Round seven of the Callida Consulting John I Dent Cup saw plenty of exciting rugby played across Canberra. Check out all the match reports below.
GAGE ROADS GAME OF THE WEEK
TUGGERANONG VIKINGS 50 def WESTS LIONS 15
The Tuggeranong Vikings have put on a masterful second-half display as they picked apart the Western District Lions to walk away from Jamison Oval with a 50-15 victory on a brutally cold Saturday afternoon.
Injuries to Darcy Eason and Declan Meredith meant that the Lions were forced into several changes at key positions, with Sebastien Lorraway lining up at fly-half and Brumbies squad member Reesjan Pasitoa filing in at the unfamiliar position of fullback.
The Vikings had concerns of their own when fly-half Jack Evenden stayed down after some heavy contact with a teammate in the first half but continued on and played a starring role in steering his side to victory as they ran in five tries to one in the second half.
A short side raid from Tuggeranong saw the away side hit the front early against the Lions when Nigel Ah Wong strolled over in the corner with Rodney Iona converting the extras with a fortunate bounce off the uprights.
A Lions error gave Tuggeranong another early chance at their line and the Vikings did not waste it with Jack Wright finding the try line.
Brumbies academy graduate Lachlan Albert opened the scoring for the Lions when the home side opted for a scrum close to the Tuggeranong line and saw him bolt through to score.
Albert went from hero to villain for the home side as a wayward pass missed the mark and sent Tuggeranong racing downfield and one phase later, a quick shift to the left edge saw them score through rampaging winger Maika Ravouvou.
Lions captain Ryan Kiely decided to take the shot at goal from a penalty in the dying stages of the first half before a yellow card to Tuggeranong prop Jake Simeon ensured the home side took a man advantage into the second half, with the scoreboard sitting at 19-10 in the visitor's favour.
A Viking's knock-on from the kickoff saw Lions have an early chance in the second half, but they were unable to make the most of it as the Vikings held on until they returned to 15 on the field.
The Vikings weathered the storm from the Lions and were first to score in the second half with a series of offloads carrying the side down the field before Ravouvou found his way over in the corner for his second of the afternoon.
Tuggeranong continued to put the Lions to the sword when Callum Smith barged his way over to push the scoreline out to a three-try lead, but the Vikings weren’t done, with number eight Patrick Maka sweeping around the back of a maul from a lineout close to the line and bulldozing his way over.
Maka was at it again shortly afterwards, sweeping around the back of a maul, this time raiding the Lions defence down the short side and delivering the pass to hooker James Douglas to cross over in the corner.
The Lions were determined to fight until the end and found their way over the line with eight minutes left but it would be the Vikings who would have the final say with Thomas Watego finding the white line for his first try of the afternoon to cap off a clinical performance for the Vikings.
Vikings coach Scrivener was proud of his troop’s efforts on the day and happy to have broken their recent run of losses at Jamison Oval.
“We haven’t won here for about three years now so it's great to get that monkey off our back,” Scrivener said post-game.
Both sides will enjoy a week off thanks to the general bye before the Vikings return to Viking Park in a table-topping clash against the Owls, while the Lions will again be at home, this time hosting the Canberra Royals at Jamison.
Words: Mathew Williams
UNI-NORTHS OWLS 31 def QUEANBEYAN WHITES 17
Round 7 of the Callida Consulting John I Dent Cup saw the Uni-Norths Owls continue their hot start to the 2021 season taking care of business against Queanbeyan Whites 31-17.
The dominant display from the Owls was aided by two yellow cards for a White’s side that gave a rampaging Owls attack to many opportunities, the Owls now sit comfortably in second place on the ladder.
The Whites were the first team to draw points, with the Owls giving away a penalty allowing Liam Richman to knock over a penalty goal to give the Whites an early lead.
After giving themselves the lead, it was a yellow card to White’s winger Jackson Stuart who took out Owl’s fullback Callum Frawley Richardson while in midair, leaving the Whites down a man and vulnerable to an Owls attack.
Just one minute after the sin-binning, it was Stuart Seller who crossed over in the corner for the Owls to give the home side a 5-3 lead.
Queanbeyan appeared to have hit back with a blissful display of passes to cross over for their first five-pointer of the afternoon, but it was called back as the referee that Reece Tapine’s pass had gone forward.
The Owls took advantage of the White’s error, with Hamish Dawson orchestrating a beautifully weighted chip that allowed Trent Storen to chase through and ground the ball, with the Owls moving out to a comfortable nine-point lead.
At halftime, it was the Owls leading the Whites 12-3. With the White’s looking to find some points and get back into the contest, an Owl’s try wasn’t what they were hoping for.
Some ill-discipline from the away side allowed the Owls to go to their dominant lineout and maul and they delivered, with prop Andrew Whittle crossing over to give them a 16-point lead.
Down by a large margin, the White’s weren’t ready to give in, with a cut-out ball from Liam Richman finding fullback Michael Rademaker as he crossed over untouched, giving the away side a huge boost in confidence.
An intercept by Liam Richman gave the White’s back-to-back tries in just minutes, with Junior Tupou crossing over to bring the Owl’s back to just two points.
With momentum shifting in the White’s favour, another yellow card wasn’t what they needed to try and regain the lead. With prop Caleb Bower sent to the bin for an intentional infringement.
Down a man, the White’s line finally cracked as lock James Tucker crossed over in the corner to give the home side a seven-point lead with under 10 minutes left to play.
As the match entered its dying stages, the White’s had one last attacking opportunity to snatch a draw, but a strong counter ruck from the Owls deep inside their defensive 22 saw them turn the ball over and maintain possession to close out the match, a penalty-try finishing the match for the Owls as 14-point victors.
The Owls will face the top of the table Tuggeranong Vikings in a fortnight.
Words: Lachlan Macmaster
GUNGAHLIN EAGLES 31 def CANBERRA ROYALS 21
The Gungahlin Eagles have defeated the Canberra Royals by 10 points in a bruising encounter at Phillip Enclosed Oval this Saturday.
Gungahlin had plenty to play for as they travelled down to Phillip, with Matthew Hawke and Samuel Hyland celebrating their 200th and 50th matches for the club respectively.
The Eagles boasted a dangerous team on paper, with Pacey winger Corey Toole returning after a week’s absence with injury alongside Brumbies duo Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and Tom Ross and they dominated the opening quarter of the match.
50-gamer Sam Hyland got on the scoresheet early alongside Connor Jones to open up a 12-point lead for the visiting side.
10 minutes later and Toole added to the Eagle’s tally, receiving the ball down the left side after a turnover and flying down the line to score to make it 17 unanswered points for the visiting side.
The Royals struck back just before halftime, with scrum-half Thomas Hallam burrowing over after a scrum 5 out from the line, adding the extras himself to send the sides into the sheds with the score sitting at 17-7.
The start of the second half saw the Eagles beginning strongly once again, with flyhalf Brendon Taueki finding a gap down the right-hand side to crash over for a try, the two points added from his boot as well to push Gungahlin’s lead out to 17 points.
Ill-discipline continued to plague the Eagles defence, with Matthew Hawke and Dominic Tevao both shown yellow cards within 10 minutes of each other and offering the Royals a way back into the match.
Royals hooker Ethan Rokoura gave the Royals the try they were looking for, muscling his way over under the uprights with Hallam making no mistake with the conversion and putting the homes side within 10 points.
The following 20 minutes of play saw both sides defending strongly, with neither side able to capitalise on their chances with the score remaining at 24-14 in the visitor’s favour.
With seven minutes remaining on the clock, the Royals had a golden opportunity to mount a late comeback, a penalty giving them a lineout five meters out from the Eagles line.
However, it just wasn’t meant to be for the Royals, as the lineout was turned over and the ball eventually moved out to the Eagles speedster Toole who turned on the jets from inside his own 22 and never looked back, extending Gungahlin’s lead to 17 points with only minutes left to play.
To the Royals credit, they continued to fight right until the end, and a consolation try to inside-centre Harry Quinlan was well deserved, with the final scoreline sitting at 31-21 in the visitor’s favour.
Speaking after the match Gungahlin Eagles Assistant coach Glenn Carey praised his sides ability to muscle up and endure the difficult period spent two players down early in the second half, but also highlighted areas his side will be looking to improve on through the bye week.
“We probably only had 30 to 40% of the ball today, so we defended a lot and I thought in patches we were really good but then we started getting the patches where we gave away multiple penalties,” Carey said.
“We're working on that and it's obviously something that does impact on the game because having one man down or in some instances, two men down at the same time always generates some really hard efforts on the guys who are left out there, so that’s something we will work on, but we were happy with the physicality today”.
Matthew Hawke's milestone 200th club game for the side was also a special part of the Eagles victory.
“He had his parents in there to present his jumper before the game which was a really good effort from them and that gave all the boys a bit of a lift,” Carey said.
“It's one of those things that can go either way, but it was it was a good day for us today and Hawky’s 200th will always be a great memory”.
The Eagles will enjoy a week off with the competition wide bye before facing off against a struggling Queanbeyan side at Nicholls Enclosed Oval at 3:05 pm on the 19th of June.
Words: Jesse Kemp-Segedin
ACT PREMIER 15s
UNI-NORTHS 28 def QUEANBEYAN WOMENS 0 (Forfeit)
CANBERRA ROYALS 17 def GOULBURN 12