Super Rugby


Bond University Queensland Country claim Andy Purcell Cup for first time

Bond University Queensland Country have secured the Andy Purcell Cup for the first time, with a 31-12 win over McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City at the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club on Saturday afternoon. 

Queensland Country outscored City five tries to two and led from the outset, but it was their resilient defensive effort that won them the game.

Country head coach Brad Thorn said: “It was a tough old first half but the boys worked really hard today. Last week we let the opposition scored 40 points, so a big focus during the week was defence and we defended well today.

“The boys put it on the line today, they played for each other and as a coach I couldn’t be prouder of their effort.”

City head coach Mick Heenan said: “It was certainly a tough game, it was really physical and we made a few too many skill errors.

“We kept fighting and created opportunities, but we couldn’t finish them off.” 

Two minutes into the match, Queensland Country outside centre Chris Feauai-Sautia sliced through to set up the field position for flyhalf Hamish Stewart’s darting run to the try line.

Country extended their lead as the match approached the 20-minute mark when scrumhalf James Tuttle found winger Izaia Perese back on the inside with a flick pass. Tuttle slotted the conversion for Country to lead 12-0. 

City had Country pinned in their own 22 for a 15-minute period but the home side’s try-line defence held firm. 

The defensive wall finally broke in the 36th minute, when blindside flanker and Brisbane City debutant Radike Samo found the line from close range. 

Queensland Country took a 12-7 lead into half time. 

Five minutes after the break, Country prop Taniela Tupou broke through and kept the ball alive through contact for Stewart to dive over next to the uprights. Tuttle made no mistake with the conversion to push Country’s lead to 12 points, 19-7.

A dominant five-metre scrum shove set up the front-foot ball for Country captain Duncan Paia’aua to crash over in the 60th minute and extend their lead to 24-7. 

With 15 minutes remaining in the match, Richie Asiata hit front-row partner Taniela Tupou with an inside pass that saw the prop stride away for Country’s fifth try. 

Brisbane City winger Chris Kuridrani dove over next to the corner post in the dying stages but it was too little, too late as Country held on to a 19-point lead. 

Country will enjoy a bye next week, while City will host Canberra Vikings at University of Queensland on Sunday 17 September at 1:00pm.

Bond University Queensland Country 31
(Hamish Stewart 2, Izaia Perese, Duncan Paia’aua, Taniela Tupou tries; James Tuttle 2 con; Duncan Paia’aua 1 con) defeated McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City 12 (Radike Samo, Chris Kuridrani tries; AJ Alatimu 1 con) at Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club on Saturday 9 September 2017.

National Rugby Championship/Queensland Country debutants: Tai Ford, Tate McDermott, Angus Blyth, Jock Campbell.

Brisbane City debutants: Radike Samo, Alex Horan, Maile Ngauamo.

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