Click here to Watch North Harbour Rays v Melbourne Rising Live Thursday 3rd September 09:30 GMT
Round 3 of the 2015 National Rugby Championship (NRC) begins on Thursday, when the North Harbour Rays entertain Melbourne Rising at the Manly Oval in Sydney. After the first two rounds of competition, the Rays occupy fourth position in the ladder, just one place above their visitors from Victoria, who like themselves have started the season with a win and a loss.
In 2014 the regular season was something of a procession behind the table toppers, Melbourne Rising, who won all eight matches, and finished 13 points clear at the top. Although they failed to take the title, losing to Perth Spirit in the play-off semi-final. However, 2015 has proven to be much more difficult for the Rising. Having beaten Queensland Country in Round 1 on the Gold Coast by 39-31. in week 2 they slipped to a first regular season loss, going down by at home by 21-49 against Brisbane City, who now head the table.
The Rays were beaten at the Manly Oval in a Sydney Derby in Round 1, going down 29-45 to the Sydney Stars. However, the long trip to the West last weekend, saw them over power the Perth Spirit at the McGillvray Oval by 45-26. Last season, Rising beat the Rays in Melbourne by 55-24, Thursday's match is likely to be much closer, even if the outcome appears likely to be the same.
Tags: National Rugby Championship
, North Harbour Rays
, Melbourne Rising