Fijian Drua vs Queensland Country: NRC live scores

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    Fijian Drua vs Queensland Country

    National Rugby Championship, 21 October, 2017

    Churchill Park
    Fulltime - Fijian Drua 17, Queensland Country 24
    Fijian Drua   Queensland Country
    17 FINAL SCORE 24
    3 TRIES 4
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Graham Cooper
    Touch judges: &

    With both the Fijian Drua and Queensland Country having sured up their semi-final spots, this game is more about who can build on their relative momentum heading into the pointy end of the season.

    Join The Roar for live scores of the match from 1pm (AEDT).

    The Drua have been the shot in the arm the NRC needed. All of their home games have been well attended, and the Pasifika Round at TG Milner last start was a wonderful afternoon for all involved.

    That’s before you get to their on-field form.

    Brad Thorn and Queensland Country should be nervous travelling to Suva. Not even a full season into their entry into the competition, the tropical state has become a graveyard for travelling teams – most notably with their drubbing of last years champions, the Perth Spirit, a month ago.

    John Stewart, the Drua captain, has been one of the players of the tournament, and his battle with Chris Feuaui-Sautia will be a belter.

    For table-toppers Queensland Country, Hamish Stewart shifts to inside centre, while Teti Tela slots in at five-eighth. Filipo Daugunu will be buoyed by the announcement of his signing with the Reds for season 2018, and should continue his stellar form in a game of expansive, running rugby.

    James Slipper continues his comeback from injury off the bench for the Queensland side, in another boost for Thorn’s men.

    Fiji are the most dynamic attacking side in the competition, and will look to continue that expansive style in front of their home fans. Country have been outstanding in recent weeks, and this will be a real test of their mettle.

    The Drua are a different beast at home, and will really turn it on.

    Fiji by 16.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

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    • 5:10pm
      Israel said | 5:10pm | ! Report

      Heads up Drua, great team effort today, discipline main factor to loss, learn from this,regroup n put on a great rugby show at ANZ stadium in Suva next week, it’s been an awesome improvement of rugby by local boys, thanks to all the players n especially to the hard working coaches/ backroom staff. Vinaka Fiji Drua!

    • Roar Guru

      ThugbyFan said | 3:04pm | ! Report

      77min: Fijian Drua coming back, great 70m rush forward but Tai Ford wins a crucial breakdown.

      Great finish, Drua player is over the line but held up (looked like a knock-on also). End of game and QC hold on and win the match.

      The better rugby side won. A few weeks ago the Vikings showed that forwards win the match and backs just decide by how much, and that’s pretty much what QC did here. The Country forwards demolished the Fijian Drua scrum, even though their lineout spluttered at times, the QC won a few crucial lineouts against the throw and overall they won the breakdowns. The halves and good field kicks and cover defence kept QC in the match.

      The Drua excitement machine almost got a draw and I don’t think anyone would have begrudged them. Three yellow cards cost them also.

      The Country boys can now get with the Drua players and spend the night partying on after a great game of rugby. By 8pm EAST, they should be well primed to watch the WB vs AB game.

      I love watching how the Drua blokes offload so often, the leg drive and upper body strength allows them to twist and turn while still ploughing forward in a tackle. This strength, even with two opposition players on them, allows the Drua ball carriers to land on their back and pop up an offload to a player coming through at speed. They are deadly at this play and its almost impossible to defend against. I think some Aussie backs should be hitting the gym and perhaps sip coconut juice and kava to build up their strength. It works for the Fijian boys, it might work for them.

    • 2:55pm
      Harry said | 2:55pm | ! Report

      Queensland Country hang on for the win in an extremely entertaining game. A good effort and one that a lot of the young players will hopefully have learnt a lot from. Certainly I thought the composure and presence of Slipper important in that last 20 to get them over the line. They will have learnt a lot from that.
      Caleb Timu my player of the match, Tongan Thor a strong hour but he needs to be coached to tackle lower, its a clear fault and will cost him and his team cards and worse if not eradicated. He seems to be improving at the scrum, its a learning process. Young QC players Hockings, Scott-Young, Wright, Casey in the forwards will all have benefited massively from that hard match and conditions. Same for Stewart and Tuttle in the backs. And maybe, just maybe, Chris Feauai-Sautia coming of age at 13. He is still a relatively young player.

      • Roar Guru

        ThugbyFan said | 3:34pm | ! Report

        Well said Harry and totally agree. Apart from his two tries, C.Timu played the full 80 minutes, tackled strongly and was a right pest in the rucks.

        Chris Feauai-Sautia has been killing them this year with Hamish Stewart (5/8) and Duncan Paia’aua at IC feeding him quality ball. With the Queensland Reds line up, I guess its the wing for him, but a damn handy centre to have as a reserve in case of injury or rest to Q.Cooper, DP or S.Kerevi.

        If Brad Thorn can get the Reds’ piggies going as well as these QC boys are playing, then SR2019 is going to be one hell of a stoush between the Reds, Brumbies and Rebels (Force B side). I fear the mighty Tahs, even with 6 of their forwards as WB starters, are going to get pounded next year.

        • 5:51pm
          Harry said | 5:51pm | ! Report

          Clearly Thorn has done/is doing a tremendous job coaching these young players. What turned out to be the matchwinning try by Nabuli was set up by a disciplined and skilled long series of drives/phases featuring hard running by the forwards – the sort of tough stuff necessary, executed with skill, that wins you games.

    • 2:38pm
      Terry Tavita said | 2:38pm | ! Report

      big crowd at churchill park?

      • 2:56pm
        Harry said | 2:56pm | ! Report

        Seemed like it from watching on the telly and seeing the crowd on the hill. Great to see.

    • Roar Guru

      ThugbyFan said | 2:37pm | ! Report

      68mins: What a try to the Drua! I think Apete Daveta made a great 50m break off his 22m, then a magnificent flick from behind to a support player, Frank Lomani, who scores in the corner. Missed conversion, its 17-all.

      72mins: Eto Nabuli scores a great try from a 20m dash down the LH side. From a 22m ruck, ball is passed to left and the QC fb joined the rush to pass to Nabuli and give him the space. Converted from the sideline and now its 24-17 to QC. I bet they wish they had kicked that penalty at the 37th minute mark now.

      • Roar Guru

        ThugbyFan said | 3:08pm | ! Report

        ack, my error. Off the replay, its was the Fijian winger 14. Eroni Sau who made that break in the 68th minute try. Fantastic offload from behind to his halfback, maybe he saw BBBBB do that pass to N.Milner-Skudder in the match against SA and thought “bugger it, I can do that too”.

    • 2:29pm
      Harry said | 2:29pm | ! Report

      Nabuli is so frustrating – magnificent physically, and I think genuinely tries. But he is not a naturally smart footballer – over runs the ball, poor ball security, silly mistakes.

      • 2:31pm
        Harry said | 2:31pm | ! Report

        And just as I say that Nabuli badly misses a tackle leading to a Drua try. 17 all.

        • 2:35pm
          Harry said | 2:35pm | ! Report

          LOL and now he does a great job to barrell over from 10 metres out – well set up but he had plenty to do.

    • Roar Guru

      ThugbyFan said | 2:24pm | ! Report

      56mins: The Fijian Drua #1 now gets a 10 minute rest for repeated scrum infringements. The Drua blindside is off so they can field a prop for the scrum right in front of their posts. And QC blow it with an early push. That was a try for all money if they won that scrum.

      The Drua celebrate their relief with a multi-handed dash downfield into the QC 20m, as only the Drua can. Breaks down off a knock-on. Lots of heavy breathing after the rushes and scrambled defence. Again the QC scrum murders the Drua and another penalty to give them some needed yardage.

      I’m not exactly wrapped with the QC halfback, James Tuttle. His service is really poor, though he runs and kicks well.

      61mins: QC retake the lead with a very nice try to their #10, I think its his debut game. They spin the ball wide to the left, Teti Tela side-steps the defender and runs 10-15m to the line. Tuttle misses the conversion, its 17-12 to QC.

    • 2:18pm
      Harry said | 2:18pm | ! Report

      QC are exhausted and cant get the ball over the line.

    • Roar Guru

      ThugbyFan said | 2:06pm | ! Report

      45mins: On their 22m line and QC knock-on and lose a lineout off their throw, Drua quick to take advantage, a couple quick rucks and throw the ball along their line. The stretched QC defence can’t handle the rush and a try to the Drua in the corner. Missed conversion its now 12-all.

      And some bloke comes on as a reserve to replace the YC QC #1, Angus Scott-Young off for the scrum. This bloke’s name is James Slipper, not a bad reserve to have in your team. I can see some floab around Slipper’s guts, I hope he gets a EOYT though that flab gives M.Cheika a good excuse to cut him for the World’s Greatest Reserve LH, one Tom Robertson from the Tahs.

      QC still win the scrum even though they pack it with no blind-side. The #1 now back on and Tongan Thor is off for a rest.

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