NSW Country coach Darren Coleman spoke to the Andrew Blades about the match in Fiji on the weekend.


Q: The game plan was to control the ball and pressure the Drua around set piece. How did you see this play out and were there any areas you could apply this pressure?

Our scrum got great pay, but our lineout misfired, and we had some poor turnovers in general play, and they swooped. Our transition defence and tackling wasn’t good enough either.


Q: The conditions looked wet and slippery. How did you see the Fijians use this to their advantage?

They just handled the ball better, some of their skills to offload and tip on and catch the ball in the wet was outstanding. They won the 1 v 1 contacts too.


Q: The Drua were able to compress your defensive line and then once this narrowed were able to exploit this going to width.  As a defensive team, how can you best combat this?

Yeah, their offload game causes other issues in your defensive line, you have to send extra defenders to the area of the ball to stop the offload and their tackle bust threat then they eventually compress you and strike wide. You just need to make higher quality first up tackles.


Q: You have a full week of preparation now for the first time this season. How do you plan this week to improve areas necessary for the challenge against Brisbane this weekend?

It will be nice being able to get a few complete sessions in, that said it hasn’t been an excuse, we’ve been prepared we just haven’t played well. We won’t tweak too much on our style of play, we’ll just try and get better at it. We will have some players in key positions so that will add some enthusiasm to the group.


Q: Brisbane City presents a very different challenge this weekend with a strong set-piece and the wide passing game of Quade Cooper. What are the keys to defeating Brisbane City this weekend?

Haven’t thought too much about them this early in the week, we are focussing on playing our game at a better quality. Quade can definitely cause problems off front foot ball.


The NSW Country Eagles face Brisbane City on Sunday 7 October at Camden Rugby Park. The match kicks off at 1500 and will be streamed live on Fox Sports.


It will be a family day at Camden commencing from 1100 with jumping castles and face painting.


Games commence at 12noon with Camden Juniors v Penrith Juniors. Then at 1315 the return clash of NSW Country Women v Sydney Women after Country won a close one in the first encounter a couple of weeks back.


Free entry for kids under the age of 15

Adults $5 and Parking $5

All proceeds to the Camden Rugby Club


We spoke to Sydney Head Coach Chris Whitaker fresh off the red eye flight from Perth after taking on a more than solid Western Force outfit.

The loss, he said was hard to take but already the planning is underway for the trip to Bond University on the Gold Coast to take on Queensland Country.

Q: What’s your take about the trip to the west?
It was a tough old trip that’s for sure. The Western Force have been together for a long time and it showed. Their set piece was very strong, and they dominated us at the scrum and roiling mauls from the line outs. They scored three tries in that first half - two from rolling mauls and the other from an 80-metre turnover. They’re a good team that’s for sure they have plenty of speed and they were just too good for us in the end.

Q: Positives? I suppose it has exposed some guys to what it is like travelling and preparing for a rugby game on the road?
Looking back it would have been great to have a couple of away games early on just so the guys get to know each other. Everyone on this trip got the chance to hang out and have a chat which is something we haven’t really had the chance to do. That was brought about by having our first four games in such quick succession with short turnarounds and all that brings to the table. The boys enjoyed the time away, they’re not happy with the result but the time together I am sure will show results in coming weeks.

Q: Injuries have been part of the narrative with this group and we seem to have come away with a few more from our time in Perth?
CW: We’ll see what our medical people say but it looks like we have lost our two locks in Ryan McCauley and Nick Palmer. Ryan got a head knock in the first half and needed to be replaced while Nick may have injured the foot he did during the Shute Shield season and there were a few other knocks. It’s been a big ask of the boys to play that number of games in such a short period of time.

Q: Doesn’t get any easier and we’re up on the Gold Coast this weekend taking on Queensland Country?
Yeah, it’s off to Bond University for Queensland Country and then off to Ballarat to finish off our season against the Melbourne Rising. The boys are still pretty keen to finish things off well and get that win that has so far eluded us - that’s the main thing now.







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