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Neori Nadruku an untapped talent as Queanbeyan Whites look to upset Tuggeranong Vikings

Neori Nadruku with his father, Noa.

Neori Nadruku with his father, Noa. Photo: Jay Cronan

The Queanbeyan Whites enter Saturday’s major semi-final against Tuggeranong as underdogs, but coach Adam Fahey is looking to harness the energy of his “young kids” to put an end to the Vikings' domination of the John I Dent Cup.

The Whites have an average age of 22, including a pair of former Australian schoolboys’ representatives, 18-year-old Keith Morgan and 20-year-old Neori Nadruku.

“We’re definitely underdogs, plain and simple. They’ve got big-game experience, big-name players, we’ve got a group of young kids,” Fahey said.

Noa Nadruku in his heyday for the Canberra Raiders.

Noa Nadruku in his heyday for the Canberra Raiders. Photo: Tim Clayton

Coming up against Tuggeranong, the champions of the last three seasons, is an opportunity for the youngsters to gauge their development. But Fahey’s challenge could be to fire up Nadruku, son of former Raiders winger Noa.

“Neori’s played most of the season in first grade and he just keeps getting better and better. I don’t think Neori realises how good he is, to be totally honest,” he said.

“I don’t think he cares either to tell you the truth.”

Neori Nadruku’s response confirmed his coach’s suspicion.

“He keeps telling me that, but I just usually laugh it off and don’t give it much attention," he said.

“I just play it for fun now. I really couldn’t care about rugby, I just like the company.”

After taking time out to travel Europe last year, the big tight-head prop is in his first year of an accounting degree at the University of Canberra and working as a removalist.

“Having that Polynesian background, he’s just happy to go with the flow, but he’s starting to really blossom as a footballer on the field and Keith Morgan. His potential is untapped. The pair of them are capable of very big things there,” Fahey said.

“Both have got the potential to play [at a] higher [level], there’s no question about that."

Fahey said the team has taken some confidence from Tuggeranong's sole loss of the season to Wests, but they will have to be at their “absolute best” to progress straight to the grand final.

“A lot of things are going to have to go right for us on the day to get the win,” he said.

“[But] we’re not going in to participate, we’re planning to win it, that’s for sure.” 

JOHN I DENT CUP

Semi-Finals: Saturday: Tuggeranong v Queanbeyan, Viking Park, 3:25pm. Sunday: Gungahlin v Wests, Viking Park, 3:15pm.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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