Rams dampen Perth’s spirits
THE Perth Spirit has lost to the Greater Sydney Rams 44-34 in a high-scoring match in round three of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) in Adelaide.
The Rams led 10-0 at the 20minute mark before three consecutive tries to the Spirit’s Alec Hepburn, Zack Holmes and Dillyn Leyds saw them take a 21-10 lead into the halftime break.
The Rams were unstoppable in the second half however and extended their lead to 44-26 with four successive tries.
Spirit’s Al Rovira and flanker Kane Koteka were tireless throughout the match against a strong attacking Rams side.
Both sides had their opportunities in the first quarter of the match but the relentless defence as well as handling errors ensured the score remained 0-0 until the Rams’ Ben Volavola slotted a penalty goal to take it to 2-0.
The Rams extended their lead to 10-0 when they found Taqele Naiyarvaro, following a strong rolling maul for his first try of the day, with Volavola adding the extras.
Spirit prop Alec Hepburn crossed for his maiden NRC try, with consistent pressure on the Rams defence enabling him to break through and dive over under the posts.
Captain Ian Prior added the extras to narrow the gap to two points before he combined with flyhalf Zack Holmes to take a 16-10 lead. As the half-time siren sounded, the Spirit extended their lead to 2110 when they moved the ball from sideline to sideline from the back of a lineout, to send fullback Dillyn Leyds over for his fourth try of the competition.
Perth Spirit continued to fight and with just a few minutes on the clock, the WA side took the lineout 5m from the Rams line and sent it across field to Va’a Mailei, taking advantage of the overlap to go over uncontested.
The Spirit had possession within the opposition 22 but when the Rams turned it over that was the end of the match.