The National Rugby Championship: Week 2 Preview

Australia’s domestic rugby product enters its second round this week and we’ve got you covered with our full preview.

The NRC – or National Rugby Championship – got off to a blistering start last week with all four of the opening round fixtures seeing combined total scores in excess of 75 points. And while it must be remembered that converted tries are worth eight points in this competition – tries equate to six points while the conversion is still worth two – last week’s high score lines still illustrate that this competition is all about attack rather than defence. So don’t be surprised to see a few monstrous scorelines again this weekend.

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Queensland County v Brisbane City | Saturday 9 September | 05:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Queensland 5/4 | Draw 21/1 | Brisbane 13/20

We kick things off with a Queensland Derby this week with Queensland County taking on Brisbane City. Both sides contain a few household names with Reds' flyers Eto Nambuli and Izaia Perese starting on the wings for the hosts, while Wallabies Radike Samo and Chris Kuridraini will provide the muscle for the visitors.

These two sides experienced contrasting fortunes in the opening round with Brisbane beating impressive new boys the Fijian Drua and Queensland going down 48-40 to the Canberra Vikings.

Verdict: Queensland 5/4
Both sides are pretty evenly matched on paper but I think homeground advantage will be the difference here. A small strike on the hosts is my play for this one.

Melbourne Rising v Fijian Drua | Saturday 9 September | 07:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Melbourne 2/13 | Draw 28/1 | Drua 17/4

The Drua impressed during their opening round fixture against Brisbane and had it not been for ill-discipline they may have ended up on the other side of the 45-36 score line. Speaking of Fijian ill-discipline, the visitors will be without the services of hooker Samu Suguturuga who copped a 20-match ban for a bite on Brisbane hooker, Andrew Reedy.

Like the Fijians, Melbourne got their campaign off with a loss as they went down 45-33 to defending champions, the Perth Spirit.

Verdict: Drua 17/4
My money is on the away side here, Drua really impressed me last week and I think they’re going to shock a lot of sides this season. I’m going to have a R50 strike on the away win – I would have gone for a much heftier sum but you just can’t bet that sort of money on a side who’s discipline record is so poor.

Canberra Vikings v Perth Spirit | Sunday 10 September | 05:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Canberra 13/10 | Draw 19/1 | Perth 13/20

Canberra will be looking to build on their 48-40 victory over Queensland when they take on reigning champions, Perth Spirit. The visitors showed their class last week as they beat the Melbourne Rising 45-33.

Verdict: Perth Spirit 13/20
It’s a big weekend for Western Australian rugby with a mass protest set to occur in Perth for the Wallabies versus Springboks game. While that protest will remind the ARU that they have made a grave mistake axing the Western Force, I think the Perth Spirit will send an even bigger reminder to Australia rugby bosses on the field this Sunday.

Sydney Rays v Greater Sydney Rams | Sunday 10 September | 07:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Rays 27/20 | Draw 20/1 | Rams 6/10

So we started with a derby game and we’ll end with a derby game as the Sydney Rays and Greater Sydney Rams close out the Round 2 NRC action on Sunday morning. The hosts come into this one off the back of an opening weekend bye while the visitors make the trip having convincingly beaten the New South Wales Country Eagles 44-23.

While you wouldn’t call either of these sides star-studded, they do have a few quality player among their ranks with Ray’s fullback Josh Turner being one to keep an eye on. On the Rams side of things, former Australian Under 20 and current Rams flyhalf, Mack Mason, is capable of the audacious if given enough time and space.

Verdict: Rams 6/10
I’m on the away side here, they’ve already had some game time and will be more up to speed than their opponents.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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