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 34 def Canberra Royals 26
In a rematch of the 2019 Grand Final, the Vikings and the Royals once again faced off in a highly entertaining clash, with the Vikings taking the points in their second win of the season.
Taking revenge for their loss last year, the Vikings also claimed the Wal Scollen Cup and Bob Hitchcock Territory Shield with an eight point win at home, 34-26.
It was a tense start to the game and with both sides evenly matched, neither was able to gain a foothold. Strong defensive efforts from both sides saw the game go scoreless for over 20 minutes, until a penalty at the breakdown from the Royals gave the Vikings the opportunity to get on the board.
Continuing his fine form off the tee from round one, Isaac Henry scored the first points of the game from 40 metres out on the angle.
The Vikings began to take control of the game, and not even ten minutes later, they broke through the strong Royals defence for the first try of the game. A strong carry from Tom Hooper put the hosts in prime position to score.
In the end, it was vice-captain, Cooper Taekata that would cross over. Henry added the extras to take the lead out to 10 points.
Not long after and the Vikings were in again. A mishit kick from the Royals ended up in the hands of Luke Gersekowski, the Captain running 60 metres to score.
Down by 17 just before the break, the Royals turned up the pressure and scored their first points of the game right on half-time. After some quick movement of the ball, captain Ben Johnston dived over in the corner to score a stunning try.
Back in the side after missing last week, star scrum-half Pedro Rolando hit a stunning kick from the sideline to reduce the deficit.
Vikings came out firing in the second half, scoring an early try through Isaac Henry, the academy star crossing over under the posts. Henry continued his perfect kicking converting his own try. 10 minutes later, and he struck a penalty from just inside the Royals 22 making the score 27-7.
The next try from the Vikings was perhaps the most astonishing. Henry was stripped of the ball, but a knock-on saw the ball end up in the hands of Seamus Smith, the scrum-half running away to score.
Down 34-7, the result was all but wrapped up. The Blue Baggers refused to give up and went on an all out attack. An astonishing three tries in the last 10 minutes, with two conversions from Rolando, saw them fall just short of a remarkable comeback. The final score 34-26 to the Vikings.
Post-match and Vikings coach, Nick Scrivener, said that it was great to get a win over the defending champions, and that he was pleased with how he’s players went about their business.
“I thought our forwards were really good, really physical. They threw a lot at us in the second half, so we had to knuckle down and get through a lot of defensive work.
“I thought we were just nice and physical. I thought our pack in particular in that first half was really good when we didn’t have the ball.”
Words Declan Smith
Uni-Norths Owls 32 def Wests 29
The Uni Norths Owls have defeated the Wests Lions 32 to 29 at ANU Oval to continue their undefeated start to the season.
The Owls started off the game where they left off last week with lasts weeks star Billy Pollard getting his team the first try of the game in the 5th minute, to get a 5-0 lead.
The Owls would keep this momentum to get over the line six minutes later in the 11th minute, when Will Sanky pushed past the Lions defence to take the Owls to a 10-0 lead.
The Lions would only take five minutes to hit back when Jimmy Ngutilk crossed over the line in the 16th minute after an amazing pass by Luke Reimer to give the Lions their first try of the game. Taking the score to 10-5.
Both teams would continue to trade possession for the next ten minutes until the Lions would tie the game up in the 28th minute when Declan Meridith would make a run down the sideline that would see him get over the line to take the score to 10-10.
The Owls would take back the lead just before half time when Jordan Thompson would score a try from as pass that came off one of the Lions players. Thompson would then convert his own try to take the Owls to a 17-10 lead going into the half.
The Owls would be the first to get over the line in the second half when in the 50th minute Rye Steele would push through the Lions defence to take the Owls to a 22-10 lead.
Wests would hit back not long after in the 56th minute when Via Tulagi would get over the line to bring the Lions only seven point behind the Owls. This would later become five, when Declan Meridith would convert the try, taking the game to a 22-17 score line.
A penalty goal by Jordan Thompson in the 66th minute would extend the Owls lead to 25-17.
The Lions would close the gap to one point only three minutes later, when in the 69th minute Tauati Chan-Tung would push through the Owls defence off a line out to score. Declan Meridith would then convert the try, which took the score to 25-24 Owls.
The Owls would extend their lead back to eight in the 74th minute when Callum Richardson would easily break through the Lions defence to score, taking the score to 30-24, which would become 32-24, when Jordan Thompson converted the try.
The Lions would keep pushing until the end when they got the consolation try in the 80th minute when (name) would get over the line to score. To finish the game off 32-29 with the Owls getting their second victory in a row and leaving the Lions winless this season.
The Owls will now go on to play the also undefeated Queanbeyan Whites to see who will go three from three to start the season, while the Lions will take on the Canberra Royals in a battle where both teams will be looking for their first win of the season.
Words Thomas Spencer
Gungahlin Eagles 21 def by Queanbeyan Whites 36
The Queanbeyan Whites have defeated the Gungahlin Eagles on their own turf 36-21 after a great second half.
The Eagles started the half looking confident in their scrum, monstering through the Whites to get possession.
Although the Eagles started strong, a sloppy pass from Joseph Caputo allowed Whites Jackson Stuart to get the try after a run and assist from Isaiah Latu.
Brendan Jiminez converted the kick for the Whites giving them an early 7-0 lead in the 9th minute.
Eagles quickly began to pick up momentum as a strong push down the field after a line-out lead to Tamati Ioane bashing through the Whites defenders for the try.
Caputo felt it in his boot and converted the kick for the Eagles tying the game 7-7 in the 16th minute.
Eagles made a push in the 23rd only 5m away from the line yet weren’t able to take the opportunity and the Whites send it back up their way.
After a lot of attempts to break through the Whites line the Eagles finally got their chance after great passing allowed Brendon Taueki to find himself wide open in the corner for the easy try.
Caputo continued to find the rhythm in his kick, as the successful conversion gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead in the 28th minute.
Whites tried to get back some momentum, but the Eagles defence proved to be too much of an issue, causing the Whites some frustration.
Whites Justin Sikimeti had an answer for this defence ploughing through the Eagles by himself to bring the Whites right at the Eagles line.
This push allowed Zeph Tuinona to cut through for the try and after a conversion by Jiminez, the Whites find themselves tying up the game 14-14.
The first half ends 14-14 with the Whites looking to build on their late half push and Eagles wanting to stop them in their tracks.
The second half started with a bit of back and forth from both sides, with neither giving the other any ground.
Whites had a chance to score on a run but a call from the refs denied them the open score and leads to a scrum in the 49th minute.
Whites pick up where they left off in the first as Zane Marolt charged through the Eagles defence to score right between the posts.
Jiminez converts the easy kick, making it a 21-14 lead for the Whites in the 59th minute.
The Eagles couldn’t seem to find their stride in the second as they get called for a penalty, which allowed the Whites to extend their lead further from the kick by Jiminez 23-14.
Eagles bad luck continued after Ioane copped a yellow card after a high tackle and the Whites gained another penalty.
Whites scored again after a loose turn over allows Jiminez to take matters into his own hands and ran the length of the field with the Eagles unable to catch up.
With their first missed kick of the game from George Morseau, the Whites sat with a comfortable 29-14 lead heading into the 73rd minute.
The Whites onslaught continued as Jamie Marmont added his name to the mix, after a beautiful passing segment set him up.
Morseau made up for his prior miss by hitting his kick, boosting the Whites to a 36-14 lead in the final minutes.
A final push from the Eagles saw Taueki fall over the line to end the teams second half drought.
With the conversion from Caputo the Eagles see themselves fall 21-36.