SPORTS

Stewart Gracious in Defeat

  Fiji Airways Drua rugby captain John Stewart believes the 2017 Australia National Rugby Championship was a great learning experience for the side. This followed their 57-21 loss to Queensland
06 Nov 2017 11:48
Stewart Gracious in Defeat
Referree Agnus Gardner talks to Fiji Airways Drua captain John Stewart on September 29, 2017. Photo: Canberra Times

 

Fiji Airways Drua rugby captain John Stewart believes the 2017 Australia National Rugby Championship was a great learning experience for the side.

This followed their 57-21 loss to Queensland Country in the second NRC semi-final at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba, Queensland yesterday.

“We are happy that we have come this far in our first year of participation. When the competition started we never expected to reach the semi-final,” he said.

“It was hard work that has brought us to this level. We’ve learnt a lot especially the standard of the game, the structure and the phase of the game. We have had a busy 13 weeks together as a team as we faced setbacks together.

“We want to thank our coaches for coming this far.”

The Queensland Country side proved themselves in the first 40 minutes to lead 26-7 as they dominated possession and scored four tries through Caleb Timu who scored a double, Duncan Paia’aua and ‘Tongan Thor’ Taniela Tupou. They were successful with three conversions through the boots of captain, James Tuttle.

The Fijians only managed to score their lone try in the first half through hooker Vesi Rarawa who brushed off three defenders to reach the try line and was converted by Apisalome Waqatabu.

Discipline was again an issue for the Fijians as prop Kalivati Tawake was sinned-binned for a dangerous play on Country prop James Slipper.

The Queensland country side continued their dominance in the second half seeing an athletic offload from Eto Nabuli that set up Feauai-Sautia for a five pointer just three minutes into the second half and was followed by Paddy James scoring a splendid team try.

Rarawa then crossed two more times to keep the Drua into the contest but Country returned serve with a stellar five pointer of their own.

That was typified by Tupou crossing for his second, which was a relatively soft pick and drive effort.

Country weren’t done yet, when Paia’aua dotted down for his second after a superb chip kick from winger Filipo Daugunu while Nabuli scored the final try after cleaning up a loose ball and scoring as the siren sounded.

Young prop Eroni Mawi was sin-binned in the second spell for a dangerous tackle.

 

SCORERS

Queensland Country 57- Tries: Timu (2,) Paia’aua (2), Tupou (2), Feauai-Sautia, James, Nabuli. Cons: Tuttle, Daugunu

Fijian Drua 21

Tries: Rarawa 3

Cons: Waqatabu 3

 

Edited by  Leone  Cabenatabua

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 



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