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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
The Greater Sydney Rams have made a bold statement to the NRC competition this season after defeating 2016 Grand Finalists NSW Country Eagles in the first local NRC derby of the year at TG Millner Field.
Not only was it a successful day for the men but the girls also, with the Greater Sydney Rams taking down the women from NSW Country 49-7 in the opening round of the inaugural Chikarovski Cup.
Rams skipper and NSW Waratahs no.8 Jed Holloway couldn’t have been prouder of his side’s efforts in their season opener at home.
“The way the guys really ripped in… we were asleep for the first 15 (minutes) and our talent really shone through in that back 60,” said Holloway.
Holloway’s Rams and Waratahs teammate Hugh Roach made note of the Rams’ strong set piece against a gifted and familiarised Eagles forward pack.
“Our lineout ran really well considering we’ve got a lot of new calls and a lot of guys coming from Shute Shield learning our systems,” Roach said. “It was a little bit difficult at the start but we came together at the end and that really showed on the field. I think our percentages were really up there.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Rams, with NSW Country coming out of the sheds firing. A special mention to 2017 Ken Catchpole Winner Tayler Adams who put up 18 of his team’s points in 11 minutes prior to an injury-related substitution.
During Adams’ 18-point haul featuring two tries, two penalties and one conversion was the game’s momentum shift: an intercept try by Rams winger John Grant right on the Eagle’s line (ironically passed by Adams).
A Mack Mason penalty conversion laid the platform for a Katoni Ale try, another penalty conversion and a five-pointer for Marlins teammate, Denis Pili-Gaitau.
The NSW Country pivot closed the half with his second try for the afternoon, 27-18 the score line in favour of the home team.
A silky ball from Mack Mason was the catalyst for a dominating half of rugby from the Rams as lock Albert Tuisue found the chalk.
Building on a handful of threatening runs in the first half, winger Taqele Naiyaravoro barged his way over for a try of his own, while centre Kevin Fuavao also managed to put up points of his own.
The Eagles notched up a consolation try right at the death through Sydney University winger Christian Kagiassis, leaving the scores at 44-23 of the bonus point winners, Greater Sydney.
Need a visual re-cap of the match? Check out the match highlights on Tah TV!
NRC: Greater Sydney Rams 44 (Tries: J. Grant, K. Ale, D. Pili-Gaitau, A. Tuisue, T. Naiyaravoro, K. Fuavao; Cons: M. Mason 4; Pen Cons: Mason 2) defeated NSW Country Eagles 23 (Tries: T. Adams 2, C. Kagiassis; Cons: Adams; Pen Cons: Adams 2)
Chikarovski Cup: Greater Sydney Rams 49 defeated NSW Country Eagles 7
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