Jordan Petaia was a standout for Queensland Country in the NRC grand final on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
Jordan Petaia was a standout for Queensland Country in the NRC grand final on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images

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.

Peni Matawalu and Levani Kurumudu celebrate Fijian Drua’s win. Picture: Getty Images
Peni Matawalu and Levani Kurumudu celebrate Fijian Drua’s win. Picture: Getty Images

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)