A look back at what was yet another exciting week in the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup!
Owls v Eagles
Vikings v Easts
The Vikings have orchestrated a demolition of Easts, a twelve try haul leaving the final score at 80-17.
The reigning champions were clinical in their scoring throughout the game, while Easts had moments of brilliance but could not contain the storming Vikings.
Vikings began their onslaught early with a great try to Maika Ravouvou in the second minute.
The flying winger was set up by a beautiful offload by full back Ernest Suavai to score under the posts, with Ryan Lonergan converting.
Easts hit back with a quick tap try to number 8 Peni Nifo. It was smart play by the big man, catching the Vikings defence napping and lunging for the line.
Winger George Morseu converted successfully. For the next ten minutes Easts were showing tremendous resilience on defence, keeping the Vikings attack out scoreless.
However, the Easts defenders became fatigued. Vikings centre Trai Henderson eventually punctured the Easts defence, bouncing off tackles to score.
Five minutes later the Vikings scored a very clinical try through winger Joe Langtry.
The winger was on the end of a well worked backline play and crossed in the corner. Maika Ravouvou was displaying spectacular support play as he linked up with the centres for his second try.
The Easts men were beginning to get desperate. Accumulative ruck penalties meant that a card was imminent, Tuitavake Fusimalohi was the man sent off with a yellow card.
Ryan Lonergan was next to score. The classy halfback continued to rack up the points crossing from a short distance scoot, then converting. As the halftime siren went Ernest Suavai scored under the posts.
He was set up by a powerful break and crafty offload by Len Ikitau. At halftime the Easts men had a mountain to climb. A 33 point difference and all momentum with the Vikings meant that it would be a tough 40 minutes ahead.
It took just four minutes for the Vikings to pick up from where they left off in the first half. Flyhalf Isaac Thompson sold a dummy off the back of a five-metre scrum to score.
Minutes later, Vikings centre Trai Henderson scored his second try from a simple switch play from set piece. Though the situation had become near impossible, the Easts men had plenty of fight left in them and were quick to capitalise on Vikings mistakes.
Flanker Albert Watego broke a through a poor tackle attempt and streaked away to score a 20 metre try.In the 62nd minute the Vikings were back on the Easts five metre line and a try was surely imminent.
In an act of desperation Easts winger George Morseu committed a ruck infringement to save his team another try. He was given his team’s second yellow card.
Eventually, the sustained pressure paid off for the Vikings. A well-built maul put hooker Sam Thomas over for a try. Two more tries through Len Ikitau and Sam Thomas continued the Vikings domination before Easts managed a last gasp effort for a try.
Winger Marcus Malaetasi found himself in space on the edge and made light work of the cover defence to score in the corner. Not to be outdone, the Vikings had the last word in what was an absolute demolition.
Fullback Ernest Suavai scoring again following some great running rugby by the Vikings. The Vikings showed their attacking class is second to none in the competition. A strong performance by Ryan Lonergan, who controlled the high pace match well and kicked 8/12 from the tee.
This win gives the Vikings a boost before facing Wests next week. The Easts men will have no rest in terms of calibre of competition, they face Royals next week.
Royals v Queanbeyan
The Canberra Royals convincingly defeated Queanbeyan 56-24 at Phillip Enclosed to complete the ‘royal flush’, with their teams winning in all 4 grades as well as Colts.
The win means they are still undefeated this season, keeping pace with table-leaders Gungahlin.
Queanbeyan started the match with intent, holding on to the majority of early possession and keeping Royals pinned in their own half.
They were rewarded for this initial dominance with a penalty right in front of the posts which Brendan Jimenez converted to 3 points.
A penalty on the halfway allowed the home team to set up in attack and they didn’t take long to score in the corner.
Just minutes later Lincoln Smith was over for a second and Royals were out to an early 14-3 lead, courtesy of two fantastic Pedro Rolando conversions.
Rolando then made a nuisance of himself at the back of a Queanbeyan scrum, tackling their number 8 Carl Elliot and winning possession for his team.
That allowed Royals to set up camp inside the 22, and it was Rolando again who darted out from the back of the ruck to score to the right of the posts.
Continuing his strong form from last week, Zeph Tuinona slipped through the defence and displayed some impressive speed by racing 20 meters to score a try which is duly converted by Jimenez. Royals compound the issue minutes later when prop Sione Havili Mau is yellow carded.
However, they don’t seem to notice being a man down when Ben Johnson finds himself at the end of a backline move that saw him put into open space down the left flank.
He makes it easy for his halfback to convert by running in under the posts and Royals took a 28-10 lead into the shed at half time.
Queanbeyan’s defence inside their own 22 will be a worry for their coach.
They have looked good with the ball in hand but seem to fall apart whenever they find themselves down in their end of the field.
Similar to the first half, the Whites had the upper hand early on and were quick to score a try from a maul close to the line.
Jimenez had no problem converting from out wide, and this try would have given the visitors a lot of confidence.
A yellow card to each Craig McMahon and Ben Gordon gave Royals a chance to attack 14 on 14, and they relished the opportunity with hooker Siuta Tai scoring a pressure-relieving try beside the left upright for an easy conversion.
Seth Going continued his try scoring form by adding one late in the game, streaking down the right edge score and dotting down in the corner. Rolando maintained his perfect record with the boot, pushing out the score to 35-17.
A try to Keith Morgan with 10 minutes left in the game will give confidence to a Queanbeyan side that will be disappointed with the final score.
Lapses in defence and poor discipline meant the score board doesn’t reflect how tight the game was at times.
Two tries in the dying minutes, including a second try for Ben Johnson, capped off a great performance from the Royals, eventually winning 56-24.
Next week Royals will travel to Griffith to play Easts while Queanbeyan face another big challenge when they come up against a strong Uni-Norths team.