Force open NRC with away win over Brisbane - Green and Gold Rugby
Brisbane City NRC

Force open NRC with away win over Brisbane

Force open NRC with away win over Brisbane

On a gorgeous Father’s Day Sunday, the campaigns of the Western Force and Brisbane City kicked off in front of a massive crowd at Norths Rugby Club in Brisbane. With the Force the favourites, could a Quade Cooper driven City squad upset the odds. Let’s find out.

The Game:

Early on the teams split possession with the Force setting out to test rookie winger Emori Waqavalugi and it paid early dividends with the outnumbered Fijian jumping foolishly at a high psss, leaving veteran Rod Davies with the easiest of tries. Prior missed the conversion and it was 5-0 Force after seven.

City almost immediately hit back with sustained phase play featuring bruising runs from Brandon Paenga-Amosa and the Smith twins. Quick ball to the right from Sorovi to Cooper who neatly passed to Con Foley for a quick reply. Cooper nailed the kick and it was 7-5 to City with ten minutes gone. Just two minutes later a break from Davies earnt a penalty at the breakdown, and a kick to touch and a rolling maul put Jeremy Thursh over. Prior made no mistake with the kick and it was 12-7 with a little over twelve minutes gone.

At this point you sensed that both teams would keep pressing until someone broke, and City showed some real spirit. A kick out on the full from Davies led to an attacking lineout and after a few phases Jaye Thompson-Te Muunu got a ball from Cooper, straightened, gassed it and was over. A missed kick from Cooper had it 12-12 after just nineteen minutes.

The next ten minutes were messy as both teams caught breath with a number of forward passes and dropped balls. The next opportunity came to City who forced a penalty through a wonky Force scrum. This pushed City close to the line and a number of phases and a heart-in-mouth Cooper reverse flick later, Pat Morrey barged his way over. Cooper doinked the conversion from wide and it is 17-12 City with ten to go before the break.

Starved of possession at this point, a penalty found the Force down the City end, one phase off the lineout and fullback McGregor went over on the left with two outside him. Prior made no mistake and it is 19-17. City should have had the alarm bells ringing by now, being behind despite weight of possession and field position.

Jaye Thompson run Force v Brisbane NRC 2018 (Credit: Sportography/QRU)

Brisbane fullback Jaye Thompson avoids the clutches of Rod Davies (Credit: Sportography/QRU)

Soon after the kickoff Waqavalugi found himself on the receiving end of the cheese for a deliberate knockdown, which drew the ire of the partisan crowd. At this point you could see Andrew Deegan’s eyes light up with the opportunity before him. The Force pushed themselves upfield and prop Cameron Orr got a sniff of the line from about 15m out, and with two outside him decided to make a Quade Cooper shaped speed bump instead. Prior’s radar was on at this point and we go into half time with the Force 26-17 ahead.

Waqavalugi started the half in the naughty chair and again the Force took advantage after a charged down Cooper kick and assorted chaos. The left wing was wide open again and Davies took full advantage and went over. Prior wasn’t missing them now and it was suddenly 33-17.

City had one last real go and earnt a penalty close to the Force line. From the scrum Sorovi found Cooper running straight from deep and he went right through and scored. With the conversion it was now 33-24 and you sensed the next try would win it.

The Force dug deep  and again pushed into City territory, and earnt a penalty. A rolling maul off the lineout resulted in some old school football, and a few backs joined in the maul and Feleti Kaitu’u drove over and with the kick it was 40-24.

City sensed this was their last chance and tried to throw caution to the wind, with offloads galore in a desperate attempt to claw the game back. Eventually a neat inside ball from Cooper to a lurking Jayden Ngamanu sent him over. Cooper had the wobbles with the kick and it remained 40-29.

The last fifteen minutes or so lacked any real spark as the benches emptied, with one exception. The Force took a lineout on their side of the half and drove it nearly 50m in a textbook display. Close to the line it was dropped earning reserve hooker Moli Sooaemaleagi a yellow card. Kaitu’u drove over again from the resulting maul and with Prior potting yet another it was 47-29 to the Force.

On the basis of this performance, you would have to think the Force will be there or thereabouts come the pointy end. A well drilled, cohesive team with firepower where it counts. City on the other hand, look as though they may struggle to put 80 minutes together with a lack of depth that is worrying.

Smith charge Force v Brisbane NRC 2018 (Credit: Sportography/QRU)

Smith on the charge for Brisbane City (Credit: Sportography/QRU)



City had been targeting Emori Waqavalugi’s wing from the kick off but his dubious yellow card removed the problem entirely. Force put on two tries and were never really headed from this point. The yellow seemed even harsher when Jeremy Thrush got away with one that was arguably worse later in the game.


While Deegan was outstanding, it was the delivery of his half that allowed him to play like that. Good control of the game, the ability to negate Sorovi’s sniping play from the ruck and 6 from 7 with the boot gets the nod. Kudos also to the entire Force pack who worked hard to negate the all-Reds front row.


Brandon Paenga-Amosa was strong and will be better for the run but it was Andrew Deegan who put his hand up. With the back up flyhalf spot a troublesome spot, could he force his way onto the spring tour, even as a development player?


Andrew Deegan looks for support while Moses Sorovi covers (Credit: Sportography/QRU)


Crowd: 4,500 (approx.)


Brisbane City 29

Tries: Foley, Thompson-Te Muunu, Morrey, Cooper, Ngamanu

Cons: Cooper 2

Force 47

Tries: Davies 2, Thrush, McGregor, Orr, Kaituu 2

Cons: Prior 6


Yellow Cards: Waqavalugi, Sooaemaelagi- City. Force- Nil




  • Hoss

    Enjoyed the spectacle on the box. Looked like a real carnival day.

    I reckon BT will sleep soundly tonight, that warm, justified type sleep.

    • Huw Tindall

      The unecessary behind the back pass to butcher a try summed up Quade’s day and probably career.

      • Hoss

        yep – spot on.

        I think Sorovi is real good prospect and was best on ground. I enjoy his running game and willingness to get his hands dirty at ruck time is refreshing.

        Deegan is one to watch as well.

        • Huw Tindall

          Deegan is like the opposite of x-factor. Just gets everything required of done you’d expect of him. And that’s not criticism!

        • Andy

          Deegan looks sharp. Always rated him over Mason in the Shute shield.

          Best forward on park was Thrush. Worst name though

        • Brisneyland Local

          A bit itchy!

      • GO THE Q REDS

        The pass that was delivered directly chest high in front of the player? That pass? It was his teammate who broke down that play.. ….NOT QUADE.

        • Purce

          Ahhh no. The pass was too far in front of Sorovi. To suggest it was anyone but QC’s fault is ludicrous. Watch the video again… Sorovi actually has to change his line to an overs and still only gets his outside hand to it. The defender’s shoulders were completely turned to him, Quade had the ball in 2 hands and all he had to do was pop the ball to his support player for it to be a try. That was all Quade being Quade, trying to be the hero.

    • onlinesideline

      Quade ? – what happend ? was he thattt bad ?

      • Hoss

        Evening mate. A year out of pro ball and it showed. Naturally he has lost some pace as he has aged, to be expected. But his passing, kicking, game management – basically all other Rugby facets was poor at best. The game has passed him by. I would liken it to 68 Comeback Special Elvis to 1977 Las Vegas Never missed a Buffett Elvis. You could see glimmers of once was, but it was faded, near comical.
        You could near hear BT say ‘and the prosecution rests’

        • onlinesideline

          Mate in defense of the great one, would have been at least 45 degrees up there on stage and with that white jump suit – no wonder the guy was dripping sweat – good concert though. Line ball though who had more panties thrown at them. Elvis or Tom Jones (or even Quade) but as you say maybe his days are done too. Well at least we can all move on, if its that bad.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I’m guessing you didn’t actually see the game then because without Quade, city scores 0 points. He made some mistakes.. . .BUT as usual no more than anyone else. He gets judged very heavily for mistakes. For eg.. you can’t blame QUADE for putting miraculous try setup passes on a platter for his team mates to only drop it, bombing the clear run to the line….thats not his fault. He’s a 10 and is supposed to create opportunities on attack.

      • Hoss

        Part II

        I should add that naturally someone will reblog I am totally incorrect and perhaps the product of cousins bearing children. That they indeed saw QC part the Red Sea, impregnate a virgin just by looking at her and set up 18 opportunities for team mates who squandered them by not understanding the mad genius thoughts.

        One tip – ignore anything Greg Martin has to say – he is a colossal tool

        Now, 3,2,1….

        • first time long time

          Hoss, Hoss, Hoss, correct me if I’m wrong but I sense rejoice in your tone that QC didn’t have a great game.
          Rather than death ride him, we need to pray, perform some incantation or pagan ritual of hope, that all 5/8s in the NRC play the house down because the longer we are stuck with Foley at 10, the longer it will feel like we are the virgins being impregnated.

        • Hoss

          Afternoon mate. I agree our stocks at 10 are so thin they are transparent and i am no fan of Spanners, i just think QC gets the benefit of a lot of rose coloured perspective about his previous deeds in Gold. IMO his performance yesterday married my opinion of him. Gifted sure, but very flaky.

        • first time long time

          Hi mate, I get what you are saying. I noticed Heeno at halftime talking about playing smart getting out of our own territory so that we could control the game and then 2 min later, QC goes for a dinky little chip inside his 22.
          I think part of it that his errors are so obvious but most of them are at least made with intent.
          He is definitely past his best but he is still offers more than Foley whose errors are much more insidious, eg the constant turnovers from his rubbish kicking.
          I guess what colours my opinion of QC the most is that when he was on, I just loved watching him play.

        • Hoss

          Couldn’t agree more. Better to try and fail than limp quietly into the night.

          Its just a shame that 3 years from the last RWC we have actually regressed at 10 (and a few others) that us punters are still raking over ancient coals.

          Normally the Monday of a test week i would be buzzing, but I am trying to muster the enthusiasm to get excited about the Boks this weekend, i am awaiting the final team on Thursday – i am truly terrified of what the coach might roll out again.

          Some of our previous ‘no brainer’ selections, well father-time has caught up real quick (Kepu, TPN) we need some new blood to start

        • first time long time

          I’m hearin ya. There will be more than a few land mines out on Suncorp this weekend.

          It’s a shame that I can’t bring myself to part with my hard earned cash to go and see it.
          At least I saw the win against Ireland which will have to get me through till next year

          Cheikas selection surprise are that there are no surprises…… very Blackadderesque

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate if he announces the same old dross I am thinking of crowd funding a full page ad on the Australian picturing Cheika Screwing a goat! That way we will have finally seen the image that most of the shot players obviously have a copy of that allow them to be selected again and again!

  • Huw Tindall

    Overall quality in the Vikings v Qld Country game seemed a little higher but the Force did look really solid and organised (as you’d expect after WSR). Glad the NRC is back!

  • SuckerForRed

    Lack of depth very worrying for City. Big step down from their starting front row to their reserves. The cohesion the Force had developed through WSR was obvious. Give the City team time they will come together. Hopefully……
    I am glad NRC is back.

    • Brisneyland Local

      SFR. So am i. Finally some rugby that I can enjoy and be proud of.

    • RobC

      I wish they had NRC from Feb to September

  • onlinesideline

    how was that yellow a yellow. Isnt itt suppose to be for a slap down ? His arms / hands were clearly moving upwards and the ball was sent upwards by him. Now are all failed intercepts instant yellows ?

    • Huw Tindall

      It’s been a shambles this season. At the start they were very harsh but by the end that failed intercept would have been let through 9/10 times.

    • disqus_NMX

      Yes, all failed intercepts are instant yellows, and have been for years. Stupidest law in the rule book.

    • first time long time

      My understanding is that you have to be in realistic position to catch the ball after making contact with it, if you are not, even if it’s a genuine intercept attempt, it’s a penalty. If it stops a line break it’s a yellow card.
      Shithouse law, let’s just go back to deliberate knock down!

      • disqus_NMX

        If you make contact with the ball, then you ARE in a realistic position to catch it. The difference between catching and dropping it is inches at most. Utterly ridiculous law, and I can’t wait for the day that common sense prevails and it gets binned, but I have been waiting for years, and am not holding my breath.

        • first time long time

          I agree with you.
          It’s not the initial contact that is the issue it’s after that that you need to be in a realistic position to regain the ball.
          The problem is they have complicated a simple law for no apparent reason or benefit.
          World rugby seems more secretive than the stone cutters. Do they ever give explanations or apologies for the dud law changes they come up with?

    • Happyman

      It was the fact it was an overlap but he nearly got his hand to it again and if he had he was under the posts. So for mine it is one of those ones where the Ref revieww will vindicate the man on the middle. However in my mind it displayed little feel for the game. I also think he got the call from the TMO or Touchie on that one as his initial call was pen only.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I was standing there like you and the touchie was about three metres behind the play. I.E. nowhere near enough to make an accurate call.

    • HK Red

      Also how was the clear deliberate slap-down by Thrush not a yellow?

      • disqus_NMX

        He’s from NZ. Laws don’t apply the same ;)

  • Jimmydubs

    Is rod Davies still ludicrously quick?

    • Brisneyland Local

      NOt as quick as he used to be but still very quick.

      • Happyman

        His opposite was quicker yesterday but he still has wheels

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate sounds like we were sitting near each other. surprised you didnt seee me. I was in a Fiji Rugby top.

        • Mica

          I’m pretty sure I saw you there BL. Had I known it was you I would have said g’day. Thought you just got your days and venues mixed up with your Fiji jersey. ;)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nah, wanted to make it clear I was an impartial spectator!
          Next time you will know to come up and say gday!

        • Happyman

          Yes mate was looking out for a 6ft 8 dude in a Fiji shirt drinking red and was going to say hello.

          Was an interesting day for me sitting with my son who is a colt and seeing how his observations and insight on the game is now highly nuanced.

          Might catch you at the next one.

        • Brisneyland Local

          My two girls loved it up until half time then their short attention spans got the better of them and they were off to the jumping castle and Ice slushie van!

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Solid match all up. Cooper plays a high risk/high reward game, and a lot stuff just didn’t go their way.
    Credit to the Force. They stamped their authority and played a great game, showing what a difference an established combination can have.
    According to Fox, they got 4,500 through the gate, which is such a good turnout. Saw the match was also covered on ABC News 24 this morning. So good to see some more coverage, finally!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yeah a good crowd. I was one of them!

    • Gipetto

      Cooper has boosted local crowd numbers all year. When interviewed, he said he wants to play a style that entertains the patrons. He ripped the ball from a WF player in a tackle at one point and chipped for the outside backs to chase. The kick was charged down and the WF scored but it was likely that the Thrush led WF forwards would have scored if Quade hadn’t secured the turnover.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well I ventured forth to Norths Rugby club on Fathers day to watch this game.
    Picnic blanket in tow, Mrs BL, and the two little cherubs. A very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. Before I throw in my two bobs worth, I support neither Brisbane City or WF. In the NRC I am a Drua supporter.
    BL’s points from the grassy knoll whilst quaffing Shiraz:
    – Most enjoyable afternoon. This year has seen me attend a few club rugby games, and this NRC match didn’t disappoint. Neither did the 2014 Langmeils Orphan Bank Shiraz, the cheeses, and the smoked salmon and nibbily bits.
    – Well done to the Force! They looked like a team that has played together most of the year. They are slick as a collective unit, and have a good game plan and play to it.
    – Brisbane city look like a team that only came together 2 weeks ago. They lacked the skills for execution at the moment. The number of times they coughed up the pill when pushing hard in attack was a little embarrassing. A number of times they had the gain, and were pushing hard with over laps, and then they would drop the ball, or cough it up in contact. Must be very frustrating.
    – The elephant in the room. QC had a 50/50 game. There were moments of sublime attack, but followed up with some dumb decisions on low percentage plays. His kicking game whilst not brilliant, was still twice the distance of Foley’s ( mind you I havnt played in 10 year and I could still kick further than Foley and I was a lock!). He actually defended the line, and pretty well. I saw at least two bone crunching tackles administered by QC that weren’t card worthy. Which is an improvement. And better than Foley in the last 2 Wallaby games. The bit that impressed me the most, and I am not sure how much it came across on TV, was how he talks to the team and sets them up in attack.
    – KH. well in the first 20 mins he looked a shadow of his former self with some inside line plays that caused two turnovers to the WF. As the game progressed he seemed to warm up. He attacked the line well, and defended well.
    – Moses Sorovi. This kid looks good. In defence he tackles hard. I haven’t seen a 9 get int and get dirty like that for ages and it was good to watch. In attack he dwells at the base of the ruck and pauses just a little to long. whether it is his pause or whether he was waiting for his attack to get into position I couldn’t quite work out. This kid is worth investing in.
    – Whilst I dont talk about referee’s often, I will in this one. The poor kid that referumped this, was not good. The alleged deliberate knock down happened 5 feet in front of me. It was a genuine attempted intercept that didn’t quite come off. Yellow card. Obviously the ref panicked about that because later the WF did a real deliberate knock down and it was only a penalty as he obviously didnt want to throw another card out there. Up until this match, the refs in NRC have kept their cards in their pocket and let the games roll. This kid didn’t. His lack of consistency both ways was really erratic and really affected the game. Most disappointing. Cards affect games. Two of them to one team, trash it.

    Was it worth the drive a few km’s up the road. Yes it was. A good vibe and whilst some frustrating elements, I found this more enjoyable to watch than a Wallabies game.

    • Happyman

      Great write up Ben and good summation BL.

      For mine the game was a good spectacle and a testament to the work of Ben Darwin on cohesion. I would suggest that City have better players but the WF are a better team as they have played together as a unit all year. I have actually picked them of Fiji to win the NRC

      The Force set piece and maul was excellent although the scrum did struggle early and showed the fine work of Van Humphries.

      I agree that QC had a bits and pieces game but his pass to set up his fellow Souths Fullback Jayden Ngamanu was worth the trip from south of the river alone. For mine he still showed he has the capability to break down set defences that does not exist in a wallaby jersey at the moment. the behind the back pass to Sorovi when in the clear went to hand and if caught would be going viral as we speak.

      I was also in line with the Yellow card incident and honestly thought it was a poor decision however I am glad the Ref just made the decision and moved on. He was certainly not popular when he bottled it on the second one.

      Congrats to the Force.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep, A champion team beats a team of champions! They are cohesive. Yep the WF maul was very very strong. Yet their scrum I thought was very lucky not to get penalised a couple of times. I thought QC attacking the line was pretty good. same with Sorovi.
        I thought the ref was going to get lynched when he didnt hand the WF player a card for he blatant knock down.

      • laurence king

        Do we currently have a player in the Wallabies who can put a player through a gap like Quadey. He would make our forwards something to fear.

  • Nutta

    Great watch

    Good maul to warm a fat-boys heart even if it was a little high

    Great to see the Smith Bros enjoying each others company so much – playing like school kids at lunch time!

    Some proper class in the Force pack

    Quade Quade Quade… some gold and some brass

    The first yellow was no yellow. It was a proper crack at an intercept.

    Sir Robby may just be a grand 9 if he settles down a little


    Well I see this game summed up pretty easily. Yellow cards(and lack off) along with Cities forwards being dominated in open play and mauls decided this game for me.
    Quade set up the 1st try, the 3rd try, Scored the 4th and set up the 5th. 2 magic Cooper passes that had the line clear were dropped cold, leaving more Quade inspired points on the field. Quade also was solid in defence with a couple of impressive big tackles.
    Poor coaching also took the much needed QUADE factor off the field early simply to run his club prodigy… .ultimately leaving City with only 13 men on the field as the replacement 10 was concussed, a yellow card and all the subs had been used. Terrible use of the bench. For me…… I can’t wait for the rest of the season. .. .

  • Gipetto

    The City scrum looked great until Coach Heenan replaced the Smiths with two props who were dominated from the outset. JP Smith powered into one scrum and flattened the whole Force pack. When Heenan replaced Quade with Dalgleish, he had evidently decided that victory was out of reach. The selection of Korczyk as captain indicates Heenan has progressed at least one level beyond his competence.

    • Nutta

      Yeh but Force brought on Longbottom (I think) and I think that did more to stop the rot up front.


      But do you use your last interchange with that much time left on the clock? Probably not.. . Considering they were only two tries away and had dominated possesion most of the game. Bit early to be Season rotating too.. .

  • Brisneyland Local

    Moz, me too. This is the highlight of the year for me. As the Reds suck, and the Wallabies suck. So am supporting the Drua as per last year.

    • Moz

      BL, I hear you on that! Footy played with passion, fun to watch, plenty of tries and great atmosphere at the ground. Although you could also get behind Country, maybe as your 2nd team, or is that a step too far?

Brisbane City NRC

Passionate about rugby from the grass roots up. Usually found at Brisbane club rugby games, or being involved in the junior and schools system. Love a chat, happy to admit when I'm wrong. I will watch any game of rugby regardless of who is playing, from juniors through to tests

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