NRC: Brisbane City 21-10 UC Vikings
Brisbane City claimed back-to-back NRC titles
ESPN Staff
October 31, 2015
Report Match details
Date/Time: Oct 31, 2015, 15:00 local, 05:00 GMT
Venue: Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Brisbane City 21 - 10 Canberra Vikings
Attendance: 0  Half-time: 13 - 10
Tries: Frisby, Gibbon, Neville
Cons: McIntyre 2
Tries: Fainifo, Thompson
Brisbane City's Karmichael Hunt passes the ball, Brisbane City v Canberra Vikings, National Rugby Championship, grand final, Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane, October 31, 2015
Brisbane City's Karmichael Hunt passes the ball
© Getty Images

Brisbane City completed an undefeated season to lift the National Rugby Championship trophy for the second year in succession, but they secured victory only when replacement winger Alex Gibbon scored a converted try in the 73rd-minute.

The Vikings made a strong start, after winning a penalty almost immediately from the kick-off, with Ita Vaea at the back of a scrum flicking the ball through his legs to Joe Powell before Francis Fainifo touched down in the corner to give the visitors a 5-0 lead.

Brisbane answered five minutes later, when Caderyn Neville charged over the line from five metres out to score a try converted by Jake McIntyre, but the Vikings regained the lead within another five minutes when Isaac Thompson scored in the left corner after brilliant phase play.

Brisbane dominated possession thereafter, and they went to the sheds with a 13-10 advantage after Nick Frisby slipped through weak defence.

Neither team could assert in the second half, each earning scrum penalties and stealing the other's lineout ball, but Brisbane scored after Henry Taefu and hooker Andrew Ready had been held up over the line. They ran a set move from the ensuing scrum, with McIntyre throwing a lovely inside ball for Gibbon to score a converted try under the posts.

The Vikings pressured Brisbane line in the final 10 minutes, with Brent Hamlin and Dean Oakman-Hunt putting the visitors within striking distance, but the hosts held on to claim their second successive NRC title.

Liam Gill and his Brisbane City team-mates celebrate winning back-to-back National Rugby Championship titles © Getty Images

Brisbane coach Nick Stiles believed his team's success should spill over to the Reds next Super Rugby season - much to the relief of Queensland fans who are still reeling from a horror, injury-riddled 2015 season in which they finished third last with a 4-12 record. Stiles said the Reds would be the direct beneficiary of the combinations further developed in City's record-breaking run - including Frisby and McIntyre, a likely replacement for Quade Cooper at five-eighth.

"It's very exciting for Queensland Reds fans," said Stiles, who is also Reds forwards coach. "To think we've got a lot of combinations in today's game for Brisbane City who will theoretically be starting combinations for the Reds next year. And throw in [World Cup Wallabies] James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Rob Simmons and it shows the platform we are going to have up front."

Brisbane City beat the Vikings 37-31 three weeks ago and another free-flowing affair was expected. However, Brisbane City struggled to lay a platform against the monster the Vikings pack featuring six Brumbies players led by Ben Alexander.

"That was the hardest game we have played this year," Brisbane City captain Liam Gill said. "We had to step up and we did."

Stiles was not surprised by the arm wrestle.

"We put a lot of work into our defence this season with this grand final in mind," he said.

"It didn't happen by accident."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd with AAP

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