Spirit emerge from shadows as NRC front runner

THEY talked softly and carried a big stick for much of 2016 but the Perth Spirit have emerged a real force in the National Rugby Championship after three weekends of action. Many good judges felt they were the underdogs going into last year’s NRC finals series but that was so far from the reality that the Sydney Rays and NSW Country Eagles experienced. Big wins over the undermanned Rays in the semi-final and then an impressive negotiation of the final against the Eagles told a story of the class, attitude and depth of their squad. This year though the cover has been blow and their 61-17 win over the Greater Sydney Rams in Perth on Sunday must have many opposition coaches nervy about a raid trip west. The Spirit scored nine tries to three and snapped the two match winning streak that the Rams had racked up in the first fortnight of the competition. There’s nothing really fancy about the way that the Spirit plays but they are extremely effective, an opinions shared by
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