Round 3 of the inaugural National Rugby Championships continues on Saturday, as the PCS Rams travel to Adelaide searching for their first win of the season, while the Perth Spirit look to get back on track.
After the amazing form of the foundational Rams Shute Shield teams; Eastwood and Southern districts, the Rams have struggled to compete in the National Rugby Championship, due to a lack of preparation and training. The Rams are starting with their third halves pairing in as many games with ex-Force and Brumbies squad member Mark Swanepoel starting at no.9 and Waratahs squad member Ben Volavola at no.10. The Rams showed vast improvements in the second hit out, implementing their defensive and attacking structure against a strong Canberra Vikings squad.
Previous Results: L, L
The Perth Spirit started their campaign strongly, edging the Vikings in a close game (28-23) in Canberra before losing in another tight match against Brisbane City (26-21) last week. They will enter this saturdays game with a fresh faced starting 15 when compared with last weeks loss to City, blooding four debutants. This is likely to present themselves with some challenges, however the largest loss will be felt around the rucks and mauls, with Matt Hodgson receiving a call up to the Wallabies off the back of some great performances.
Previous Results: W, L
Players to keep an eye out for:
Greater Sydney Rams– Ex-Australia under 20’s player and Waratahs squad member Jed Holloway will be the one to watch from the Rams. He showed streaks of brilliance running in a 50m intercept try last week, along with strength around the paddock. I haven’t heard it being mentioned anywhere else but his style of play reminds me of a young Kieran Read, he is continually developing and he has shown the leadership to bring the boys together when it is needed.
Perth Spirit– Zack Holmes is my one to watch from the Spirit, he has represented two clubs at Super Rugby level, playing 20 odd games. With one year left on his super rugby contract for the Force and only starting a few games this season, he will be using this NRC to launch his bid for a starting role over Sias Ebersohn.
Rams: (1-15) Benn ROBINSON, Hugh ROACH, Guy MILLAR, Jared BARRY, Dylan SIGG, Steve MAFI, Hugh PERRETT, Jed HOLLOWAY (Captain), Mark SWANEPOEL, Ben VOLAVOLA, Taqele NAIYARAVARO, Henry TAEFU, Michael McDOUGALL, Jerome McKENZIE, Dane CHISHOLM
Reserves: Maile NGAUAMO, Jed GILLESPIE, Dave LOLOHEA, Michale KOVAVCIC, Pat SIO, Vasa FALAELII, Jai AYOUB, Lalakai FOKETI
Perth Spirit: (1-15): Alec HEPBUR (Cottesloe), Robbie ABEL (Cottesloe), Oliver HOSKINS (Cottesloe), Corey THOMAS (UWA), Kieran STRINGER (Cottesloe), Brent MURPHY (Perth Bayswater), Kane KOTEKA (Wests Scarborough), Alex ROVIRA (Associates), Ian PRIOR (c) (Nedlands), Zack HOLMES (Associates), Vili FIELEA (Cottesloe), Luke BURTON (UWA), Ammon MATUAUTO (Associates), Brad LACEY (Wests Scarborough), Dillyn LEYDS (Palmyra)
Reserves: Harry SCOBLE (UWA), Joe SAVAGE (Palmyra), Chris HEIBERG (Perth Bayswater), Rory WALTON (Wests Scarborough), Richard HARDWICK (UWA), Justin TURNER (Associates), Davis TAVITA (Nedlands), Va’a MAILEI (Palmyra)
Match Odds: (Sportsbet.com.au) as of 10am Saturday
Rams $3.30, Spirit $1.33
With only a few options available for betting, our bets are limited for todays game.
Safe Bet: Rams with a (+8.5) head start $1.90 (SUCCESSFUL)
Risky Bet: Rams for the straight win $3.30 (SUCCESSFUL)
Dropped on your head as a baby bet: No other bets are available, however Henry TAEFU first try scorer could be one to watch out for. (UNSUCCESSFUL)
Rams to use to underdog tag to sneak away with a 5 point win. (Rams won by 10)
Written by Nelson Dale