Stars still on target for semi-finals

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Brisbane City reclaimed the lead in the National Rugby Championship with a 58-0 win over Sydney Stars at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night.

Winger Junior Laloifi scored four of Brisbane’s eight tries, with the scoreline edging them ahead of Canberra Vikings, on for and against, on the ladder. Both teams are undefeated on 29 points after six rounds and assured of semi-finals berths with two rounds of the competition proper to be played.

Despite the loss, Sydney Stars remain third on the ladder on 19 points, with four wins and three losses from their seven outings. They have the bye this weekend and finish the competition proper with a match against fifth-placed Melbourne Rising at Frankston Oval, Melbourne on Sunday, October 18.

Melbourne Rising, on 13 points, and NSW Country Eagles, on 12, are fighting out the other semi-final berth.

Brisbane City retained the Horan-Little Shield and became the first side in the NRC’s short history to hold a team scoreless with their effort on Friday night.

Brisbane City coach Nick Stiles said the team was thrilled to have secured a convincing win and to have successfully defended the Horan-Little Shield for the third time this season.

“While crossing for eight tries is a positive, the more important aspect of our game tonight was our defence,” he said. “To hold a team scoreless and to force errors from them through defensive pressure is really pleasing to see.”

National Rugby Championship – Round 7

Brisbane City 58 (Junior Laloifi 4, Chris Kuridrani, Scott Higginbottom, Karmichael Hunt, Waitia Setu tries; Jake McIntyre 6 goals) d Sydney Stars 0 at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

Round 8: Sydney Stars bye.