Queensland Country have opened their third win in as many games.
They beat the Fijian Drua 52 points to 22 at Mackay’s BB Print Stadium in Round 3 of the National Rugby Championship.
Country ran in eight tries on a humid afternoon, with outside centre Jordan Petaia finishing the match with a hat-trick, while Jock Campbell crossed for a double.
The 30-point win sees Country sit equal top of the ladder with the Western Force.
Country’s performance impressed coach Rob Seib.
“Across the board everyone put in and delivered on what was asked of them.
“We knew we had a tough challenge ahead of us, considering how well Fiji had performed in their opening two matches, but our team rose to the challenge.
“We knew the contact zone was going to be important today, if we could be physical and test them early on we knew we could get some benefit out of that and the score at half-time reflected that.
“Credit to the Drua, they came out in the second half and didn’t gift us possession, but our defence held strong and we came away with the win.”
The match was Country’s first in Mackay, and Seib was grateful to see the locals turn out in support.
“The crowd and the atmosphere at the game was great.
“Partnering the match with the local grand final meant that we had a host of support from the local Rugby community and that helped lift the team.”
Country’s next game will be at Bond Uni on the Gold Coast against the Western Force.
“The season doesn’t get any easier from here,” said Seib.
“The Force have been training together for a long time and will be a well drilled side. We’ll need to be ready for them next week on the Gold Coast.”
Queensland Country 52 (Tries: Petaia 3, Campbell 2, Paiaaua, Daugunu, Wilson. Conv: Stewart 6)
Fijian Drua 22 (Tries: Daveta, Penalty, Waqatabu, Nauma)