QLD County run Rays ragged in 2nd half rampage - Green and Gold Rugby
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QLD County run Rays ragged in 2nd half rampage

QLD County run Rays ragged in 2nd half rampage

Second last round of the season. Last home game for Queensland country. The boys from the bush need to win at least one of their last two games to be assured of a place in the finals. Winning both of them would make their life easier.

The Rays on the other hand have had a tough season. The clash of the first round of the NCR with the final of the Shute Shield meant that they started the comp a weeks after all but the Eagles and has a catch up game in the middle of the week. Languishing at the bottom of the table they have no chance to make the finals but could cause some problems if they managed to score an upset or two.

A wet afternoon was going to make the rugby……. Interesting to say the least

First Half

With the weather as it was and the ground showing the wear and tear of a few days of sevens the first half was never going to be scinilating. It was just the referee’s attitude to the advantage rule that prevented the half from descending into a scrum fest. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Both teams were making breaks down field that ended in handling errors. Eventually Queensland Country managed to keep the ball in the forwards for a few phases and forced the Rays back down the field inch by inch. Jordan Petaia eventually got his hands on the ball and snuck through the line for the first try. Hamish Stewart missed the conversion but QLD had drawn first blood.

Just before the try I noted that the QLD line out was working well. Some of you are going to say “WTF? Was she watching the same thing I was?” Well yes, I was, and it was at this point the writers curse struck. Sorry guys…..

About 10 minutes after the try Filipo Daugunu started to show his talent, speed and foot work in what was going to be a good afternoon at the office for him. He made a lightening break down the field and passed the ball right to the chest of… Nic Berry who resisted the temptation to take the ball and make a run for the wide open line. Like many plays in this game it ended in scrum. But no matter, QLD won a penalty from the scrum and Stewart kicked for the line. Harry Hocking took the ball from the throw and placed the QLD supporters heart in their mouths when he was caught high. Thinking quickly he off loaded over his mauling teammates to Tate McDermott who sliced through the Rays defence and dotted down for QLD’s second try of the day.

Daugunu made a meal of the restart and the Rays managed to get the throw into a lineout. The resulting driving maul ended with Rays Hooker John Sauni planting the ball over for their first score of the afternoon.

On the restart William Harrison (Rays  10), returned the favour to Queensland by knocking on the ball. (Probably his only blight for an otherwise good day.) A scrum penalty to QLD lead them back to a lineout. The Country boys felt they needed to show off their  mauling skills and drove Asiata over the line for another try.

The Rays were the last to cross the line in the first half. Showing real patience and care they kept possession of the ball and eventually Tyson Davis busted through for a try.

Half time score 19 – 10 in favour of QLD.

Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey was monumental in the first half.

Second Half

Soon after the half time break the Rays showed more patience in their attack. They would apply consistent pressure until QLD turned the ball over and Stewart made a clearing kick for the line. Rays win the line out, more attack, another turn over, rinse, repeat. Eventually the QLD line had to break and Shambeckler Vui crashed over. It looked like we might have a game on our hands.

From now on the game started to open up. More running ruby on the part of the Queenslanders started to show some real holes in the defence of the Rays. First Chris Feauai-Sautia made a flying break to score, then Daugunu put his fancy footwork in gear to confuse the tacklers and put Jock Campbell over for a try. (He must have a few for the season now?)

The last ten minutes of the game descended into a try-a-thon, and Daugunu had a hand in most of them. He made a brilliant chip, chase, regather with his knees, off-loaded to Campbell, (who very nearly got his second), who them passed to a fast finishing Alex Casey. This would have to make it into the list for Try of the Year. With a try of his own under his belt, Filipo was heading for the MOTM award until he got carded for a dangerous tackle about 8 minutes from the end of the game.

The Rays showed a never say die attitude though which was good to see. Despite being down 64 to 17 in the last minute of the game they kept attacking and were rewarded with a crashing try to………… Their intent was shown when Harrison dropped kicked the conversion and there was enough time for one last play. Although there was no more scoring to be had, the desperation shown by both sides in the last 30 seconds could have lead you to believe that the final margin was a lot less than the 40 points that it was.

Queensland Country running (really running) out final winners 64 to 24. This bonus point victory takes a bit of the pressure off the Country side leading into the last round. (I will do the maths when I get home but I think this means they are in the semis. It is just a matter of where they will be playing.)

Filipo Daugunu

Filipo Daugunu – which way will he go?

The Game Changer

From the 71st minute there was a five minute period where QLD Country ran in five tries (including a penalty try). Any side was going to find it hard to come back after that.


As I said above Daugunu was a shoe in until he had a bit of a brain snap and was carded. That, combined with a few errors at crucial times brought him back to the pack with Stewart, Petaia and Paia’aua being the best of the rest. Aahhhh, hang it, give it to Daugunu, if only just for his footwork.

Rising Star Watch

This is a little more difficult. Most of the QLD side are ineligible having played more that the requsite 3 super games. Harry Wilson and Tom Kibble were probably the pick of those eligible for QLD. For the Rays, Will Harrison and Tyson Davis were the pick.

The Details

QLD Country – 64

Tries – Petaia (2); Tait; Asiata; CFS; Campbell; Casey; Daugunu; Nucifora; Penalty

Conversions – Stewart (5/8); Nucifora (1/1)

Penalties – N/A

Cards – Daugunu YC

Sydney Rays – 24

Tries – Sauni; Davis; Vui; plus 1

Conversions – Harrison (1/3); Duffy (?) (1/1)

Penalties – N/A

Match Photos




  • Adrian

    Thanks Red
    Do you know if/when Dauganu becomes eligible for Wallabies?

    • RugbyReg

      If it’s three consecutive years then it is not until at least the beginning of 2020.

      • Who?

        Or is he under the new 5 year regulation..? Didn’t that come in from May last year..?

      • Adrian

        Thanks Reg

    • Huw Tindall

      He is a pleasure to watch. A real speed merchant with dancing feet. Not a big bloke at all but still puts his body on the line.

      • Adrian

        Agree Huw.

        He was dropped from Reds for missing tackles that most wingers would miss.

        I’d have him any day on the basis that he’d score many more points than he’d let in, …but that’s my philosophy for all of them

        • Huw Tindall

          Defence wins test matches though as the addage goes and the bokke proved! Getting run over by a 120kg bloke close to the line is not a sin for anyone let alone Daugunu who can’t be more than 90kg dripping wet.

        • Adrian

          Exactly…and probably a better tackler than Camp. I’ve seen him grab turnovers too, and he doesn’t trot alongside guys in close like Genia.

          The uncomfortable truth is that many guys aren’t good tacklers, and very few are accomplished head on tacklers!

        • idiot savant

          Yeah hes got some X factor all right. Hes still a work on though. The Rays scored two tries directly after Daugunu errors.I think Seib might have a had a word at half time because he more than made up for it.

        • Huw Tindall

          Defence wins test matches though as the addage goes and the bokke proved! Getting run over by a 120kg bloke close to the line is not a sin for anyone let alone Daugunu who can’t be more than 90kg dripping wet.

  • Who?

    They did. I just can’t remember what all the dates were – was it this year or last..? I haven’t had enough sleep…
    I thought it was last year, so players who were capped in time would be right for 2020, but if you missed the move date (which I thought was the time of the WR Meeting in May?), you were then 2022. So, if you didn’t play before NRC 2017, then you’re on the five year schedule. I think…

    • Adrian

      Yes, I haven’t had enough sleep either Who. I can’t decide whether to stay up to follow Kiwis v SA on blog, or via complicated Foxtel play on my phone, or miss it all together and put all my energy into Wallabies match at 9.40….sigh

      Argentina are favourites….good God

      This reminds me of when NZ were favourites against us in cricket in the mid 80s, or Sri Lanka v us in one sayers in the 90s! Fark….I can remember when they weren’t even in the comp.

      And yes, we didn’t win those ones

      • Geoffro

        Just rolled out of bed with a shocking head after a 50th last night to realise it’s another hour away. (D/light saving’s kicked in) Hope this game not going to make the head feel worse.

  • Huw Tindall

    Would you really? A lot of outside backs and he would need a cracking Super season in 19 to push his way in. Guys like Sefa, Maddocks, Banks, Naivalu already on the squad and guys like Muirhead and even big Taquele (assuming eligible signed for an Aussie club) have runs on the board. Conscious at the top level highlight reels don’t cut it.

    • Adrian

      Yes, and of course it goes with a whole new approach, which may or may not happen via new coaches or assistant coaches.

      IMO….but clearly not everyone’s, I think our outside backs are often too slow or not powerful enough. Several guys in the squad are safe, very good players who deserve their spots, but won’t win you a test.

      If it was just me, and me, for WC I’d have powerful forwards running onto the ball, with fast/powerful backs there to mop up.
      I’d go 15/14 Folau, 14/15 Duagunu, 13 Kerevi, 12 Beale, 11 Naiyaravoro, 10 Cooper, 9 Gordon/Genia, 8 Naisarani, 7 Pocock, 6 Dempsey, 5 Coleman, 4 Skeleton, 3 Tuopo, 2 Latu, 1 Kepu. 16 TPN, 17 Sio, 18 Alaalatoa, 19 Arnold, 20 Hooper, 21 Genia/Gordon, 22 Foley, 23 Korebette

      But that’s just me, with my imaginary coach. Otherwise it’s the team I posted last week…which isn’t that different

      • Huw Tindall

        A lot to like in that side Adrian! I’d like then to play simple rugby with kicking for territory, pick and goes, inside runner, and then go wide.

        • Adrian

          Yep,…these guys could do that

      • idiot savant

        Really like this approach Adrian.

        • Adrian

          A bit like 2nd half approach today

    • John Tynan

      Sefa hasn’t done anything since his own break out year?

  • dru

    Completely agree on Dempsey, Daugunu and Petaia. Paiaua the next, busy in defence but I thought both Stewart and Paiaua were very quiet during the scoring blitz. The creativity happened elsewhere I thought.

    Someone needs to tell the bloke to get back to his core role. Either that or Thorn and Seib are somehow redefining rugby union with the absence of a play maker.

    Thanks for the write up SFR – we are really seeing some talent coming through the ranks.

    • idiot savant

      Stewart was absolutely playing his core role. Playmakers dont have to be the stars. Their job is to decide who gets the ball and when. Carter did not dazzle with sidesteps and line breaks but the people outside him did. It is no coincidence that the most tries scored by backs in last years NRC was scored by Qld country with Stewart at 10. Nor is it any coincidence that the best the Reds backline looked this season was when Steward was at 10. And again this NRC season, the Qld country outside backs are prominent. Thats because Stewart gets them the ball quicker than most 10s and because he doesn’t crab but runs straight and will make a handful of straight runs himself in every match to keep the defence from sliding. He also kicks very long and keeps his side out of their half when he needs to and lets the forwards keep it if he thinks they are a better chance of getting over the paint. Thats the role of a 10.

      • laurence king

        It would be good to see a more complete 10 playing for the Wallabies as we’ve had rather a mixed bag over the last few years, looking forward to see how he develops. Thanks for the comments

  • SuckerForRed

    Further to my comment about the Semi’s, yes Country are in the finals either way. Now for the Maths…

    If QLDC wins (against the NSW Eagles) and Fiji beat the Force, then QLDC will finish 2nd and have a home semi.
    If QLDC win but the Force beat Fiji, then QLDC will remain in 3rd place and have to travel. Unless they win with a bonus point which will put them in second.
    If QLDC lose then they will slip to 4th with the winner of the Brisbane City v Vikings game taking 3rd.

    I am not even going to bother with the bonus point & draw possibilities. They just need to win and win well!

  • Brisneyland Local

    As always SFR a great write up. You really do set a high bench mark. Yes Daugunu was going great guns till something in his head either switched off, or switched on, depending which way you look at it.
    Another great game of NRC rugby to watch. Am really enjoying this years NRC.
    SO you do you still think we are on for our Fiji trip?

    • SuckerForRed

      I hope so!

      • Brisneyland Local

        So do you surf, dive, fish or what? I am making a bold guess that you do drink!

        • SuckerForRed

          I have been known to fish. Don’t generally go IN the water, cause, you know, sharks and other stuff that can kill you….
          And I have been know to have a drink or two…… :-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nah, I will take you for a dive. the sharks dont nibble. I take my daughters with me to watch the sharks. They love them. Fiji Bitter is very nice.
          I also have a secret cache of Barrosa Red on the Coral Coast.

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Rugby fetishist. Reds & Wallabies supporter. Have been known to watch all grades & levels. Warning - gets fired up! And yes I am a GIRL..........

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