Melbourne Rising flyhalf Jack Debreczini gets through the North Harbour Rays to score. Image: ARU/Cam Inniss Photography
The Roar:Even if only subconsciously, I’d imagine we’ve all been watching the opening rounds of the National Rugby Championship with an eye on the next young superstar. We all know what effect the ARC in 2007 had on the likes of Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, and David Pocock, among others, so it’s natural we’d be on a similar lookout with the new competition.
Greater Sydney Rams No.8 Jed Holloway scores against Canberra. Image: ARU/JB Photography
It’s early days, obviously, and being able to spot talent has been made more difficult by the disappointing lack of live coverage. It’s all fine and good for Australian Rugby to be “unleashed” as the token marketing slogan says, but is it really unleashed if it can’t be easily seen?
Nevertheless, for those prepared to put in a bit of an effort, the talent is certainly there. Over on The Roar today, I’ve highlighted a couple to have stood out for me…
Junior Laloifi of Brisbane City on the way to score the winning try against Perth Spirit at the University of Western Australia on Sunday. Image: ARU/Johan Schmidt Photography.
The Roar:NSW Country Eagles and Melbourne Rising are the equal competition leaders after two rounds of the National Rugby Championship. The Eagles rose to the top courtesy of their impressive 37-13 win over Queensland Country on the Gold Coast on Saturday, and were joined on Sunday after Melbourne’s big win, 45-13 over the Sydney Stars.
In the other games, University of Canberra opened their account with a win over the Greater Sydney Rams on Thursday, while in Perth on Sunday, the home side were run down by the still undefeated Brisbane City, 26-21.
The interesting observation about the NRC, now that we’ve seen two full rounds, is that while fitness needs to be good to last the distance with the increased tempo, the games are still very much won and lost on the back of a forwards platform. The scoreline might look like this is touch football at times, but it’s nothing like that in reality.
Two nomads will rejoin Queensland rugby from next year: Karmichael Hunt (left) via the Gold Coast Suns AFL side, and James O’Connor from London Irish via Toulon…
ABC Grandstand Digital: Even with The Rugby Championship on a bye weekend, there’s still plenty of rugby news to talk about with Francis Leach on Grandstand Breakfast. More specifically, the news overnight that the Queensland Reds confirmed two of the worst-kept secrets in Australian rugby – that Karmichael Hunt and James O’Connor would be joining them for the next two seasons…
Despite the 55-34 scoreline, the Melbourne-North Harbour game was still a very good forwards battle. Love the Rays’ harlequin strip, too. Image: ARU/Cam Inniss Photography
The Roar:The National Rugby Championship kicked off with some of a flood points and almost actual floods last weekend in Round 1, and with first blood going the way of Brisbane City, Perth Spirit, NSW Country Eagles, and Melbourne Rising.
There was some encouraging news in terms of attendances, too, with more than 8500 people getting out to the four games, two of which were played in less than ideal patron-enticing conditions.