A look at the best of the action from Round 14 of the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup.
Easts v Vikings
The Tuggeranong Vikings travelled to Griffith Oval on Saturday afternoon and put on an absolute try-fest as they defeated Easts 66-5 in what was a scintillating performance.
From the get-go, Tuggeranong were the dominate force they become known to be, scoring 10 ten tries throughout the 80 minutes to Easts single. Ernest Suavai scored a hat-trick with Ryan Lonergan converting many whilst providing quick ball to the backs and Noah Lolesio controlling the tempo of the game that Easts simply could not keep up with.
Vikings played like a well-oiled machine with changes of direction and supportive plays that got them across the line early in the game. Suavai bagged his first try of the match after a supportive play from Lolesio and winger Andrew Robinson created the space for Suavai to squeeze through.
Back from Argentina and the U/20 World Championships, Lolesio showed what damage he can do when he is in control of the ball. Creating space, sucking in defenders and throwing miracle balls, like when Jayme Field found himself with just the try line in front of him when receiving the ball of a 20m loop pass from Lolesio.
Whilst emerging from the bottom of the ruck, Lonergan found himself on the list of try scorers in the first half before making a line break down the blind side off the back of a scrum on his own 22’. With Suavai in support, he crossed for his second try of the match.
Easts were giving up. Despite the scoreline they physically took it to Vikings. Big hits, having the upper hand come scrum time as well as their scrambling defence is to be applauded.
George Morseu and Tiko Twist should take a bow for their efforts, being the last line of defence, forcing mistakes of Vikings or even tackling the player over the sideline.
Come half time, Tuggeranong lead 31-0. Easts were flat on their heals in the first half, with little to no ball being played in Vikings territory. The tackle rate was definitely in favour of Vikings.
Come second half, it was unfortunately the same story for Easts. Perhaps the only good outcome for them from the match was that their scrum was on point. Working as a tight forward pack should, they were able to push Vikings back and show them who was boss amongst the big men.
However scrum wins don’t get you points and that’s what Vikings were able to do what Easts couldn’t.
Tries to Angus Allen, Len Ikitau, Darcy Swain and Ernest Suavai (hat-trick) meant Easts were simply blown out of the park.
A late consolation try to Aaron Collins who made a hard run through a mid-field gap in defence was able to score under the posts.
A dejected Easts were simply no match for the Vikings. Still winless this season, Easts still have the heart but it’s sometimes pretty hard to watch a team go down like that.
Final scores had the Tuggeranong Vikings defeat Easts 66-5.
Queanbeyan v Royals
The Canberra Royals have held off a fast finishing Queanbeyan side 14-23 to continue their strong run of form this season.
Two first half tries were enough for the visitors to assure them the win, despite a late Whites resurgence.
The Royals were first to score after Queanbeyan was penalized inside their own half for being offside.
Pedro Rolando looked comfortable slotting the 40-metre penalty goal for his first points of the game.
Issues at the line out prevented Queanbeyan from building pressure in the first half and it was only a matter of time until their scrum was under pressure too.
A Royals knock on inside the attacking half gave Queanbeyan the chance to secure the ball, but the ensuing scrum buckled against the feed and Rory Scott picked up the ball and came close to crossing to score himself.
The visitors were lining up to score and it was prop Sione Havili Mau who was too powerful to stop from close range, putting his team 10 points ahead.
Just minutes later Royals speedster Liam Shaw intercepted a loopy pass on the halfway and ran away to score without a player even close to matching his speed.
An easy conversion for Rolando made it 0-17 going into half time and things were beginning to look dire for the Whites.
The Whites defended well to start the second half, but the Royals did a great job at holding possession.
Eventually the Blue Baggers were awarded a penalty in good position and opted to extend their lead by another 3 points.
The most exciting play of the game came when Rolando took a quick tap off a penalty, racing away and attempting to chip the fullback, but the Queanbeyan player beat him to the ball in goal and grounded it for a 22m drop out.
Another penalty put Royals beyond three converted tries ahead at 0-23 with ten minutes to go, but two tries in the dying moments brought the home crowd to life.
Unfortunately for the fans time was not on their side, but they can take solace in the late performance of a Queanbeyan side that has shown brilliance at times this season despite their standings on the table.
Next week the Whites come up against Uni-Norths, while Easts will play host to Royals at Griffith Oval.