Canberra Vikings vs Perth Spirit: NRC semi-final highlights, live scores, blog

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    Match result:

    The Canberra Vikings have secured a spot in the NRC Grand Final with a five-point win over the Perth Spirit.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    Canberra Vikings 40
    Perth Spirit 35

    Match preview:

    It’s semi-final one when minor premiers the Canberra Vikings host the fourth-placed Perth Spirit in the nation’s capital on Saturday night. Join The Roar for a live blog from 7pm AEDT.

    The Perth Spirit will consider themselves lucky to be playing finals football. When down by more than 20 points last week against Queensland Country, they were 5th and out of contention.

    A stirring second half fightback and a kick after the siren to win, reminded everyone of their premiership credentials – it’s certainly a danger game for minor premiers Canberra.

    Indeed, the Canberra side has been boosted by the returns of Tom Banks and Wharenui Hawera. The fullback and flyhallf will add some serious potency in attack, and will look to continue their red-hot NRC form come kick off.

    For the Spirit, Isi Naisarani is a big-in at number 8, whilst the back three of Brendan Owen, Marcel Brache and Nick Jooste are hitting their straps at the right time.

    This will be an intriguing fixture.

    Where the game will be won
    In the forward pack. Both sides have big, damaging ball carriers in the form of Richie Arnold, Isi Naisarani and Rob Valetini, but I feel that the Vikings are a little more effective at the breakdown and in the contest.

    Their captain and openside flanker, Tom Cusack, has been a revelation this season, and will look to be a pest over the ball for the entire match. If Canberra control the breakdown, they progress to the big dance.

    The odds prove how close this fixture is to call. The Spirit have been buoyed by a few returning players, but the Vikings have been the model of consistency in season 2017. They’ll win this one in a close contest.

    Vikings by 12.

    Join The Roar for live scores of the match, starting from 7pm AEDT.

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    The Crowd Says (84)

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    • 4:02pm
      Eric Smith said | 4:02pm | ! Report

      EGC, Twiggy will rescue us from the mud, 2018 is a write off, maybe that’s enough time to get the bad taste out of our mouths and actually start caring about the state of the Game in a National sense.

    • 10:52am
      EGC said | 10:52am | ! Report

      And so endenth my involvement in Rugby. There may be a local game or two left in me, but 2017 has just left such a bad taste in my mouth.

      There are major benefits to all of this. I now have less need for a Fox subscription (to be cancelled now that the NRC has ended) as I can see all the sports I want by other means, including paying to see them live. It also means that I will have time to turn my attention more fully to other sports and, you never know, I may even start to give a toss about League (actually, I doubt that).

      So goodbye Rugby. Goodbye to the Swamp Wallabies and the Eastern Australia Rugby Union. Thank you for the memories, and as a reflection of the loyalty you have shown me, I just want to affirm that I really really really couldn’t give a toss about your future until you actually become a truly National sport once again.

    • Roar Rookie

      Paulo said | 9:31am | ! Report

      That was a great game, down to the wire!

    • 7:43am
      Tim Rogers said | 7:43am | ! Report

      So now the season is over and WA have fought on bravely through near on rugby genocide in the west. To be dismantled so brutally and with little compassion from those at rugby head quarters is like a knife driven into the heart. 12years I’ve dedicated myself to watching every game at home as well as some away buying tickets to fly east. I as a fan feel discriminated against because of where I live.

      I can’t just hop in a car and drive to a super rugby game which I was investing $450 approx a year to sit in my seat and watch my team win lose or draw. Buy the program which was $5, enjoy the company of fellow fans and even the friendly niggle and banter with the opposition. To see a game now I’d have to sit in front of an idiot box to watch a team who does not represent me in any form.

      Some and not all I am aware will tell me to suck it up, but to those you have not lost your team, your thrill of getting kitted up as a supporter and joining others as we march to the gates with the anticipation that maybe we will win this one, knowing our team will give their all in their attempt to do so!

      I hope the IPRC does come to something because without it I will invest my hard earned else where AFL is not far away here and I grew up on it -I’ve never hated it. It never abandoned me like Union has the 1991 wc inspired me to love the game yet some men in shirts and suit pants make me loathe the direction they have taken the sport. They have no idea the hurt and overall distrust we have for them.

      • 3:46pm
        republican said | 3:46pm | ! Report

        ………well now you know how its feels to be a Canberran since we are expedient in respect of all sporting codes including those where the pedigree is significant i.e. Union.
        There was little compassion coming out of the west or anywhere else for that matter, with calls to relocate the Brumbies since the inception of the club, on the contrary, this was actually being encouraged by many in Perth.
        It was the ACTRU that supported the Force from day dot despite the poaching of our players and Qld’s to create the illusion of a Union DNA in the west, so while I empathise with your pain I also believe there to be some poetic justice in this as well………

    • 9:31pm
      andrewM said | 9:31pm | ! Report

      Thanks guys. Another great game all round

    • Roar Guru

      ThugbyFan said | 9:07pm | ! Report

      What a game! Both teams should be applauded for no-holds tough rugby. Both forward packs belted each other and pretty much scored a draw, the difference being my MotM Rob Valetini. I guess if R.Arnold had scored that 4th try, he may have got all the accolades The Vikings speed in the backline stole two tries at the end to win the match. Whoever takes on Vikings in next week’s Final will have to play out of their skins next week to have any chance.

      Perth Spirit came back from 27 points down against Queensland Country last week and won on the bell and today they almost stole the biscuits again with a late burst. The really sad thing is what Ritchie Arnold is saying post match, with no Force next year then the Spirit have been gutted of most of their top players who will turn out for the Rising or Vikings next year.

      Lastly, many thanks to Nick who has done a great job in the blog. Hope he runs off and sips a quality beer for his efforts. 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      Nick Kelland said | 8:52pm | ! Report

    • Roar Guru

      Nick Kelland said | 8:51pm | ! Report

      FULL TIME!!

      Match Result: The Canberra Vikings have booked their place in the 2017 NRC Grand Final with a thrilling 40-35 win over the Perth Spirit at Viking Park.

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