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NRC GRAND FINAL: QUEENSLAND COUNTRY 42 CANBERRA VIKINGS28 Viking Park, Canberra| Saturday 11 November | KICK-OFF: 6:30pm AEST

2017 NRC CHAMPIONS

Bond university queensland country

Bond University Queensland Country have claimed the 2017 National Rugby Championship with a 42-28 win over the Canberra Vikings in Canberra on Saturday night.

Country trailed 21-7 at half time but produced a spirited second-half comeback led by captain Duncan Paia’aua and a hat-trick to winger Filipo Daugunu.

Paia’aua scored a vital try at the death, bursting through two Vikings’ defenders from first receiver when the scores were locked up at 28-all before Daugunu claimed the restart and raced away to put the nail in the Vikings’ coffin.

The win sees Country lift the the title for the first time in the competition’s four-year history in a remarkable turnaround after finishing the 2016 season in last place.

Country scrumhalf James Tuttle, who has played every game for Country since the inaugural match back in 2014 was on song from the kicking tee, slotting all six of his conversions.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST HALF

20min | Country broke the game open when winger Eto Nabuli combined with Patrick James and Chris Feauia-Sautia with some scintillating offloading to put James Tuttle over for the first try of the match.

24min | The Vikings hit back two minutes later with a try to inside centre James Dargaville and Warenui Hawera slotted the conversion to level the scores at 7-all.

32min | The Vikings extended their lead in the 33rd minute when prop Harrison Lloyd burrowed his way over the try line from close range.

37min | With three minutes remaining in the opening stanza, Vikings’ blindside flanker Rob Valentini dotted down for the home side’s third try to make it a 21-7 game.

SCORING PLAYS

SECOND HALF

43min | Filipo Daugunu showed his finishing prowess to stay in field and plant the ball down next to the corner post for Country’s second try, reducing the deficit to 21-14 after Tuttle nailed the sideline conversion.

57min | A loose ball was swooped on by Paia’aua in the 57th minute as the skipper raced away to put Country ahead 28-21.

67min | Vikings’ replacement Lausii Taliauli drived over the try line to re-level the scores at 28-all.

77min | Country turned down two penalty goal opportunities in the dying stages and were rewarded when captain Paia’aua burst through two defenders to score a vital try, 35-28.

79min | Daugunu claimed the sloppy restart and raced away, to ensure Country would finish the 2017 season as champions.

BOND UNIVERSITY QUEENSLAND COUNTRY

STARTING XV

1. Richie Asiata – Easts (Starting debut)

2. Alex Mafi - Bond University, Gold Coast

3. Taniela Tupou - Brothers

4. Harry Hockings - University of Queensland, Bowen

5. Angus Blyth - Bond University, Gold Coast

6. Angus Scott-Young - University of Queensland

7. Tai Ford - Bond University, Gold Coast

8. Caleb Timu - Souths

9. James Tuttle - GPS

10.Hamish Stewart - Bond University, Toowoomba

11. Eto Nabuli - GPS

12. Duncan Paia'aua (c) - Norths, Rockhampton

13. Chris Feauai-Sautia - Souths

14. Filipo Daugunu - Wests

15. Patrick James - Brothers

RESERVES

16. Alex Casey - Souths

17. Gareth Ryan - Brothers

18. Gavin Luka - Bond University, Gold Coast (Potential Queensland Country and NRC debut)

19. Phil Potgieter - University of Queensland, Toowoomba

20. Ted Postal - Brothers

21. Tate McDermott - University of Queensland, Sunshine Coast

22. Teti Tela - Souths

23. Tony Hunt - University of Queensland

“The Vikings will be a tough challenge for our side. They’ve been in great form throughout the season and after going down to them in Round 1, our team are hungry for another chance to test themselves against a strong team." Head Coach, Brad Thorn

CANBERRA VIKINGS

STARTING XV

1. Faalelei Sione

2. Folau Faingaa

3. Les Leuluailii-Makin

4. Dean Oakman-Hunt

5. Darcy Swain

6. Rob Valetini

7. Tom Cusack (c)

8. Lolo Fakaosilea

9. Ryan Lonergan

10. Wharenui Hawera

11. Andrew Muirhead

12. James Dargaville

13. Len Ikitau

14. Ben Johnston

15. Tom Banks

RESERVES

16. Robbie Abel

17. Harry Lloyd

18. Max Bode

19. Michael Oakman-Hunt

20. Angus Allen

21. Pedro Rolando

22. Liam Moseley

23. Lausii Taliauli

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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