Country character the derby difference: Thorn

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Queensland Country showed their true colours in a maiden NRC derby win over Brisbane City, coach Brad Thorn said.

After being overrun by the Canberra Vikings in week one, Country showed all of their grit to hold out their fierce rivals, with their defence the ultimate difference in a 31-12 win.

“All the characteristics of Queensland Country came out in this team today,” Thorn said.

“The whole team - the bench, everyone fronted, everyone put the body on the line and contributed so really proud of them.”

Thorn heaped praise on his team’s defensive effort, an element he had emphasised during the week after that close loss to Canberra.

“They could not go through us,” he said.

“They scrummed against us, they mauled the lineout , the pick and go, and we just kept on turning up and that’s where the skill set, it’s great to have that, but it’s what under here  and what’s up here and  how bad you want it.

“I was proud of them but round two, plenty of games to go.”

City coach Mick Heenan was disappointed his team didn’t match Country’s toughness in the contest.

Queensland Country have plenty of confidence after their win. Photo: Getty Images“It was certainly a very physical encounter, lots of intensity. We didn’t muscle up, they got the jump on us physically,” he said.

“We don’t have to throw everything out.

“We created a lot of opportunities but desperate defence from country and a little bit of polish from us (cost us).”

It was an extra special afternoon for Country debutant Tate McDermott, who played in front of his home crowd on the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s pretty special day, awesome to be down here at Noosa in front of the home town and even better to get a win over city which we’ve never done in NRC history,” he said.

Queensland Country has a bye next week, while Brisbane City heads home to take on the Canberra Vikings.