NRC Canberra Vikings vs Melbourne Rising Live Stream 2015 Free Online Australia Rugby Championship Semi-Final Online Free. Canberra Vikings vs Melbourne Rising match will be kick off at Viking Park, Canberra, Australia, Friday 23 October 2015 Online, Time 18:30 (AEDT) NRC Canberra Vikings vs Melbourne Rising Live Streaming and its broadcast On Fox Sports.
The Vikings began with high expectations given the quality of their playing squad. Doubts remained on their ability to deliver considering similar expectations in 2014 and disappointing results. Prior to this season’s kick-off, captain Jarrad Butler enthused about the work the organisation had put in to changing the team’s culture, or at least establishing a new one.
The results are there for all to see as the Vikings stormed all before them (except for Minor Premiers Brisbane City) and produced high intensity attacking rugby that rarely gave the opposition any reprieve. Their success has been built on the back of an excellent tight five with big Allan Alaalatoa anchoring the scrum from loose head prop. Throw in a Wallaby at tight head prop and two in form Super Rugby locks and it is arguably the premier tight five of the competition. Jordan Smiler will sit out this week due to an illness in the family, but with Butler and the damaging Ita Vaea still in the backrow the Melbourne pack know they have a challenge ahead of them.
The Rising were the competition front runners last year not dropping a preliminary game before their shock finals exit. They have not managed to play at the same level as they did last year and were reliant on a last game win over the Sydney Stars to secure their finals spot. Big losses around the scrum (Paul Alo-Emile and Tom Sexton) and attacking impact out wide (Sefanaia Naivalu and Telusa Veainu) seems to have hit them hard this year.
There’s still quality in this side, despite set back injury losses to Luke Jones and Dom Shipperley. Interestingly the Rising have opted to name big Steve Cummins at blindside for Jones keeping Lopeti Timani at lock. This may be a big furphy however and it wouldn’t surprise to see Lopeti packing down on the side of the scrum. Timani will need to be at his physical best to upset the Vikings pack and halt any momentum they attempt to build. Likewise the workhorse Colby Fainga’a has been brilliant for his team and his effectiveness at the ruck will be crucial.
Further wide there’s attacking opportunities for both sides through the likes of Taliauli and Ah-Wong for the Vikings and Placid and Tuipulotu for the Rising. There’s plenty of solid performers for both sides in the backline and the Viking combinations have run up some big scores this year, however in these types of matches it can often be that game breaking moment that creates a turning point, and these players are the ones that can create it.
Whilst Jono Lance finished the NRC as the official Player of the Year using the votes provided after each match by the coaches and a GAGR representatives, the GAGR votes alone gave the award to Ita Vaea. After a wonderful comeback year for the Brumbies, and a spell with the Wallaby training squad, Vaea has ramped it up a notch for the Vikings and has proved a thorn in the side of most team’s he’s played with bullocking runs and powerful defence.
Opposing him this weekend is probably the form Rising player all year, and their captain, Colby Fainga’a. Also leapfrogging from an impressive Super Rugby season, Fainga’a has been able to continue his form into the NRC whereby he has worked tirelessly for an at times out of touch Melbourne unit. Colby has worked hard in defence and on the ball and his ability to produce a big play could be telling on Friday night.
This time last year Christian Lealiifano was running around in the Wallaby team in the UK whilst there are some pundits that believe that this time next year Jack Debreczeni could well be doing the same. Come Friday night, however, the two young flyhalves will be central to everything their respective teams attempt to secure victory. Lealiifano’s game time has been managed this NRC to keep him fresh and allow him the opportunity to play for the Barbarians a month or so ago. But every time he has returned to the Vikings side he has done so seamlessly and provided the polish on an already impressive product, dishing up pinpoint passes and kicks for his outside men.
Debreczeni has a game with a bit more razzle dazzle than Christian and the Rising have depended on it more with no Naivalu nor Veainu out wide. Whilst he has the running game to challenge the line, his boot and pass have such distance them that it makes him a unique challenge for any opposition to put a cap on.
The two teams faced off earlier this year in a Round 7 Friday night encounter at Viking Park with the home team running away by the tune of 42-16. The Rising had their chances however but discipline let them down with three yellow cards giving the Vikings a handy leg up. A period late in the 2nd half when they were down to 13 men was enough for Frankie Fainifo to scoot over for two tries and seal the deal for Canberra. The match will also be remembered for a brilliant solo try by Aidan Toua, arguably the try of the season.
Canberra Vikings: 1. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Robbie Abel, 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Blake Enever, 6. Dean Oakman-Hunt, 7. Jarrad Butler (c), 8. Ita Vaea, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Lausii Taliauli, 12. Rodney Iona, 13. Nigel Ah Wong, 14. James Dargaville, 15. Isaac Thompson.
Reserves: 16. Albert Anae, 17.Sione Taula, 18. Tyrel Lomax, 19. Michael Oakman-Hunt, 20. Rowan Perry, 21. Brent Hamlin, 22. Mitch Third, 23. Francis Fainifo.
Melbourne Rising: 1. Cruze Ah-Nau, 2. Pat Leafa, 3. Duncan Chubb, 4. Sam Jeffries, 5. Lopeti Timani, 6. Steve Cummins, 7. Jordy Reid, 8. Colby Fainga’a (c), 9. Ben Meehan, 10. Jack Debreczeni, 11. Filipe Vilitati, 12. Lloyd Johansson, 13. Sione Tuipulotu, 14. Stacey Ili, 15. Jonah Placid.
Reserves: 16. Mitch Andrews, 17. Mike Tyler, 18. Tom Moloney, 19. Murray Douglas, 20. Pom Simona, 21. Maradona Farao, 22. Taiso Silafai-Leaana, 23. Justin Marsters.
Referee: Will Houston.