QLD Premier Rugby: Club team mates in a Dog fight for Reds contract
Brisbane City winger Ed Fidow and Queensland Country flyer Filipo Daugunu have taken the National Rugby Championship by storm, continuing their impressive Queensland Premier Rugby form from their club, Wests Bulldogs.
These two players are now banging down the door at Ballymore for fulltime contracts with the Reds.
Daugunu has crossed the line 10 times from just four appearances for Country and is a huge reason the usual cellar dwellers are sitting second with just one loss this year.
The Fijian bagged four meat pies in Country’s rout of the Rams on the weekend; his third multiple try-scoring match of the season.
His Wests club teammate, Ed Fidow, has been just as impressive with 8 tries for City, including a hat-trick last week as they surged into the top four with a demolition of Melbourne Rising.
Their form has wowed fans, opposing players and coaches, but it has come as no surprise to their Bulldogs coach, Pat Byron.
“We did a lot of unstructured attacking drills at training this year and to watch those two guys do their thing was pretty impressive,” said Byron.
Both players only made the move to Brisbane this year, with Daugunu touching down from Fiji and Fidow coming over from Auckland.
“Ed (Fidow) was looking for a change of scenery and a few of his mates had come to Wests, so they told us to have a chat with him,” revealed Byron.
“We knew he was fast and that he’d played with the Samoan Sevens, but the best thing about him coming to the club is the way he has bought into the place.”
Fidow’s Sevens caps for Samoa will be a massive hurdle to him winning a contract at Ballymore. This would make him a Marquee Foreign Signing as he has already represented another nation at the highest level, therefore ruling him out of Wallaby eligibility.
That is not the case for Daugunu.
The speedster played some soccer for Fiji but only picked up rugby in his late teens; even then it was mostly Sevens.
“He hadn’t played a lot of fifteens when he came to us (in January),” said Byron.
“We had a fair bit to teach him, but the talent was there.”
“He spent the majority of the first half of the season coming off the bench, but that ‘Jeeps’ game (against G.P.S. in round 10) he really found his feet.”
The fact that Daugunu can be signed to a professional Super Rugby contract as a Foreign Development player – and be eligible for the Wallabies in three years – means he will likely pip FIdow for a spot on the Reds roster for 2018.
His case is also helped by the fact his Country coach, Brad Thorn, will be leading the men from Ballymore next year.