Matt Lucas: “Everyone knows they have to light up and click into gear”

Sydney Rays scrumhalf and captain Matt Lucas in action this season. Image: Sydney Rays Media Unit

Sydney Rays scrumhalf and captain Matt Lucas in action this season. Image: Sydney Rays Media Unit

rugby.com.au: The Sydney Rays look primed for a maiden National Rugby Championship finals series, but Matt Lucas says his side will keep the focus on just the week ahead, despite the obvious carrot dangling in front of them.

“At the start of the season we came together as a group, and we obviously said we wanted to win the thing,” Lucas told me this week.

“But being a short season, it’s a sprint, so you really can’t afford to be off the ball for any period of time, otherwise you find yourself out of the loop really quickly.

Five NRC names for your notebook

Remember these names: Perth Spirit tighthead Shambeckler Vui; Brisbane City no.8 Isireli Naisarani; NSW Country Eagles scrumhalf Jake Gordon; Queensland Country flyhalf Mack Mason, and Sydney Rays centre Irae Simone

Remember these names: Perth Spirit tighthead Shambeckler Vui; Brisbane City no.8 Isireli Naisarani; NSW Country Eagles scrumhalf Jake Gordon; Queensland Country flyhalf Mack Mason, and Sydney Rays centre Irae Simone

The Roar: We’re two rounds out from the 2016 National Rugby Championship semi-finals, and things are certainly hotting up among the teams in contention for the top four.

And like the previous two seasons, once again the talent has shone through. You could quite easily work your way through 1 to 15 and come up with several names for each position. I’m not going to do that today, but here are five names worth remembering for the future…

NRC Round 5 review – semi-final race tightens

Getting tight: seven of the remaining eight NRC games can have a bearing on the finals. Image: Sydney Rays

Getting tight: seven of the remaining eight NRC games can have a bearing on the finals. Image: Sydney Rays

rugby.com.au: With just two rounds left to play in the National Rugby Championship, the run home to the finals series is starting to hot up. And after the weekend’s results, the only certainty is that we’re in for more surprises as top four contenders play each other over the remaining eight games.

NRC Round 5 – the Saturday wrap

NSW Country Eagles scrumhalf Jake Gordon crosses for his third try v Perth. Image: AJF Photography

NSW Country Eagles scrumhalf Jake Gordon crosses for his third try v Perth. Image: AJF Photography

rugby.com.au: Two thoroughly entertaining games at Concord Oval produced 22 tries, with NSW Country beating Perth Spirit 40-24, and the Western Sydney Rams getting up waaaaaay after the bell to topple Queensland Country 50-46.

And it was a massive thumbs up for the Concord double-header