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 - Tuggeranong Vikings 26 def Uni-Norths Owls 25
In a top of the table clash, the Tuggeranong Vikings have defeated the Uni-North Owls in an absolutely thrilling encounter in wet conditions at Viking Park. A late penalty goal from Isaac Henry sealed the one point win in the tense encounter that threatened to boil over.
It was a tense start to the clash as Owls enjoyed the majority of possession early on but struggled to break down a tough Vikings defence. Their attacking pressure would pay off as Jordan Thompson converted his first penalty goal of the afternoon from 25 metres out.
After going down, the Vikings turned up the pressure as blindside flanker Sua Tonga made a barnstorming run through the Owls defence, going on to win his side a penalty. Isaac Henry stepped up to level scores in an entertaining opening.
Vikings would begin to take control from there, as they took the lead with Tonga instrumental once again. With a lineout deep in Owls territory, the flanker peeled off before crashing over the line to score.
Little over five minutes later and the Vikings were in again. With a lineout right on halfway, the Vikings swept the ball wide with Henry slipping through the backline before a quick one-two with Maika Ravouvou ended with the academy star crossing over easily.
Even with a ten point lead, ill-discipline was a problem that would prove costly. Multiple infringements in the ruck saw Sione Mau saw the front rower sent to the sin-bin. With a one-man advantage, the Owls piled the pressure on the Vikings defence.
It paid off almost instantly as the Owls forward pack proved too strong and barged their way over the line. Jordan Thompson converted to bring his side within three points just before the break.
Right on half time and ill-discipline would cost the Vikings yet again, as penalty just outside their own 22 saw Thompson step up to convert and level the score at 13-all, heading into the break.
Vikings came out firing in the second half and would regain their lead with Sione Mau redeeming himself for his yellow card in the first. Putting immense pressure on the Owls try line, the Vikings got the ball into an incredibly dangerous position right under the post with no-one able to stop Mau as he crashed over to score. Henry converted to take the scores to 20-13.
Being down by ten for the second time in the match proved to be no difficult task for the Owls, as Bradley Pumpa crossed over following a series of strong drives. With Jordan Thompson off the field, Billy Carberry stepped up to the tee, but sent his kick wide, scores now at 23-18.
As had been a major theme throughout the match, disciple proved an issue for the Vikings as Michael Oakman-Hunt became the second from his side to see yellow.
Owls would again take advantage of their superior numbers as Sam Thomas peeled off the maul to score in the corner. Fullback Callum Richardson stepped up and converted from the sideline to give his side the lead with less than ten minutes to go.
It was not enough however as Vikings turned up the pressure, starting with a well placed kick into touch from Jack Evenden. Their pressure led to a penalty being awarded just outside the 22. Isaac Henry kept his composure and slotted the ball through to give the Vikings a one-point lead in the dying stages.
The Owls would not be able to respond, the Vikings holding on for a thrilling win. Final score 26-25.
Words: Declan Smith
Royals 17 def Gungahlin Eagles 10
The Canberra Royals have defeated the Gungahlin Eagles 17-10 with multiple penalty kicks securing the win.
Royals struck first with a penalty kick from Pedro Ronaldo giving them the early lead at 3-0.
Back-to-back penalties were given to the Royals, with Ronaldo again adding to the Royals lead.
Despite the penalties Eagles defence seemed strong, not allowing the Royals to push to the line and battling their way down the field.
Eagles could not catch a break as the Royals were awarded another penalty, again from the boot of Ronaldo, making it 9 nil.
The end of the first half saw the Royals lead by nine as the Eagles kept getting hit with the penalty call and couldn’t shake through the defence.
Start of the second half saw neither team gain any ground with a lot of back and forth action.
Eagles started to look gain some energy behind Tom Haddad and James Dargiville who were throwing themselves at the ball.
Yet Royals kept their composure and quickly shut down this late Eagles push to regain control and were awarded another penalty.
Ronaldo continued to make a mark in the game with another penalty kick conversion giving the Royals a 0-12 lead.
Ex-Wallaby and Brumby Matt Giteau finally checked in to the game and instantly brought energy onto the field.
Eagles finally scored after a line out push allowed Alexander Small to muscle over the line, with Giteau missing the conversion the Royals lead 12-5.
Penalties came in bunches for the Royals, with Ronaldo missing the penalty the Eagles still had a chance to bring it back.
Royals quickly struck back, as after multiple attempts at the line they pushed through the Eagles defence for the try from Tom Bodman, making it 17-5.
Eagles biggest play came from Levi Shaw who blocked a kick right at the Royals line and quickly put it down for the try.
Despite the Eagles last push they see themselves fall to the Royals 17-10.
Royals coach Wayne Southwell said that he was over the moon to get the win against a tough team like the Eagles and also in the harsh conditions.
Southwell was also grateful to see the penalties fall in Royals favour after not being so lucky in earlier rounds.
“We had a penalty count 20-5 against us first game so it was nice to get something back on that,” Southwell said.
“With the finals the way it is you just have to make the four, it’s gonna be a tight race and it’s anybody’s game and they’ve all got hard games coming in, but Tuggies next week so we just got to saddle up again.”
Words: James Warr
Wests 30 def Queanbeyan Whites 14
A gutsy Western Districts Lions have held out the Queanbeyan Whites 30-14 at Jamison Oval, to make it three wins on the trot for the home side.
The victory for Wests was despite only having 14 men on the park for most of the fixture, after winger Allan Wratten was shown red.
Wratten was sent his way after taking out Kaden Te Nana dangerously in mid-air, as the scum-half was attempting to catch a bomb in the 13th minute of play.
But Wests weren’t going to use this as an excuse and immediately kicked into gear, following up with the next three tries of the match and giving Queanbeyan little opportunity to put a foot in.
Lions head coach Adam Butt speaking post-match said he was thrilled with his side’s effort against the Whites.
“Yeah look I am really happy with the effort; it is a heavy track,” said Butt.
“Two weeks in a row, the boys are leg heavy and to play one down, it just shows the buy in the boys have got and how much work they have been putting in… I am really proud of them.”
He also stated he has no bitter feelings around losing Wratten early on.
“Anytime a player gets taken out in the air, you are fair to see red. It is what it is, and we have to move on,” he said.
Despite the home side coming out victors, the visitors were first on the scoresheet in the early minutes, as Jamie Mormont was put in space by Brendan Jimenez. Jimenez would add the extras.
Wests would follow up though with Declan Meredith adding two penalty goals, seeing the score at 7-6 at the time of Wratten’s send off.
The home side then took control as Lachlan Albert, Brodie Leber and Meredith would all follow up going a man down with a five pointer each.
And as Meredith converted all three, Wests would take a 27-7 lead into the interval.
The resumption of play would see a real battle amongst both forward packs and only a further ten points would be added.
George Morseau scored for the visitors 15 minutes in, off the back of an impressive break from prop Fred Kaihea, who would follow his break by showing off impressive playmaking skills, as he put in an outstanding kick to find Morseau in the left-hand corner.
This was converted by Jimenez to give Queanbeyan an opportunity with 25 minutes remaining.
Although, it proved to only be a consolation, as Meredith would add another three pointer 14 minutes before full time, seeing the Lions take an impressive 16-point victory.
Words: Daniel Heinrich