Super Rugby


Bond University Queensland Country secure semi-finals birth with bonus point win in Tamworth

Bond University Queensland Country have secured their place in the 2018 National Rugby Championship semi-finals, claiming a 45-21 bonus point win over NSW Country in their final regular season match in Tamworth.
Seven tries, including a penalty try and a double from 18-year-old centre Jordan Petaia, saw the visitors get the better of the Eagles, while Hamish Stewart slotted four-from-six conversion attempts.
Queensland Country claimed the first points of the match in the 11th minute, awarded a penalty try after the Eagles collapsed a rolling maul. The NSW side suffered a double blow, with lock Emmanuel Meafou dealt a yellow card.
NSW Country responded with a try in the right-hand corner through Denny Godinet, flyhalf Rohan Saifoloi slotted the conversion to level the score at 7-all in the 16th minute.
Queensland Country captain Duncan Paia’aua exited the game in the 19th minute, after suffering a head knock, seeing Tom Lucas come off the bench.
Meafou made up for his yellow card, crossing for the home side’s second try in the 27th minute, Saifoloi added the extras to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead.
Chirs Feauai-Sautia split the NSW Country defence to run in for a try from 40 metres out in the 34th minute, Stewart slotted the conversion to level the scores once again at 14-all.
Effi Ma’afu went close in the 38th minute under the posts but his attempt was ruled short, the two sides went into the sheds at half-time tied at 14-all.
Queensland were first to score in the second half, with Jordan Petaia crossing in the left-hand corner to put the visitors in the lead. Stewart pushed the conversion to the right of the posts, leaving the score at 19-14.
Eagles scrumhalf Jake Gordon was held up over the Country line in the 50th minute, Sam Figg scored off a short-arm penalty from the ensuing scrum to level the score. Saifoloi slotted the conversion to regain the lead, 21-19, in the 52nd minute.
Petaia crossed for his second just minutes later to put Queensland Country back in the lead, Stewart slotted the extras to take the score to 26-21.
Within the final 20 minutes of the match, after losing starting hooker Ma’afu to injury, Queensland Country reserve hooker Alex Casey also exited the match, seeing starting loose-head prop Richie Asiata recalled to the field to pack down at hooker.
Harry Hoopert crossed soon after off the back off a solid carry from Asiata in the 66th minute, Stewart added the extras to put Queensland Country ahead 33-21.
Queensland Country were held up over the line in the 75th minute, but Filipo Daugunu crossed soon after in the left-hand corner. Stewart just missed the conversion from out wide, leaving the score at 38-21.
Country secured the bonus-point win with a final try from Patrick James in the right-hand corner at the 79-minute mark, Stewart added the extras to lock in the final score, 45-21.
Queensland Country head coach Rod Seib said: “I was pleased with our second half performance today, for two weeks in a row the team have adjusted areas of our game that haven’t been firing and have finished the matches strongly.
“We came away with the win through the hard work of players like Angus Scott-Young, who has got through a mountain of work for us throughout the season, and out wide we saw what a strong ball carrier Jordy Petaia is developing into. He’s an exciting prospect for the future.
“Credit to NSW Country, they played a solid game and really limited our opportunities preventing us from executing the game we wanted to play, but our team responded in that second half and built some momentum.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge ahead, whoever we play and whether we’re at home or away. We came to Tamworth with the goal of claiming a bonus point win and we’ve done that, giving ourselves the potential opportunity to host a home semi-final.”
Queensland Country’s semi-final opponent will be determined by the outcome of the clash between the Western Force and Fijian Drua in Perth.
Queensland Country: 45
Tries: Penalty Try, Jordan Petaia 2, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Harry Hoopert, Filipo Daugunu, Patrick James  
Conversions: Hamish Stewart 4


NSW Country: 21
Tries: Danny Godinet, Emmanuel Meafou, Sam Figg
Conversions: Rohan Saifoloi 3

Rugby Traveller