9/3/2011

Wests earn spot in John I Dent decider


After a get out of jail win last weekend, Wests have kept their 2011 title campaign alive with a dominant 32-13 win over Gungahlin at Viking Park on Saturday and have booked a spot in next weekendís John I Dent Cup Grand Final against Tuggeranong.

Wests led the entire match, with in-form goal kicker Jesse Mogg leading his side to a four tries to one victory over an out of sorts Eagles side in what was a standout performance from the elusive back.

The two sides exchanged penalty goals early on before the opening try finally came in the 29th minute when Wests inside centre Adrian Turner sliced through and raced over under the posts off the back of a scrum.

With Wests leading 13-6 at half time, two quick tries after the break to Ben Coutts and Matt Pankhurst had Gungahlin on the back foot and down by 21 points with 25 minutes remaining.

Gungahlin were unable to capitalise on their numerous attacking opportunities in Westsí half, with their first try not coming until the 68th minute when flanker Xavier Duffy crashed over to give his side a chance of a late comeback.

It wasnít to be though with a try just before the full time siren to Tom Ruediger cementing Wests spot in the decider and ending the Eagles season.

Wests' coach Craig Robberds was pleased with his sides performance and believes they have bounced back after a disappointing couple of games towards the end of the regular season.

"Very happy with the win after the last couple of weeks as we have been a bit down, so it was good to turn in a solid performance," Robberds said.

"It was a big improvement from last week but we still have a lot of work to do, we have to hold onto the ball more and build those phases up."

Robberds knows he faces a tough task if his side is to go all the way and take out the title, with opponents Tuggeranong looking unstoppable after winning their past ten matches straight.

"The Vikings have set the benchmark and they stuck it to us the last time we played them so I am looking forward to the challenge," he said.

Wests will face off with the Vikings this Saturday in what is sure to be an exciting Grand Final at Viking Park.

Western District Lions 32 (Turner, Coutts, Pankhurst, Ruediger tries; Mogg 3 conversions, 2 penalty goals) defeated Gungahlin Eagles 13 (Duffy try; McMahon 1 conversion, 2 penalty goals)

John I Dent Cup
Grand Final
Saturday, September 10
Wests v Tuggeranong
Viking Park, Wanniassa
Kick-off: 3.15pm