Petaia shows class as Qld Country loses NRC grand final
ONE moment of Jordan Petaia brilliance on Saturday highlighted why he will be a plane to Europe with the Wallabies despite Queensland Country's 36-26 loss in the National Rugby Championship grand final.
The Fijian Drua were worthy victors in Lautoka but it was 12-all late in the first half when Petaia showed his class in the greasy conditions.
The 18-year-old outside centre was on one-bended knee when he took a pass lowdown from halfback Tate McDermott 10m out, but exploded out on an angled, driving run through four defenders.
He stretched over for his 10th try of a superb NRC campaign to show why Wallaby great Tim Horan rates him so highly: "He isn't a star of the future, he's a star now."
Winger Chris Feauai-Sautia scored the opening try when he finished off a strike down the left edge for 5-0 to Country.
It was a worthy win for the Drua and their presence in the competition has been a shrewd initiative to lift the standard and variety in the competition.
The Drua gained some surprising scrum supremacy, especially for No.8 Eremasi Radrodro to crash over from the back of one strong platform.
Country hooker Efi Maafu scored of a strong lineout maul to close the gap to a converted try entering the final 10 minutes.
Fijian Drua 36 (A Tuisue 2, E Radrodro, M Naulago, A Veitokani tries; A Waqatabu 4 con, A Veitokani pen goal) bt Qld Country 26 (C Feauai-Sautia, J Petaia, F Daugunu, E Maafu tries; H Stewart 3 con)