NRC Semi-Finals: Queensland Country v Fijian Drua Preview

Queensland Country and the Fijian Drua will bring the curtain down on the National Rugby Championship semi-finals when they lock horns at the Clive Berghofer Stadium this Sunday.

New boys, the Fijian Drua, will be looking to make a sensational start to the life in the NRC by beating Queensland this Sunday and advancing to the final of the competition on their first attempt. This will be easier said than done, as Queensland have a highly talented squad that has produced some great rugby this term.

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Queensland Country v Fijian Drua | Sunday 5 November | Clive Berghofer Stadium | 06:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Queensland 2/9 | Draw 23/1 | Fijian Drua 32/10

Queensland Country

Talk about making things hard for yourselves. Queensland absolutely butchered their shot at claiming home final hosting rights last week as they put in a horrid second-half display against the Perth Spirit. Having taken a 26-7 lead into the half-time break, Country looked set to claim the top spot on the NRC ladder. A shambolic second stanza halted those plans as Perth scored 22 unanswered points leading to Queensland dropping to second on the ladder.

Queensland were missing a few of their big guns for last week's fixture, and they will once again be without the services of fly-half come inside centre, Duncan Paia'aua, who is on duty for the Wallabies. The utility was crucial to Queensland claiming six wins from their eight round-robin matches and his absence is a major blow for Country.

Fijian Drua

Even if the Drua had to lose this one, their first stint at the NRC will be hailed as a massive success. The men from the Pacific have been an absolute joy to watch, with their ball-in-hand approach winning them many a supporter.

The Fijians were the form team a few weeks back and actually looked like they may be able to secure a home semi-final until their recent losing streak which saw them lose three of their final five matches. Drua were actually extremely lucky to qualify for the semis with other teams results promoting them to the playoffs, rather than their final round-robin performance getting them over the line.

Speaking of their last round-robin game, the Drua went down 29-36 to the Sydney Rays but their double bonus point haul was enough to assure them a spot in the semis. They will need to up their game ten-folds here if they are to make it all the way to the final.

Verdict: Fijian Drua 22/10
This is an extremely left-field call but I think the Drua will provide one of the upsets of the weekend. They've registered some impressive wins on the road this term and only lost to Queensland by seven points in Fiji. If they can keep their discipline, while still remaining physical, then I think they could well claim victory here. I'll be having a small strike on the away win this weekend. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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