A hat-trick of tries to St.George Queensland Reds Number 8 Jake Schatz has spearheaded a 34-26 upset win to McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City over the NSW Country Eagles at Oakes Oval in Lismore today.
Brisbane City scored five tries to four to hand the NSW Country Eagles their first lost in Round 4 of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.
City scored tries through Samu Kerevi, Schatz (3) and Lachie Turner, with three conversions to flyhalf Jake McIntyre.
NSW Country Eagles scored tries through Tala Gray (2), Brendan McKibbin and Michael Snowden, with two conversions to Sam Windsor.
Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles said he was most pleased with his team’s attitude heading into the match, after suffering their first loss of the competition in Round 3.
“We were obviously pretty disappointed with the loss to the Melbourne Rising last weekend, so to bounce back and play the way we did today was very pleasing,” Stiles said.
“The boys brought a lot of energy to training this week and that attitude carried through to our game today. We played a high-energy, physical game, which is what we needed to do to beat NSW Country, who are a very experienced team.
“Elite Rugby is all about how you respond each week and I was proud of the way we responded today. NSW Country are a good team, so it’s great to be the first team to beat them in this competition.”
Brisbane City started the game strongly, with rampaging centre Kerevi making a line break following a strong City scrum inside NSW Country’s 22-metre line to cross for the first try of the match six minutes in. McIntyre hit the conversion to give his side an 8-0 lead.
The Eagles hit back shortly afterwards, with Tala Gray scoring the first of his two tries off the back of a strong rolling maul to close the deficit, 8-5.
City’s forward dominance continued throughout the first half, with Schatz scoring two tries off the back of five-metre scrums, with McIntyre landing one of the conversions to give his side a 21-5 lead with 20 minutes gone.
Lachie Turner, playing his first game for Brisbane City, then added to his team’s lead late in the second half, picking up a loose ball to run 50 metres and score. McIntyre kicked the conversion and City led 29-5.
The Eagles had the final say in the first half, with Gray running off the back of another rolling maul to score.
City led 29-10 at half time and were the first to score again in the second half, when Schatz tallied his hat-trick off the back of another dominant five-metre scrum.
The Eagles notched late tries to McKibbin and replacement scrumhalf Snowden, but it was too little, too late as the clock ran out following the last conversion of the match.
Brisbane City welcomed three new debutants in the match, with Turner starting on the wing in his first match and replacement loose forwards Chazz Mahina and Sam Rochester of Sunnybank getting a run in the second half.
City have the bye next week, before taking on Bond University Queensland Country at Ballymore Stadium on Sunday, 28 September, at 3:00pm.
NSW Country Eagles 26 (Tala Gray 2, Brendan McKibbin, Michael Snowden tries; Sam Windsor 2 conversions) defeated by McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City 34 (Samu Kerevi, Lachie Turner, Jake Schatz 3 tries; Jake McIntyre 3 conversions) at Oakes Oval, Lismore.
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