McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City have claimed a historic 37-26 win over the Perth Spirit in the Grand Final at Ballymore Stadium to claim the inaugural title of the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship.
Brisbane City notched five tries to four to seal the win in front of a 7,889-strong crowd on Saturday night.
The home side notched tries through Liam Gill, Pettowa Paraka (2) and Junior Laloifi, along with a penalty try for a collapsed scrum. Flyhalf Jake McIntyre kicked four conversions. Liam Gill was named man of the match.
Perth Spirit scored tries to Solomoni Rasolea, Dane Haylett-Petty, Robbie Abel and Davis Tavita. Flyhalf Zack Holmes kicked two conversions.
Brisbane City head coach Nick Stiles was ecstatic with the win.
“I’m so proud of the team for the hard work they have put in over the last three months,” Stiles said.
“We knew this would be a very difficult game against an experienced side with plenty of Super Rugby players, but we attacked their strengths at the set piece and put on a dominant display in front of a cracking crowd at Ballymore.
“This team is a good mix of Reds and club players and they’ve come together so well over the competition. We’ve been through some ups and downs, but at the end of the day we only lost two games and we’ve won the championship in front of our home crowd.
“We opened the competition here at Ballymore, so to come back to Ballymore to claim the title is something I will never forget.”
Brisbane City dominated the set piece to take a 24-21 lead into half time, following a try to Gill and two to Paraka from the back of rolling mauls. City were also awarded a penalty try for the Spirit collapsing a scrum on their own five-metre line.
It was a promising sign for Queensland Rugby, who yesterday announced they had signed starting City props Paraka and Sef Faagase to Reds Elite Development Squad contracts.
Spirit notched tries to Rasolea, Abel and Haylett-Petty in the first half.
Paraka notched his second try early in the second half, off the back of another rolling maul to further extend City’s lead and Laloifi scored a stunning 50-metre try through pure speed to seal the deal with five minutes left to play.
The Spirit had the last say in the match, with a try to Tavita on the wing, but it was City who celebrated at full time.
McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City 37 (Liam Gill, Pettowa Paraka 2, Junior Laloifi tries, and penalty try; Jake McIntyre 4 conversions) defeated Perth Spirit 26 (Solomoni Rasolea, Dane Haylett-Petty, Robbie Abel and Davis Tavita tries. Zack Holmes 2 conversions) at Ballymore Stadium.