Super Rugby


10/6/2018

Bond University Queensland Country claim bonus point win over Sydney Rays 


Bond University Queensland Country have returned to the winner’s circle with a dominant 64-24 win over the Sydney Rays at Bond University on the Gold Coast, in Round 6 of the National Rugby Championship (NRC).

A clinical second-half delivered Country the win, the side running in seven tries in the second stanza.

Jordan Petaia starred with a double in wet conditions on the Gold Coast, while winger Filipo Daugunu was also instrumental for the home side.

Petaia was first to score for Country, the centre beating three Rays defenders to find the line in the early stages. Hamish Stewart missed the conversion, leaving the score at 5-0 after 15 minutes.

Tate McDermott added the next points, the scrumhalf darting through a gap off the back of a lineout to score. Stewart made no mistake with the conversion to put the score out to 12-0 after 26 minutes of play.

The Rays responded with a try to JP Sauni minutes later to limit Country’s lead to seven with ten minutes left in the first half.

Country once again stretched their lead out just minutes later, the side capitalising on a Rays knock on from the kick-off before Richie Asiata burrowed his way over for a try. Stewart slotted the conversion to make the score 19-5 

The Rays hit back to cut the deficit down, Tyson Davis scoring in the corner to narrow the margin to 19-10 at the half-time break.

The Rays were first to score in the second half with Shambeckler Vui changing his way over the line. William Harrison converted to decrease Country’s lead to just two points at 19-17.

The sun soon began to reappear on the Gold Coast and so did Country’s attack, Chris Feauai-Sautia finding the line off the back of a series of slick passes from the backline. Stewart converted to take the score to 26-17 with half an hour left to play.

Jock Campbell was next to score, the fullback supporting an electric Daugunu break to score under the posts. Stewart’s conversion gave Country a 33-17 lead.

Daugunu was once again involved in Country’s next try, the winger breaking the line with a chip kick and 60-metre break before Alex Casey finished the sequence in the corner. Stewart missed the conversion from close to the sideline, the score 38-17 after 62 minutes.

Country scored another seven points only minutes later, a penalty try from a Ray’s scrum infringement putting the score out to 45-17.

After helping to set up two Country tries already it was Daugunu who scored the next, the winger streaking down field before a Tom Kibble pass put the winger over the line. Stewart’s fifth conversion took the score to 52-17.

Petaia then added his second try of the day in the 72nd minute, the St.George Queensland Reds young gun bumping off defenders and running 20 metres to complete his double.

Harry Nucifora capped off the afternoon for Country in the 76th minute, the replacement scrumhalf snatching an intercept before dashing 60-metres to score in front of his home crowd. Nucifora converted his own try to take the score to 64-17.

John Folau crossed for the Rays in the dying minutes of the match, however it was too-little-too-late for the Sydney side, Country finishing with a 64-24 victory.

Queensland Country head coach Rod Seib said: “It’s great to see the team back in the winner’s circle. We spoke about the opportunity the team had heading into today’s game to control their own destiny with regards to finals, and the group delivered with a bonus point win. 

“The second half performance was evidence of what the team is capable of, but it took us a long time to work into the match. We still have areas to improve over the next few weeks. 

“We still have one regular season match to go, NSW Country will be a tough challenge in Tamworth next weekend and we need to be ready for a physical encounter.

“It was great to combine our match today with the AON Uni 7s at Bond, giving the local Gold Coast Rugby community the chance to see some of the best emerging men’s and women’s talent in action.” 

Queensland Country will head south to Tamworth next round to face NSW Country in the final regular season game of NRC 2018.

QUEENSLAND COUNTRY- 64

TRIES: Petaia 2, McDermott, Asiata, Feauai-Sautia, Campbell, Casey, Penalty Try, Daugunu, Nucifora

CONVERSIONS: Stewart 5, Nucifora

SYDNEY RAYS- 24

TRIES: Sauni, Davis, Vui, Folau

CONVERSIONS: Harrison 2

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