Perth Spirit vs Melbourne Rising: NRC live scores

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    Perth Spirit vs Melbourne Rising

    National Rugby Championship, 3 September, 2017

    McGillivray Oval
    Fulltime - Perth Spirit 45, Melbourne Rising 33
    Perth Spirit   Melbourne Rising
    45 FINAL SCORE 33
    7 TRIES 5
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Will Houston
    Touch judges: Justin Foster & Sam Jones

    Rugby in Western Australia is still alive as the Perth Spirit clash against Melbourne Rising in the NRC this afternoon. Join The Roar for live scores from 5pm AEST.

    It has been a tumultuous past few weeks for Rugby in Perth, with the Western Force being sacrificed by the ARU to better manage Australia’s Super Rugby woes.

    In the NRC however, WA still has a rugby team to support and it will be fascinating to see how the Spirit responds in a match that ironically pits them against a team from Melbourne – home of the Rebels Super Rugby outfit that avoided being cut at the expense of the Force.

    On paper, Perth will prove formidable opposition this season, with most of their starting side having played Super Rugby for the Force this season.

    Although Spirit head coach Kevin Foote does not have access to Wallabies lock Adam Coleman or winger Dane Haylett-Petty, the other Force Wallabies — Pek Cowan, Tetra Faulkner, Richard Hardwick and Curtis Rona, plus national training squad member Billy Meakes — will turn out at McGillivray Oval.

    Perth also possesses some exciting youngsters, with Australian under-20 loosehead prop Mees Erasmus to come off the bench, along with highly-regarded 19-year-old lock Ben Grant.

    The Melbourne Rising side, by contrast, is a mix of established Super Rugby players, including internationals James Hanson, Toby Smith and Lopeti Timani, mixed in with such up-and-comers as lock Esie Haangana and Rebels recruit Jack McGregor, who will partner Nic Stirzaker in the halves.

    With such a young lineup, hooker James Hanson’s international experience will certainly be welcome during the set piece as well as around the field in a youthful Melbourne pack.

    Hanson played just one game for the Rising in 2016, missing the remainder with Wallabies duties, but he is set to feature far more in the Rising’s 2017 campaign, in a tremendous boost for the side.

    If the Rising can find the defensive consistency they managed last year, and improve on a high-potential attack, there are no limits to this team’s potential.

    However, given the recent events surrounding the Force’s demise, Perth have plenty to play for in front of their home fans and should do enough to secure the win this afternoon.

    Spirit by 14

    Join The Roar for live scores from 5pm AEST.

    Alan is one of The Roar's longest serving live bloggers, covering football, tennis and rugby league.

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