries from Vasa Falaelli and Afa Pakalani, but the visitors' pack gradually assumed control and Brumbies openside Jarrad Butler crashed over for two of Canberra's five tries.

Missed conversions that cost them dear against Perth Spirit in round one were less of an issue as Jesse Mogg landed two successful attempts to edge the Vikings into the break with a 16-10 lead. And the Vikings rumbled clear in the second half, an intercept try from Greater Sydney captain Jed Holloway the lone spark of hope for the Rams as the visitors' backline took control.

Fly-half Isaac Thompson, hooker Les Makin and Australia Sevens star Tom Cusack also scored for the Vikings.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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