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NSW Country Eagles into NRC final

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The NSW Country Eagles are into the final of the National Rugby Championship after a 50-24 win against Melbourne Rising in their semi-final in Newcastle on Saturday.

Winger Reece Robinson, back-rower Samuel Figg and scrumhalf Jake Gordon each scored two tries as NSW Country secured a home final, which will be played in Tamworth next weekend.

Second-rower Rohan O'Reegan scored Country's other try in the seven-tries-to-three romp.

But the minor premiers were forced to play catch-up, after Wallabies back Sefanaia Naivalu scored the opening try for Melbourne in the first minute.

Five minutes later hooker Pat Leafa barged over in the corner to help Rising earn a 16-0 lead.

NSW then scored 42 unanswered points to effectively put the game beyond Melbourne, although Rising flanker Jordy Reid scored a try with 15 minutes to go to trim the margin to 18.

But Gordon slipped through from close range to score a try at the death and put the icing on Country's dominant display.

"It was a really great performance from the Eagles, they really showed their class in the last 50-60 minutes of the game," Rising head coach Zane Hilton said.

"We're really happy with the way that we started and there were certainly some performances that matched what we were after but we just weren't good enough today."

Sydney Rays host Perth Spirit on Sunday to determine who travels to Tamworth to play NSW Country in the NRC final next weekend.

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