The Melbourne Rising have recoded their second consecutive win of the 2019 NRC, defeating Sydney Rugby Union 40-26 at Forshaw Park.
After losing their first three games of the season, Melbourne now sit sixth on the ladder, with only two points separating the Rising from a top four spot.
The Rising backed up their bonus point win against QLD Country with another powerful forward display, highlighted by patient build ups, smart offloading and powerful set pieces from the side’s forward pack.
Led by two tries from both Justin Marsters and Anaru Rangi, the visitors put on a four try to one first half, which Sydney ultimately couldn’t come back from.
After three and a half minutes of play, the Rising drew first blood when a terrific rolling maul from the set piece only five metres from the try line, resulted in Anaru Rangi crossing for his first of the match, with James So’oialo adding the points.
12 minutes later, Melbourne struck again when another powerful rolling maul from ths forwards proved too much to handle for Sydney, with Rangi again being the beneficiary, scoring his second try.
Sydney would respond in the 20th minute when a strong drive from Shambeckler Vui gave the home side their first try of the match.
However, seven minutes later, Justin Marsters provided the try of the game when the full back turned a quick tap from 30 metres out into a dazzling solo effort, pirouetting his way through Sydney’s defence to score his fifth consecutive try in as many games.
With the Rising up 21-7, the visitors struck a blow to Sydney when a patient build up with a minute left opened the door for first year winger Taylor Acheson to be found out wide, allowing the back to race in for his first try of the match.
Another So’oialo conversion extended the lead to 28-7 where it remained at half time. With Sydney in desperate need of a fast start in the second half, it was scrumhalf Mitch Short who provided the spark with a try in the 50th minute.
Only minutes later though, Justin Marsters crossed for his second try of the match thanks to some strong runs and offloading from forwards Richard Hardwick and Rob Leota.
After some tense passages where Sydney threatened to come back into the match, but a try to Ah-Mu Tuimalealiifano with only ten minutes to go seemed to take the energy out of the home side's charge.
However, two late tries for Sydney, including a dazzling solo effort from Ben Marr, almost made the unlikely finish of a draw possible, but it all came too late for the home side, with the full-time siren beating them to the post.
The Rising will look to secure their third straight win of 2019 when the return home to Victoria and take on reigning champions the Fijian Drua at Casey Fields on Saturday 5 October.
Melbourne Rising: 40
Tries: Marsters (2), Rangi (2), Tuimalealiifano, Acheson
Conversions: So’oialo (5)
Sydney RU: 26
Tries: Vui, Short, Marr, Abel
Conversions: Harrison (3)