Round 12 of the Callida Consulting John I Dent Cup competition was a washout with no teams awarded points but it’s back to business when the competition resumes in round 13 and we approach the end of the season.
Canberra Royals V Gungahlin Eagles – Phillip Oval
The Royals have been luckless and remain winless despite going very close on a number of occasions, including their last start against the Owls while the hot and cold Eagles have found some form of late, winning their last three outings on their way to second on the ladder.
There will be a lot of feeling in this one after Royals coach Wayne Southwell announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season and with only two home games left for the Royals, the side will want to send Southwell off with some wins under his belt.
The Eagles boast an impressive arsenal of offensive firepower, with Corey Toole and Jamie Mazzarol-Kotz leading the way for the side with 23 tries between them. Toole leads the competition with 13 tries and Mazzarol-Kotz in second on 10. The Eagles will be looking to hold on to their spot in the second and this matchup is a must win for them.
The Royals go forward will be benefitted by the inclusion of Brumbies Archer Holz and Rory Scott while the Eagles will have their lone Brumby rep in Isaak Fines-Leleiwasa.
Tuggeranong Vikings V Wests Lions – Viking Park
The Vikings will be looking to return to the winner’s circle and shore up their spot at the top of the table after they fell at the hands of the Whites last start while the Lions are also coming off a loss last start and will want to see how they stack up against the competition heavyweights as they push their claim for a spot in the finals.
The Vikings have been the benchmark for the competition for most of the season but have hit a form slump in recent weeks as they have fallen to back-to-back losses for the first time in 2021 and will want to rebuild their confidence with a win in front of their home fans and ensure they remain in the top spot come finals time.
The Lions were put to the sword by the Eagles in their last matchup and will need to correct their performance quickly to hold on to their spot above the Whites and in the finals. The sides are level at one a piece, with the Vikings running up 50 on the Lions when they last met, and the Lions will have to be ready to dig down deep and fight for the full 80 if they want to come out of Viking Park with the victory.
Brumby Tom Hooper will hit out for the Vikings while the Lions will not be short on their own Brumbies with Harry Lloyd, Lachlan Albert and Reesjan Pasitoa running out for the away side.
Queanbeyan Whites V Uni-Norths Owls – Campese Field; Taylor Park
The Whites pushed the Vikings to the limit and beyond in round 11 when they stole a victory from the ladder leaders while the Owls overcame the Royals to snap their three-game losing streak and will want to build on that performance and get some momentum rolling heading into the back end of the season.
The Whites had their struggles early in the season but have really hit their stride of late as they have won three on the trot and are on the cusp of playing finals footy. Brendan Jimenez has provided plenty of spark for the side all season and has really hit a purple patch of form at the right time of the year and will be one to watch out for on game day.
The Owls fortunes are the opposite of the Whites as they started the season strongly but have had their own struggles in recent weeks. The Owls might be sitting in third, but with only a four-point buffer on fourth place and six points on fifth, their spot in the finals is far from certain. .
The Owls will welcome Brumby Irae Simone into the fold who will provide some valuable experience into the backline while the Whites will have their own Brumbies squad members in the form of Junior Tupou, Reece Tapine and Fred Kaihea.
Callida Consulting Premier 15’s
Queanbeyan V Uni-Norths
The Queanbeyan side faces an uphill battle when they host the ladder leading Uni-Norths in this 5th V 1st clash. Almost 300 points separate these two sides in points difference and with Uni-Norths flying high, they will prove hard to stop.
Royals V Goulburn
Both sides are coming off of wins the last time they took the field and will want to build on that as they push towards a finals berth. Goulburn ran riot over Queanbeyan last start while the Royals will take huge amounts of confidence from their two-point victory over Uni-Norths.
Words: Mathew Williams