Perth Spirit, NSW Coun­try fi­nal

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

Syd­ney: Perth Spirit will play in their sec­ond Build­corp Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship Fi­nal, af­ter their break­down and set piece dom­i­nated the Syd­ney Rays at Pittwa­ter Park in Syd­ney.

The 42-24 win will see Perth fac­ing off with NSW Coun­try in next week­end’s de­cider in Tam­worth.

The Spirit’s set piece net­ted two tries from li­ne­out drives, while their break­down pres­sure was im­mense for the whole game.

It was all Perth Spirit in the open­ing ex­changes, but the Rays scored the first try through hooker Damien Fitzpatrick af­ter they went the length of the field in the 8th minute. Harry Jones then made a line break and looked cer­tain to score for the home side a few min­utes later, only to be brought down with an an­kle tap. But he wasn’t held and was able to barge over with his sec­ond ef­fort. Matt Lu­cas used the breeze nicely from out wide, and the Rays were sud­denly up 16-0 af­ter 11 min­utes. Perth needed to score next, and they did af­ter some nice work to get into the Rays’ 22m, send­ing Semisi Masirewa over in the cor­ner to make it 16-6. Mar­cel Brache then scored again for Perth, run­ning a great line off cen­tre Billy Meakes to score next to the posts. Ian Prior’s con­ver­sion made it a two-point ball game.

Prior ex­tended that lead straight af­ter the break, too, win the chase to his own lit­tle chip kick ahead and scor­ing next to the posts. His con­ver­sion made it 28-16, the per­fect start to the sec­ond half. Both sides ended up with play­ers in the sin bin around the 50th minute, with Perth first los­ing cen­tre Bill Meakes for a de­lib­er­ate knock down, and then the Rays lost flanker Jack Dempsey for throw­ing the ball away. NRC

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