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Thread: NRC Grand Final - Piggies v Eagles

  1. #31
    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Good to see Jono back.

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    I may be wrong...but I highly doubt it, because I'm an Alison
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    Great article from Brett McKay

    Pushing pianos key for Perth in final

    Piano players and piano pushers. That’s what the game of rugby boils down to when you talk to Perth Spirit skipper Heath Tessmann. And, that’s the blueprint for how the quiet achievers intend to get the job done against NSW Country in Tamworth on Saturday.

    “Being an old hooker, obviously for us it starts up front,” Tessmann begins, on how Perth will take down the Eagles in the Buildcorp NRC final.

    “I spoke after the game against the Rays, about piano pushers and piano players. We’re the piano pushers, and as long as we can get the instrument in the right spot for them, I think our backs can finish over the top of theirs. But it all starts up front.”

    It’s the perfect illustration of the no fuss way the Spirit have been going about their work during the competition. After Ian Prior last week endorsed the perception of Perth flying under the radar, Tessmann reminded me that he and I first spoke of this plan before a bright yellow NRC Gilbert was even kicked in 2016.

    “It’s like we said way back at the very first NRC media call, when we all got together over in Sydney, that we were going to be happy to walk quietly but carry a big stick, and do our work over here while everyone keeps hammering away and talking about the east coast sides, we’ll just keep working away.

    “We knew it would hold us in good stead for the season,” he said.

    Though it’s been widely written up as an upset, and I may have used the word myself, Perth’s 42-24 win over the Sydney Rays was super impressive in its planning and execution, and Tessmann said that it was indeed a pretty satisfied flight back to the west on Sunday night. Or about as satisfying as the back of a Jetstar economy cabin can get.

    “I think most of the front rowers, we spend most of our time annoying the crew down the back trying to stay up and stay moving,” Tessmann laughs.

    Perth came into the semi-finals in third place, and with a five-and-two record; their only losses incurred along the way coming at the hands of the Rays in Round 2, and NSW Country in Round 5. Already, the Spirit have squared the ledger against Sydney, and they’ll be hoping to do the same against the Eagles in the decider.

    So which of their wins along the way was the one where they really started believing they could give the NRC title a shake?

    “Obviously, the way we started in Round 1, getting a good win over the Rising was the perfect start for us, because you’re never too sure how teams are going to perform,” Tessmann said.

    “We had a lot of our guys had just come out of our Premier Grade competition over here playing in that game, and coming up against a pretty strong Rising team with a lot of Super Rugby guys. The way we stuck that game out [for the win], and then our next win too, against the Rams – I think it was two weeks later – against a very big pack to which we were giving away a lot of weight, that win gave us a lot of belief going forward.”

    By Round 4, Perth were putting some serious foundations down for the for the competition, and after their remarkable 66-36 win over Queensland Country – in which they basically didn’t see the ball for the first 30 minutes – they we looking strong with three wins and just the one loss. But around that period, the side also took some time for some introspection.

    “All the way the through we’ve been focussed on winning the competition, and the coaches have drilled that into us the whole way, about getting that balance between wanting to win the competition and getting some enjoyment out of it as well. They’ve managed the do that really well every training session,” Tessmann said.

    “About halfway through the season, we knew our backline had been performing really well, but in the pack we’d had a few poor performances, and we all just got together as a forward pack and had a bit of a chat about what we wanted to get out of the rest of the season.

    “I think that really helped re-focus us, to finish off the season well.”

    Tessmann’s own form since returning to duty after the missing the first few games while recovering from a groin injury has been superb, and he won the nod at hooker in the rugby.com.au Buildcorp NRC Team of the Year just this week. Throw in the final this weekend, and a new deal with the Western Force likely to be announced next week, and there’s a good reason why Tessmann seems to have a permanent smile.

    But there’s also a bit more behind the smile. There is a really good feeling brewing over in the west, and the form of the Spirit in the NRC, coupled with some really important player and coaching recruitment for the Force has everyone looking forward to pre-season and the 2017 season.

    “Yeah there is, with the year a lot of our fringe guys have had; with the young guys winning the World Club 10s in Mauritius, and hopefully us getting the job done on Saturday, it all bodes well for us next year,” Tessmann says.

    “The combinations we’ve been developing through the NRC as well, will be really important for the Force next season as well.


    “It’s made a lot easier by the guys like Luke Morahan and Dane Haylett-Petty, who came here as 23 or 24-year-olds, and who now at 26, 27, 28, they’re bridging that gap in the playing stocks and bringing the leadership of the group up too.

    “Ever since Dave [Wessels] was appointed… there probably was a little period where everyone felt like we were treading water while we were waiting for the coaching staff to be finalised, and now that it’s happened, Dave has really owned that, and with the young guys who we’ve signed. Everyone’s just looking forward to next year again.”

    The young signings do indeed bring a large element of excitement about 2017, with Brisbane City no.8 Isa Naisarani announced in recent weeks, former NSW Country and Queensland Reds lock Ben Matwijow secured a few months ago, local product Richard Hardwick just signing a new deal, and a host of talented young players like Sam Figg and Matt Philip heading west for the pre-season with the hope of landing a deal. Australian Sevens star Con Foley is also said to be taking up a pre-season opportunity.

    All the while, the focus on local talent in the west remains, and with Elite Junior Pathways coach Dwayne Nestor taking the helm of the Spirit this year, there’s a wonderful connection between the Junior Gold Cup youth development, the prodigious Future Force Program and now the Perth Spirit NRC program all ultimately feeding the Western Force. At a time when yet another argument about grassroots funding is breaking out on the east coast, it seems that RugbyWA is showing everyone the way forward.

    Which brings us right back to the final, and how the Spirit can take out their maiden Buildcorp NRC title this weekend in Tamworth against NSW Country. In Tessmann’s mind, it’s all very simple.

    “That’s been my theme for a few weeks now,” he says.

    “There’s two things we can’t avoid on the field, and that’s the set piece, and having to run into someone and win the contact. We can try and go around people, but sooner or later, you’re just going to have to knock someone out of the way.

    “If we can do that more consistently than the opposition, we go a long way toward winning the game.

    “It’s a weird shape, the NRC trophy, and I’ve heard you can’t drink out of it which is a bit disappointing, but winning it was the goal we set ourselves right at the beginning of the competition, and we’ve put ourselves in a position to hopefully have to deal with that problem on Saturday.”

    Catch the Buildcorp NRC grand final LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 2 at 7:45pm AEDT following the Bledisloe.

    http://www.rugby.com.au/news/2016/10...ssmann-profile

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  4. #34
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    Does anyone know who the officials will be for the NRC grand final?

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    Last edited by volvo; 20-10-16 at 17:25.

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    Good plug for the Future Force. Prodigious? Not quite yet. Gotta see how the next crop follows up this lot.

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    Or even worse-the Hoff!

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    Senior Player andrewg's Avatar
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    NSW Country Eagles vs Perth Spirit in Tamworth
    Referee: Nic Berry
    Assistant referees: William Houston, Rohan Hoffmann
    Television match official: George Ayoub

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    Hopefully nic can switch off the Hoff's bias through the mike.

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    C'mon the

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    PHIL WAUGH MEDAL TO BE AWARDED TO MAN OF MATCH IN BUILDCORP NRC GRAND FINAL

    Australian Rugby Union announced today a new annual medal which will be awarded to the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship Man of the Match, named after one of the game’s fiercest competitors.

    The Phil Waugh Medal, named after the 79-Test Wallaby and former NSW Waratahs captain, will be awarded to the player deemed the most outstanding performer each year in the Buildcorp NRC decider, beginning with Saturday’s clash between NSW Country Eagles and Perth Spirit in Tamworth.

    The former openside flanker, who played 136 Super Rugby matches for the NSW Waratahs and captained the Wallabies on three occasions in his 10-year Test career, will also form part of the judging panel to determine the Man of the Match alongside a member of the ARU executive team and FOX SPORTS commentary team.

    Waugh was on hand at today’s Buildcorp NRC Grand Final captains’ call with NSW Country Eagles captain Paddy Ryan and Perth Spirit captain Heath Tessman, and will hand the medal over to the inaugural winner in person at Saturday’s decider at Scully Park, Tamworth.

    Principal sponsors, Buildcorp, have also thrown their support behind the award. Buildcorp will present $1,000 to the 2016 winner of the Phil Waugh Medal.

    Phil Waugh said: “I’m honoured to have this medal named after me. The National Rugby Championship is showcasing some amazing rugby talent in this country, and this year we’ve seen it step up another level. The fitness and skill level of these players is creating some really exciting rugby, and I’m looking forward to watching the final.

    “Players who can embrace the pressure of a Grand Final and use it to propel them to greater heights deserve to be recognised, and this medal is a fantastic way to do this. The NSW Country Eagles and Perth Spirit both have some very talented players, and I’m looking forward to seeing who stands out on Saturday to be granted the Man of the Match title.”

    Tamworth-born NSW Country Eagles captain Paddy Ryan said: “We know Tamworth puts on a good show and the town is really fired up. I spent the last twenty-four hours up there to visit a few schools and do a bit of media and everyone’s pretty excited. I think it’s going to be a great night of rugby. It’s great to see such an important event in the rugby calendar go back to the bush, since country rugby is such a big stakeholder in NSW and Australian rugby.

    “Mum’s been cooking all week, we’ve got a feed on tonight at home so that’ll be great. You don’t change your routine in grand final week. Last time we were up there Mum put on a feed and we won by two points against the Rising so this week we’ll look to do something similar.”

    The Buildcorp NRC Grand Final kicks off at 7.40pm AEDT, at Scully Park in Tamworth where the NSW Country Eagles will host their first ever home Grand Final, led by born and bred Tamworth boy, Paddy Ryan. The Perth Spirit, who ended the regular season in third position, have hit peak form at right time of the season after an upset semi-final victory over the Sydney Rays last weekend. A star of the 2016 season for Perth Spirit, Jono Lance, will also be boosted by the support of his wider family, most of whom come from the Tamworth region.

    FOX SPORTS Channel 502 will broadcast the Grand Final from 7.40pm AEDT, immediately following the coverage of the Qantas Wallabies Bledisloe Cup match.

    This is from Brett McKay in a comment on the roar
    Can't find the information anywhere else but to tell the truth I haven't looked that hard.

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  12. #42
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    Would have been awesome if they had named it for Papworth...!

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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Would have been awesome if they had named it for Papworth...!
    I'm guessing Waugh didn't sign that letter, then. They rarely name trophies after Mungos anyway. Even if the do repent and return.

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    Last edited by shasta; 22-10-16 at 09:04.
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    Absolutely belting rain in Tamworth! Should be clear for the final !

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