The Perth Spirit has gone down to Brisbane City in a tight contest at McGillivray Oval in Perth.
The NRC has truly proven to be exactly what Australian rugby union needs and it absolutely has to stay.
The standout Premier grade performers of the match were Dillyn Leyds, a flyhalf from Palmyra and Ross Haylett-Penny before he came off the field injured quite early in the game.
The Western Force standouts included Sam Wykes, Dane Haylett-Penny, Marcel Brache and Junior Rasolea who was the best on ground for the Spirit.
Kyle Godwin was back at full strength after returning from his shoulder injury, and was able to play way above the level of competition in the NRC and has proven he is ready to play for the Wallabies.
After the match, captain Sam Wykes said it was hard to come back to rugby after not having played for a while, but that wasn’t an excuse.
“The second half was flat from both sides, it’s been a while since we’ve played so for a few of us our lungs were hurting, I know I was, but it’s not an excuse, we’ll just get better next week,” he said.
“With the law variations, we thought we were on the right side of it and obviously we weren’t, but we’ll move on for next weeks, the boys will stay positive.
“We’re just going to build for next week, you know, this competitions great for players to step up and get a taste.
“It’s not quite super level, but its defiantly there, the speeds right up there and it’ll just get better and better.”
Dillyn Leyds from Palmyra had a brilliant offensive performance and now become known to the wider rugby, which is really what the NRC is all about.
This is the same case for Cottesloe Number 8 Ross Haylett-Penny, who had a breakout performance before he was injured in a crunching hit.
The Spirit as a squad played extremely well with the crowd behind them, but was flat at times and the Brisbane City side knew how to capitalise.
When the crowd got behind the team they played with a sense of urgency, and looked like a group that really wanted to bring home a win for the fans.
Perth’s backs were able to break the line a number of times, with Kyle Godwin leading the charge, but almost every attempt was broken up by a handling error or a turnover.
All in all and results aside it was great to see the breakthrough of some of the premier grade players, and the competition is exactly what Australian Rugby Union needs.
Perth Spirit 21 (Dillyn Leyds 2; Heath Tessmann tries; Dillyn Leyds 2 conversions) defeated by Brisbane City 26 (Pettowa Paraka 2; Chris Kuridrani, Junior Laloifi tries; Jake McIntyre 2 conversions) – Sourced from Westernforce.com.au