It was a fantastic round of rugby in the John I Dent Cup. Check out our weekly wrap below.
Single Fin Match of the Round - Queanbeyan Whites 0 - def by Uni-Norths Owls 35
The Uni-Norths Owls have crushed the Queanbeyan Whites 35-0 to go three from three to start of the 2020 John I Dent Cup season.
The Owls started the game off strong in the 5th minute, when Jordan Thompson capitalized on the large amount of pressure being put on the Whites defence in the first five minutes to score. Thompson would then convert his own try to take the score to 7-0.
The Owls would continue to have the majority of possession throughout the next 15 minutes, which would see them inevitably extend their lead in the 20th minute, when Billy Pollard scored off the scrum. Jordan Thompson would convert the try to give the Owls a 14-0 lead after 20 minutes.
It would only take six minutes for the Owls to extend their lead to 21-0, when in the 26th minute Sam Thomas would get over the line to score of a brilliant set play by the Owls.
The Whites would continue to flounder for the rest of the half, giving away multiple penalties in their own 22 which would lead to them being down to 13 men in the last few minutes of the first half.
This deficit in players, mixed with the massive amounts of pressure put on their defence would allows the Owls to score their fourth try in the 40th minute, when Byron Hollingsworth would get over the line to take the score to 28-0, to end the first half.
The Owls started off the second half looking to pick up the tempo of the game to push the Whites out of the game, but this would not work after many drop balls by the Owls. This would allow the Whites to get into the Owls 22 for the first time in the match in the 43rd minute. The Whites however were unable to capitalize on this to get on the scoreboard.
Both teams would continue to trade possession for the rest of the half until the 64th minute when the Owls would add more pain to the Whites, when Billy Pollard scored his second of the game after a strong maul play, to take the Owls to a 35-0 lead.
The Owls would continue to control the match for the last ten minutes and continued to look like they would get over the line again but it wasn’t to be as the Whites would stay strong defensively to keep the score to 35-0 at full time.
The Owls will take on Gungahlin Eagles at home next week to see if they can go four from four. While Queanbeyan will go on to face the winless Royal at home.
Words: Thomas Spencer
Royals 22 def by Wests 24
A late try from Western Districts skipper Ryan Kiely has seen the Lions snatch a thrilling come from behind 24-22 win against the Canberra Royals at Phillip Oval, their first of the season.
It is also the Lions first win under new head coach Adam Butt, and as fate would have it, against his former club, who remain winless after the opening three rounds of the John I Dent Cup.
Butt speaking post-match said he is extremely pleased his side were able to come away with the win and hopes it sparks some much-needed confidence in his young outfit.
“It gives us a little bit of belief and that’s always great,” said Butt.
“You can’t measure it, a bit of confidence and a bit of belief, little bit of ownership on what we are doing and showing that it [the process] is working and now we have just got to really be accountable for our actions.”
He was also happy with the Lions much improved defensive effort against the Royals.
“It was better, no doubt. We work on our defence every week… I push it hard and look you have got to get in arm wrestles at times and that [performance in] defence is what’s going to show.”
Despite being behind for most of the game, Wests would score the first points of the match through a Declan Meredith penalty goal in the eighth minute.
Royals would quickly answer back though with their own 14 minutes in, courtesy of scrumhalf Pedro Rolando.
And the home side would follow this up with the first try of the match, through captain Ben Johnson scoring in the left-hand corner. Despite a lengthy discussion by the officials, the try stood, taking the score to 8-3 22 minutes in.
The home side went on to dominate in attack for most of the first half, however, the Lions continued to show strong discipline in defence
But they were eventually broken down before the interval, with Royals number 8 Rory Scott scoring off the back of a perfectly executed scrum by the home side on the Lions five metre line.
But Wests hit back almost immediately with Meredith crossing over for the Lions first five-pointer in the 40th minute, with the Lions now once again only behind by five points at the break.
The Royals, however, would be first to score on the resumption of play, with winger Lincoln Smith crashing over in the 54th minute. Rolando converted to extend the Royals lead by 12.
The Lions were far from defeated though and were rewarded for their strong resilience as centre Komiti Tuilagi scored in the 59th minute, which was converted by Meredith to bring the margin once again back to five points.
Kiely would then barge over the line to score the winner in the 77th minute for Wests in front of goal, with Meredith having no issues adding the extras, seeing the Lions run out 24-22 winners.
Words Daniel Heinrich
Gungahlin Eagles 20 def by Tuggeranong Vikings 22
The Tuggeranong Vikings stole a win late against the Gungahlin Eagles in the final moments of round three winning 20-22.
Vikings looked eager to take charge early, gaining themselves a penalty from Jed Englert which saw them take an 0-3 lead at the start of the first half.
Not long after the Eagles made it a tied game after getting a penalty of their own from Joseph Caputo.
After pushing at the line for a while the Vikings would be the first to strike, great passing into the corner setting up Englert for the try.
With the missed conversion the Vikings led the game 3-8 and looked like they were starting to build momentum.
Caputo continued to put in work with his foot, inching the Eagles closer to Vikings 6-8.
Vikings continued to control the pace of the game as Luke Gersekowski leapt over the line for the try.
Englert made up for his previous missed kick and the Vikings were starting to put the pressure on leading 6-15.
The Eagles quickly shrugged off this pressure and finally found their spot, as Tayn Atkins muscled his way under the posts for the try.
Caputo still had the rhythm with his boot, getting the Eagles back in the game at 13-15.
The Eagles gained their first lead of the game, after a monstrous effort at the line saw the score grow to 13-20 after a try from Alex Small and the conversion from Caputo.
Both sides continued to battle in the second half, with multiple turnovers and close calls at the line.
After spending the second half without a try the Vikings surprised everyone after a last-second push and tied it up after Jake Simeon dived over from close range.
With the conversion from Jack Evenden, the Vikings stole the win 20-22.
Vikings coach Nick Scrivener praised the Eagles for their defensive efforts but is grateful to get away with the win.
“This comp is so even, there’s not much between any of the teams really,” Scrivener said.
“We’re only three wins in so teams will be chasing us now, we escaped today really. But the comp is so even that if you’re below your best you can get done.”
Words: James Warr