There’s a lot at stake in as we enter the home stretch of the Callida Consulting John I Dent Cup season with teams in the top four jostling for their position while Queanbeyan is mounting a charge up the table to prove they have what it takes to tussle with the best of them. We have your preview of this week’s fixtures in the John I Dent Cup as well as the Premier 15s right here!
Gage Roads Game of the Week
Wests Lions V Gungahlin Eagles, Jamison Oval 3:15PM
These sides are one win a piece against each other this season and both sides will be hoping to take a 2-1 lead over the other for the season and continue their recent run of good form. The Wests Lions have won their last two wins on the bounce and will be looking to make it three in front of a home crowd at Jamison Oval on Saturday while the Eagles are coming off the back of huge game in which they gave the ladder leading Vikings just their second loss of the season and will be full of confidence coming into this game having also beaten Wests in their last matchup in Round 6.
Last week saw the return of Lions fullback Declan Meredith and the side showed how much of an impact he has on their attack when they secured a victory over the Owls last week. The leading point scorer in last years competition, Meredith had an involvement in four of his sides five tries and looms as a danger man to watch for whenever the Lions are in good field position as he adds an extra dimension to their attack.
Corey Toole may have been the competitions leading try scorer, but teammate Jamie Mazzarol-Kotz got the better of him and leapfrogged him thanks to a double against the Owls. The try scoring duel between these two will be intriguing to watch for the rest of the season as both have a habit of scoring in bunches and could prove a handful for the edge defence of the Lions if given room to move from anywhere on the field.
Queanbeyan Whites V Tuggeranong Vikings, Campese Field 3:05PM
The Whites will be looking to claim their first win over the Vikings this season and continue their recent run of form when they host the ladder leaders this weekend who will be determined to return to the winners circle this week after falling to just their second loss of the season.
The Vikings will be looking to bounce back after their last start loss to the Eagles and will be determined to not drop two on the trot for the first time this season when they travel out to Queanbeyan on Saturday. Seamus Smith and Jack Evenden will be disappointed that they let the Eagles get away from them and will not want to repeat this against the Whites, expect the pair to build plenty of pressure and make the most of their opportunities.
The Whites are benefitting from very strong performances from players all across the park, but it is centre Brendan Jimenez and winger Junior Tupou who are looking the most threatening when they are in attacking areas and can cause plenty of damage if given early ball or a bit of space to move.
Canberra Royals V Uni-Norths Owls, Phillip Oval 3:05PM
The Canberra Royals fell short of claiming their first win once again after they were defeated at the hands of a determined Whites side last week and will face a tough task when they host the Owls this weekend.
The Royals have developed an unfortunate habit of getting close but just not being able to get the victory when the game is on the line, and they need someone to step up when things are going against them. Coach Wayne Southwell’s side is running out of time to find that important first win and but will be determined to get their sooner rather than later. Expect the Royals to show up with plenty of intent.
The Owls fell in a nail-biter against the Lions last week and will see this as their opportunity to get back into the winner circle as they fight to hold their position in second on the ladder. With just a two-point lead over the Lions and five points over fourth placed Eagles, the Owls will see this as a must win to retain their position and build towards the finals.
Royals V Uni-Norths
The Royals claimed a win over Queanbeyan last week and will want to build on that momentum. The Owls are ladder leaders and are coming off a bye and will be fully fresh for this clash with their second placed opponents. Bianca Francis is coming off a try scoring double last week and looms as a threat out wide for the Uni-Norths defence.
Queanbeyan V Tuggeranong
Queanbeyan fell to the Royals last weekend and will be looking to start their climb up the ladder when they face the third placed Tuggeranong side who are coming off a draw last week against Goulburn.