@GAGR podcast: NRC Grand Final Special with Dave McDuling

Green & Gold Rugby: OK, so it’s clear I no longer make annual appearances on the GAGR podcast, with this one my third in about five weeks. But I am back this week, and to talk about the remarkable turn of events that now sees his side hosting the NRC Final, we spoke to Brisbane City captain, Dave McDuling, about his team’s preparations for the big one against Perth Spirit on Saturday night, at Ballymore Oval in Brisbane.

Reg Roberts, Hugh Cavill, and I then delve a little deeper into the NRC finals and make our tips for the big match before moving on to some of the other rugby news of the week, including a preview of the Wallabies v Barbarians game.

Stats and observations from the NRC

NSW Country flyer Andrew Kellaway was the NRC's leading try scorer, crossing nine times. Image: QRU Media

NSW Country flyer Andrew Kellaway was the NRC’s leading try scorer, crossing nine times. Image: QRU Media

The Roar: Like much of the coverage and promotion of the National Rugby Championship this season, records of results and rudimentary stats from games have been hard to come by.

Figuring this might have been the case, I started up my own records as the competition started, from which my updated competition tables were often sighted on Twitter and even here on The Roar well before the official tables were published.

With the competition just one game from completion, and a cracking Final between Brisbane City and Perth on offer on Saturday night, I though now might be as good a time as any to share a few stats and observations from my records.

The NRC Semi-Finals wrap: delivering the Final no-one picked

Brisbane City captain Dave McDuling was outstanding on Friday night in the first Semi-Final against NSW Country on the Central Coast. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: Plenty of us thought Brisbane City might be good enough to topple NSW Country, sure. Plenty of us even gave Perth Spirit some hope of upsetting Melbourne, if everything went right for them on the day, and if the new combinations jelled quickly, and if Melbourne had an off game, if, if, if.

However, if we’re all honest – really, properly honest – none of us saw a Brisbane City-Perth Final coming.

I said in Friday’s preview that I thought the NSW Country-Brisbane City clash shaped up as one of the games of the competition thus far, and by fulltime, I was pretty content it wouldn’t be topped. It was a cracking Semi, full of well-worked, lucky, soft and even penalty tries, try-saving desperation, disallowed tries, and drama from whistle to siren.

But sure enough, not even 24 hours later it was topped, as Perth pulled off the upset of the NRC to knock over the previously undefeated and completely dominant Melbourne Rising on their own turf.

ABC Grandstand: Beale not joining the Wallabies in Europe

Kurtley Beale and skipper Michael Hooper: their reunion will have to wait for the moment. Image: ABC Grandstand

ABC Grandstand Digital: Another rugby round-table discussion on Grandstand Breakfast this morning, where Francis Leach, Tim Gavel and myself tried to work out if we’re any closer to the truth in this whole ugly Kurtley Beale situation.

The truth is becoming harder and harder to recognise, as the misinformation campaigns continue, but there has at least been some sanity, with the news Beale will not join the Wallabies squad on the Spring Tour, as was widely expected when his re-eligibility was confirmed after his hearing on Friday.