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Brisbane City Chasing Perfection

The final of Australia’s National Rugby Championship will this weekend act as a curtain raiser for the biggest game in world rugby, the Rugby World Cup Final. With the Wallabies in action against the All Blacks the focus of union fans in Australia will first be on the iconic Ballymore Oval in Brisbane as last week’s semi-final victors the UC Vikings and Brisbane City face off. An epic weekend of rugby lays ahead for Australia.

UC Vikings booked their place in the final in a high scoring game against the Melbourne Rising, 50-34, thanks in no small part to a man of the match performance from Wallaby cast off, Christian Leali’ifano. After failing to make the World Cup squad one could expect a dip in performance but he has answered his critics and firmly shown his hand to fight back into the Wallabies squad throughout the NRC season. A free flowing contest saw the lead change hands on several occasions with UC eventually putting the Rising to the sword outscoring them by seven tries to five alongside an impeccable kicking display from Leali’ifano.

In the weekends other semi-final Brisbane City continued their impressive 100% record in the NRC with victory over the Sydney Stars. It was not, however, the easy ride that many would have predicted as the Stars set out to spoil Brisbane City achieving the perfect season. As with any stage of knockout rugby there is the chance that anything could happen and many would not have believed it to see the Sydney Stars in the lead after an impressive opening half. The dream of the Sydneysiders was not to be though, as Brisbane showed their class in the final stages of the match eventually running out 47-32 victors.

The final then will see Brisbane City chasing perfection, as the perfect season lays ahead for them if they can overcome the UC Vikings. Home ground advantage will be huge and will no doubt have increased the already daunting task for the Vikings. The last time the two sides met the Vikings came within inches of an incredible turnaround victory after trailing 24-5 at half time they ended the match losing by only six points. This is the closest that any side has come to beating Brisbane. A wealth of Super Rugby experience throughout the UC Vikings team means that they will not allow Brisbane City to simply walk their way to perfection and the title.

The task of repelling all that experience lies with Brisbane City’s talismanic captain, Liam Gill. Throughout the tournament he has led from the front and will be needed to be at his best again in the final. Surrounding him and out the back are the firepower players who have helped Brisbane dominate the NRC. The competitions leading point scorer, Jake McIntyre will hoping to match his opposite number Leali’ifano and Brisbane fans will be hoping that the try scoring exploits of Junior Laloifi (14) and Samu Kerevi (8) will continue and lead their side to victory.

No matter the outcome of this game rugby fans across Australia will unite to cheer on the Wallabies against the All Blacks but before that it will be mate against mate. With Brisbane City chasing perfection and the UC Vikings out to spoil their party at Ballymore it is shaping up to be a monumental weekend of rugby in Australia that will potentially give the sport a much needed positive boost.

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