Royals rumble into finals

A close win against premiership threats Wests on Saturday has left the Royals on the cusp of a preliminary-final start as they slipped by the narrowest of margins into the John I Dent finals series which kicks-off this weekend.

The Royal’s 39-31 win over Wests ensured they knocked Queanbeyan out of the finals and continued what has been a remarkable turnaround for the Philip based team, which was last after six rounds of competition.

Royals will face Wests for the second time in two weeks this Sunday at Viking Park, high on confidence following last week’s eight-point win.

Playing at home against a team that has led the competition for much of 2011, the Royals stuck tight to put in one of their most solid performances of the year.

Their coach Craig Leseberg said he was confident his team would continue to improve and threaten for a spot in this year’s grand final.

“We’ve managed to beat Wests two of the three times we’ve played this year. We are by no means underestimating them, but we are certainly confident of coming away with a win on Sunday,” Leseberg said.

“With Jesse Mogg and Pama Fou returning they are going to be a different team to the one we played on Saturday so we will have to be ready for that.”

The Royals mentor said he was expecting a tough game up front but for the Royals forwards to pressure Wests out of the game.

The Wests v Royals hit-out is the second semi-final of the weekend following Gungahlin v Tuggeranong, also at Viking Park on Saturday.

The Vikings late surge handed them the minor-premiership with fourth grand-final appearance in as many years one the cards.

Major semi-final
Tuggeranong (1) v Gungahlin (2)
Viking Park
Saturday, 27 August
Kick-off: 3.10pm

Minor semi-final
Wests (3) v Royals (4)
Viking Park
Sunday, 28 August
Kick-off: 3.10pm