McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City have recorded a stunning 77-26 win over the North Harbour Rays at Manly’s Brookvale Oval on Thursday night.
The dominant performance, which was televised on Fox Sports, saw them wrack up 10 tries to four to secure their first bonus-point win of the competition and push their points differential back into positive figures with one round left in the regular season.
Brisbane City scored tries through Matt Feaunati, Michael Gunn (2), Adam Korczyk, Samu Kerevi, Andrew Ready, Jack Mullins, Curtis Browning, Phil Kite and Toby White. Quade Cooper had a near-perfect night with the boot, kicking nine conversions in just his third game back from injury.
The Rays scored tries through Sam Ward, Greg Peterson, Harry Bergelin and Malietoa Hingano. Harry Jones and Hamish Angus kicked one conversion each.
Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles said he was proud of the performance from the team.
“I was really impressed with the way we fronted up physically tonight,” Stiles said.
“We were outmuscled last week and I challenged our players to come tonight and play a game they could be proud of. They can certainly be proud of their efforts tonight.
“They worked bloody hard at training this week and they physically bashed each other, which gave them a really ruthless mindset heading into this game.
“The forwards set a platform and our backs took advantage of the extra time and space they created. It’s a pleasing sign as we head into the final round of the regular season.”
City dominated the contest from the outside with a superior physicality up front setting the platform for their dangerous backs to run riot.
City fullback Feaunati scored the first try four minutes into the match, getting a short ball from Cooper before stepping his way over the line. Cooper added the extras and City led 8-0.
The next three tries for City were the forwards doing, with the first the pick of the bunch as flanker Michael Gunn received an inside ball from Nick Frisby 20 metres out before stepping two defenders and running in under the posts.
Gunn then set up the next try off another break before offloading to back row teammate Korczyk who ran over the Rays’ fullback for the try.
Adding to his already impressive performance, Gunn scored his second try and the fourth for City in the 33rd minute when he charged down Rays’ scrumhalf Josh Holmes’ kick, regathered it with a catch that would rival an Australian cricketer and crossed the white line.
Cooper kicked all three conversions and City led 32-0 late in the first half.
The Rays had the final say in the first half with a try to Ward off some poor City defence. Jones kicked the conversion and City led 32-8 at half time.
The second half was another dominant 40 minutes from City, with six tries ran in as the Rays tired from the fluent nature of the contest.
Again City scored four minutes into the stanza with Kerevi receiving an inside ball from Cooper and notching his fourth try of the competition. Cooper kicked the conversion and City led 40-8.
They extended their lead 10 minutes later with a try for the purists as City set a rolling maul from a five-metre lineout and set up multiple pick and drives before hooker Ready forced his way over. Cooper missed the conversion and City led 45-8.
The Rays found a second wind midway through the second half and pulled together two tries first to their captain, Petersen, then Bergelin to trail 45-21.
The final 20 minutes of the match belonged to City, as they scored a further four tries as the game opened up.
Replacement centre Mullins scored the first of the final tries following a quick tap from City scrumhalf Nick Frisby inside the Rays’ 22, before throwing a perfect flat pass to his teammate.
A forwards’ try followed, as Browning scored from close range to further his side’s lead in just his second game back.
The forwards were in form again as replacement prop Pettowa Paraka found space inside the Rays’ 22 before throwing a deft cutout pass to front row teammate Kite who waltzed in under the posts.
The final try of the match saw a loose ball snatched up by the ‘Harry Badger’ Harry Parker, who bolted down the wing before offloading to White who ran 40 metres to score.
Cooper converted the final four tries and City finished up 77-26 victors.
Brisbane City play the University of Canberra Vikings next Saturday, 18 October at Suncorp Stadium as the curtain raiser to the third Bledisloe Cup Test between the Wallabies and the All Blacks. The match will be televised live on Fox Sports.
Brisbane City 77 (Matt Feaunati, Michael Gunn (2), Adam Korczyk, Samu Kerevi, Andrew Ready, Jack Mullins, Curtis Browning, Phil Kite, Toby White tries; Quade Cooper 9 conversions) defeated North Harbour Rays 26 (Sam Ward, Greg Peterson, Harry Bergelin and Malietoa Hingano tries. Harry Jones 1, Hamish Angus 1 conversion) at Brookvale Oval, Sydney.