Despite the cold weather, things are really heating up in the Callida Consulting John I Dent Cup and Premier 15’s competitions as we head into round 14 and with only two games left to play before finals and with everything on the line for some teams, it’s now or never.
Queanbeyan Whites V Wests Lions @ Campese Field: Taylor Park 3:05pm
The West Lions are coming off the back of an upset win over the competition leading Tuggeranong Vikings in round 13 and a win over Queanbeyan will ensure they hold onto their spot in the finals while the Whites must win to stay in touch with the Lions then hope that results go their way in round 15 to have a chance to book their spot in the finals.
The Lions walked into Viking Park and walked out with a hard-fought win that will fill them with confidence and they will need to carry that confidence and form into this clash with the Whites who have everything on the line. The Lions will have to be ready for a battle as they look to get over the top of a physical Whites forward pack that includes newly signed Brumby Fred Kaihea if they want to hold on to that valuable fourth place spot.
The Whites copped a heavy loss last start against the Owls but if the Queanbeyan side wants to play finals footy then the winning must start now. The Whites have had the advantage over the Lions this season, winning the only matchup between the two sides this season and will be hoping that they are able to repeat this feat on gameday.
Tuggeranong Vikings V Canberra Royals @ Phillip Oval 3:05pm
This game is shaping up as a real David and Goliath battle, with the Vikings leading the competition and the Royals still winless and anchored at the bottom of the ladder. But the Royals were within five points last time these two sides went head-to-head and only lost by seven the first time they faced this season, proving that the reigning champions won’t be easy beats for the competition frontrunners.
The Vikings form has taken a slide recently, having lost their three matches since their last win over the Royals and will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle sooner rather than later and will see this as a chance to kickstart their charge into the finals. The Royals will have to be wary of the bounce back from the Vikings.
The Royals had plenty to play for last week and fell short and will need to be at their best when they host their more fancied opponents. The fact that the Vikings are coming off a loss and haven’t beaten the Royals by more than seven will ensure the Royals like their chances of getting on the board in front of a vocal home crowd.
Uni-Norths Owls V Gungahlin Eagles @ ANU Field One
The “Battle of the Birds” will see the winner of this matchup take outright second on the ladder going into the final round. The sides have one win a piece and will both think they will both think they have the upper hand over each other heading into this one. With both sides scoring 41 points in their last games, the offensive battle should be electric.
It was a day out for the big boppers in Owls colours last week as Stuart Sellar and Andrew Whittle both scored doubles on the day. If the forwards can get rolling in a similar fashion against the Eagles, look for Hamish Dawson, Jordan Thompson and Brumby Irae Simone to take full advantage.
It is quite the contrast for the Eagles compared to the Owls, as the whole competition knows just how potent their strike weapons out wide can be if given even a bit of space. Speed, power and footwork have all been on full display this season with Corey Toole and Jamie Mazzarol-Kotz scoring tries for fun and the duo should set alarm bells ringing for the Owls defence whenever they have the ball in hand as they can attack from anywhere.
Callida Consulting Premier 15’s
Tuggeranong Women V Royals Women @ Phillip Oval 1:30pm
Tuggeranong will be feeling rested and ready to fire after they enjoyed the bye last week while the Royals moved into second spot n the ladder following their victory over Goulburn. Both sides have tasted victory over the other this season and will be looking to repeat their feats again in this matchup.
Uni-Norths Women V Goulburn Women @ ANU Field One 1:40pm
Uni-Norths look to extend their already impressive lead on the table following their 39-0 win last start while the Goulburn side will hope they can reverse their fortunes having fallen to the owls in their previous two meetings. Uni-Norths have gotten the better of Goulburn in both of their previous matches this season and Goulburn will be looking to avoid getting swept by the ladder leaders.
Words: Mathew Williams