The Macquarie University Sydney Rays rallied in the second half but it wasn’t enough to stop a return to form for Brisbane City in the NRC match at Pittwater Rugby Park on Sunday.
Brisbane City won 46-29 and pretty much took away any chance the Rays had of making the playoffs in 2017.
The Rays, however, outscored the visitors 19 points to 12 in the second half but the six tries they scored in the first 40 minutes was far too telling.
The home side got off to a good start and managed to convert some of that pressure into points when Rohan Saifoloi kicked off the scoring with a penalty goal.
But from that point on Brisbane City, being led around the park by Quade Cooper and a vigorous Karmichael Hunt, made the most of the possession and field possession that they enjoyed for much of the first 40 minutes.
The Rays demise started when City skipper and hooker Andrew Ready burrowed his way over from near the Rays line and then more five pointers followed quickly after that.
They came in the 13th, 22nd, 25th, 28th and 39th main sure that the result of this encounter was pretty much decided by the time Angus Gardner blew halftime.
There was some bright spots in that first half for the Rays with Josh Turner’s try an absolute peach.
It came about when the Rays spread the ball to the left edge for Irae Simone to take space with ball in hand and then deftly grubber the ball through for Turner to regather and score close to the posts.
The score at the break was 34-10 and for the Rays to get back into the contest they would have to score first and that’s exactly what happened.
That man Tom Connor, who would have to have been the Rays best on ground on Sunday, charged down and regathered a ball and put the home side in touch at 34-17.
But every time that the Rays were able to score City got the ball down the other end of the field and got points on the board.
There was a golden period when Damien Fitzpatrick and Rob Buaserau scored tries between the 56th and 61st minutes but City were always in control even though Kane Douglas was yellow carded for a high tackle in 65th minute.
Simone who had looked so good at outside centre in the first half had to come off in the second half after a knock on his shoulder but he is expected to be right in coming weeks.
USA Eagles hooker James Hilterbarnd started the match at hooker and had a robust first half with lots of big hits and numerous big carries.
Harry Burey was another who didn’t shy away from the hard work and matched up well against Karmichael Hunt in attack and defence.
Hugh Sinclair at No. 8 worked tirelessly throughout the 80 minutes and had an effect on the game throughout the afternoon.
HOW IT PANNED OUT
3min: PENALTY GOAL Rohan Saifoloi Rays 3-0
10min: TRY Andrew Ready, Quade Cooper conversions BC 7-3
13min: TRY Maaloga Konelio, B City 12-3
17min: TRY Josh Turner B City 12-10
22min: TRY Dylan Riley B City 17-10
25min: TRY Fidow, Cooper conversion B City 24-10
28min: TRY Ready B City 29-10
39min: TRY Dan Gorman try B City 34-10
HT: Brisbane City 34 Sydney Rays 10
41min: TRY Tom Connor, Saifoloi converts 34-17
44min: TRY Maile Ngauamo, Cooper converts B City 41-17
56min: TRY Rob Buaserau, Saifoloi converts B City 41-24
61min: TRY Damien Fitzpatrick B City 41-29
65min: YELLOW CARD Kane Douglas (BC)
79min: TRY Michael Gunn B City 46-29
FT: Brisbane City 46 Sydney Rays 29
Sydney Rays 29
Tries: Fitzpatrick, Buaserau Connor, Turner
Cons: Saifoloi 2, Simone
Pens: Saifoloi 1
Brisbane City 46
Tries: Gunn, Ngauamo, Gorman, Ready 2, Fidow, Riley, Konelio
Cons: Cooper 3
IMAGE KAREN WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY