The Queanbeyan Whites have won this year’s 2019 Colts Championship after defeating Canberra Royals 27-21 in a thrilling encounter at Viking Park on Saturday.
With the crowd already building from earlier games, the main grandstand and hills were vocal with support from both sides.It all came down to the final minute of play as Royals had a chance to steal victory, but a loose carry was all that was needed to give Queanbeyan the title.
The first half have close, so close that no score was recorded until the 27th minute. Neither team was able to hold possession when they entered the opposition 22.
Either a mistake or penalty was awarded against the team with the ball whenever they looked like they were about to get themselves into a scoring opportunity.Lincoln Smith of Royals made a break down the left-hand sideline, cutting back on the inside, side-stepping his Queanbeyan counterpart.
Smith ran about 70 meters only for a terrific tackle from Michael Rademaker to end his progress, able to force the knock on.A lineout steal from Royals lock Oliver Miller placed his side in prime position, midfield and right in front of the posts, Queanbeyan then being penalised for a ruck infringement.
Liam Maguire’s attempt at the penalty was low trajectory and pushed wide to the left.It wasn’t until about ten minutes later that Queanbeyan then found themselves in position to score. Continuous penalties against Royals and pinpoint kicks to touch had the forward pack only five-meters out.
The drive was good only for a forward pass from Ben Magro to his hooker Caleb Bower as he dived over in the corner to stop the momentum.First points were awarded to Royals on behalf of blindside Daniel Goodwin.
Royals were finally able to have multiple phases of play in the Queanbeyan 22, before Goodwin barged over the line to the delight of Royals supporters.Queanbeyan hit back five minutes later.
Devastating ball runner Davea Teoteo found some clear air a couple of meters out and went straight for the line, barging his way over from close range. Going into half time the score was 7-7 with the second expected to be as close as the first.
The second half couldn’t have started any better for Queanbeyan.
They were able to slowly make their way up field and with Royals on the back foot they were under a lot of pressure come scrum time.
Queanbeyan demolished a scrum five meters out, keeping the ball in play and eventually they conceded, and a penalty try was awarded to the Whites.
Royals just were not able to keep up with the intensity that Queanbeyan were producing.
They were flat footed in attack and were not able to make up the ground that Queanbeyan were able to when ball was in hand.
Two penalties inside their own half for offside made matters a lot harder as Queanbeyan elected to kick for points and before you knew it they were now leading 20-7.
However, Royals were able to score a try after a sneaky inside ball to Harry Quinlan lifted spirits of the Blue Baggers.
But it was short lived, a mistake of the kick off by Royals forced a charge down and Haloti Fonua scooped on the loose ball and bolted down the sideline, superman diving in style to score.
Scores were now 27-14 with only ten minutes left of play, Royals needing two converted tries to have a chance of stealing victory.
One of those tries for the men in blue to James Bundy who put his head down and ran a hard line, taking a couple of Queanbeyan defenders over with him.
Converted by Maguire it was now a 6-point ball game.With ball in hand and in Queanbeyan’s 22’, Royals nearly got there in the end but a minute after the final siren, a knock on was all that was needed for Queanbeyan to claim victory 27-21.
Canberra Royals (7) 21 (T: Daniel Goodwin, Harry Quinlan, James Bundy, C: Liam Maguire (3)) Queanbeyan Whites (7) 27 (T: Davea Teoteo, Penalty Try, Haloti Fonua, C: Haloti Fonua, (2) P: Haloti Fonua (2))
Words: Rob Davison