The NRC Wash-Up: Rd1 – North Harbour Rays v Sydney Stars

by Paul Cook - ********************** THE WARM-UP: ********************** Only a week after the thrilling finale to the club rugby season in Sydney, six of the players that featured in last weekend’s Shute Shield Grand Final (five from Manly and one from Eastwood) reconvened at a sunny Manly Oval on Saturday afternoon to kick-start the Sydney leg of this season’s NRC. The North Harbour Rays finished a lower than expected 7th in last year’s inaugural competition, while the talent laden Sydney Stars squad also disappointed, finishing bottom of the ladder with only one win from their eight matches. Suffice to say then, that both teams were keen to get off to a good start this time out. Added to the mix was the fact that a full 18 players across both squads had faced off against each other at the same venue only two weeks ago, under their club guises of Manly and Sydney University. On that day, the Manly contingent ran out winners by 20pts, bringing a premature end to the Students
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