It was another action packed day in the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup, with Vikings, Royals and Wests all recording victories. Check out our wrap up of all the action, below.
Queanbeyan v Vikings
Tuggeranong continued their strong form this weekend when they put away the Queanbeyan Whites 28-37 at David Campese Oval.
The Whites again struggled with their set piece and discipline this week.
Yellow cards to both Kieran Frost and Carl Elliot meant that they struggled to build momentum, and the points they gave away during those 10 minutes in each half ultimately made the difference.
Len Ikitau made his mark on the gam early when he burst through the defence easily out wide and drew in three defenders, before making a one-handed offload to Ryan Lonergan.
Lonergan strolled over to score before comfortably slotting the conversion of his own try from the sideline. Queanbeyan were incredibly tough at the breakdown, winning turnovers and forcing the visitors back in defence, but their scrum was under pressure from early in the game.
Just as the Whites were starting take over Tuggeranong in intensity, Kieran Frost was awarded a yellow carded for high tackle.
The vocal Queanbeyan crown was justifiably indignant with the seemingly harsh decision, and they were even more upset when the Vikings managed to quickly burrow over from short range to push out the lead to 14-0.
Tuggeranong then did a great job of soaking up pressure from the Whites, demonstrating some incredibly solid defence.
However, their inability to find touch from a couple of penalties meant they could only score one converted try while Frost was in the sin bin.
Queanbeyan then hit back with a fantastic try to Brendan Jimenez after Keith Morgan broke the line from inside his own half.
A Will Goddard conversion brought the Whites back into the game at 7-17, but a second penalty kick from Lonergan just before half time took the deficit back to 13.
The Whites started the second half strong, but it didn’t take long for Carl Eliot to receive a yellow card and his team were again down a man.
The Vikings grabbed their opportunity with two hand, immediately scoring out wide. Lonergan’s conversion didn’t quite come around, and when a Queanbeyan maul drove its way across the tryline minutes later, they were again back in the game at 14-25.
The Vikings scrum really took over the match in the later periods, with a highlight for the forwards being an impressive pushover scrum.
Two tries for each team in the closing stages gave the crowd something to cheer about, but the result was seemingly locked up from half time.
Tuggeranong eventually came away as 28-37 winners, but Queanbeyan will believe they have what it takes to beat them next time the teams face off if they can sort out a few issues.
Next week the Whites will travel to Jamison to play Wests, while Tuggeranong will take on the high flying Gungahlin Eagles.
Wests v Easts
Western Districts and Easts played out an absolute thriller at Jamison Park on Saturday afternoon, with the home side claiming victory 33-20 in what was a very physical encounter.
Despite the scoreline not reflecting how the match truely unfolded, Easts had the upper hand for the majority of the match. Only for a couple of late tries to Wests to record only their second win of the season.
Scores opened when Peni Nifo of Easts was able to find a whole in Wests defence in the 14th minute. Nifo had earlier injured his knee in and seemed to be in quite a lot of discomfort, having it having heavily strapped before crashing over the line.
Wests really only had their first opportunity to score points around 20 minutes into play. A penalty awarded on halfway to them due a successful pilfer followed by a terrific from flyhalf Declan Meredith got them to Easts 5m line.
Wests attempted a rolling maul but Easts defence was too good. The attacking team quickly realised this and let the backs work their magic. A try to a determined Drew Southwell in the corner carrying defenders over with was the momentum Wests needed to get them rolling.
Ben Coutts of Wests was next to cross the line with a big strong hit up. Ryan Kiely set the whole play up after he made a linebreak placing Wests in a strong scoring position. Easts were on the back foot and just couldn’t stop Coutts from scoring.
The first half rounded up with Easts flyhalf Darcy Eason kicking a successful penalty attempt from about 35m out.
As the siren sounded, Wests led 12-8.
With the field all but covered up now by shade and getting ever darker, the second half got underway and Wests were quick to pounce.
A devastating run by Liae Tuilagi from outside centre, brushing off opposing players and bulldozing fullback Jacob Angelatos out of the way. Only to offload to David Dwyer who was inside in support to score under the posts.
However Easts did not give up. Despite being down now 19-8, Liam Harrison decided to go down the blindside of the back of the scrum, catching the opposing blindside flanker and winger by surprise, to score in the corner.
Poor discipline were hurting Wests. Momentum was building with Easts. Every time they had their hands on the ball they were able to make their way to Wests try line only to be stopped by either handling skills or ruck infringements.
Easts were able to finally walk away with a converted try thanks to Aaron Collins who was able to weave some magic and cross over. Easts now led 20-19 after being down 19-8 not too long ago.
It wasn’t until the 76th minute that Wests scored. Meredith wasn’t held in the tackle (Easts didn’t agree with the referee on this decision) and stretched out to put his team back in front with only minutes to spare.
Still showing grit and determination to win their first match of the season, Easts were trying everything to break the line. Only for some loose carries and a strip by Tuilagi who ran off to score on the siren consolidated Wests victory.
Final scores had Wests sneaking home 33-20 over Easts. Both of which still sit at the bottom of the ladder despite playing out an absolute thriller.
Words: Rob Davison
Royals v Queanbeyan
Phillip Oval has again been the scene of another Royals masterclass as the home side defeated the Uni Norths Owls in a convincing win.
Coming off the back of a solid victory last week over Wests, the Royals premier grade side had confidence going into their game against the Owls at their home ground.
Afast start to the match saw Royals take the early lead after relentlessly attacking the Owls try line, eventually being rewarded with a penalty which Pedro Rolando capitalised on, giving his side a 3-0 lead in the opening minutes.
Despite the quick beginning to the match, the next stanza was fought out in the middle of the ground where both teams conceded opportunities, slowing down the game in the first half.
It was again Royals who scored the next points of the match, again off the back of an attack on the opposition’s try line.
When they were given the chance for a penalty, Rolando stepped up to give him team an extra three points with the score now at 6-0.
The momentum swung when the Royals lost their number 4 Samual Von Blankensee after a high shot on Willoughby Axelsen, getting sent off for ten minutes.
The Owls nearly took immediate advantage of being a man up but had a disallowed try in the right corner.
Rory Scott finally crossed for the first try of the game late in the second half, extending the home side’s advantage to 11-0 after Rolando missed the conversion.
A try in the closing minutes of the first half brought the Owls back into the mix with a maul over the line resulting in their first points of the game, kicker Jordan Thompson closing up the scores with a conversion to make it 11-7.
Just as everyone was preparing to head off for the break, Scott broke through the Owls line again to extend his side’s lead, Rolando aiding the effort with his third successful kick of the game with Royals leading 18-7.
Continuing on their first half form, Royals were the first to open a scoring account in the second half, yet again off the back of a penalty to further extend their lead, now in front by a margin of 23-7.
Not contempt with letting the score blowout, Lachlan Sole Creighton score the Owls’ second try of the match, again reeling the Royals back in after a Thompson conversion brought the scores back to 23-14.
After a few chances near their opposition’s line, Royals finally crossed for another try midway through the second half with Liam Shaw providing some acrobatics in the right corner to give the home team another five points, now leading 28-14.
Wanting to put the game away, Royals put away another second half try which, with a Rolando conversion, gave them a 35-14 lead as the second half started to wind down.
The Owls didn’t want to go down without a fight and they responded to their opposition late in the second half with a try from their number 23, Thompson successfully converting the try as the score sat at 35-21.
As the sun started to set over Phillip Oval, Royals scored another try in the twilight of the match, breaking the 40 point barrier and gaining a 42-21 lead as the 80th minute approached.
Royals held on to their lead until the end despite some late attempts by the Owls to claw back some points.
The win sealed a near perfect day for the home side who won in all bar one division on Satuday.