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

#NRC2016 – Izack Rodda makes his mark

Brace for impact: young Queensland Country lock Izack Rodda has looked at home in this year's NRC. Image: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

Brace for impact: young Queensland Country lock Izack Rodda has looked at home in this year’s NRC. Image: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

rugby.com.au: Much was made of Rob Simmons coming back from the national squad to play in Queensland Country’s first two matches of this season’s Buildcorp NRC. Indeed, Simmons himself made a Wallabies comeback out of it, on the back his performances.

But while Simmons did enough to win a Test recall, plenty of heads were being turned by the performance of the impressive young lock packing down next to him. Who was this broad-chested kid with an incredible workrate, just ripping into everything and everyone?

Well, he’s Izack Rodda, a two-metre-tall strapping young lad from Evans Head, just south of Ballina on the NSW north coast, and I had a really enjoyable chat with the 20-year-old this week…

NRC Round 4 review – the cream has risen to the top

Bursting clear: NSW Country are now four points ahead of the chasing pack. Image: NSW Country Eagles

Bursting clear: NSW Country are now four points ahead of the chasing pack. Image: NSW Country Eagles

rugby.com.au: The completion of Round 4 of the National Rugby Championship means we’re now past the halfway point in the competition’s home and away rounds, and with the weekend’s result, we’re starting to get a clearer picture on who the semi-finalists might be.