9/10/2011

Vikings claim ninth first grade title


The 2011 John I Dent Cup season has ended with the Tuggeranong Vikings taking out their ninth first-grade title in a dominant 44-18 victory over the Western District Lions.

Storming into the Grand Final with 10 consecutive victories, the Vikings found form at the right end of the season, which was evident as they laid on four tries in the opening 20 minutes against a stunned Wests side.

The Vikings were in control for the majority of the game, with three try hauls from both fullback Isikele Ratulevu and man of the match Colby Faingaa helping crown the Tuggeranong side this yearís champions.

The Lions went into the game without in-form fullback Jesse Mogg who suffered an injury in last weekendís win over Gungahlin and it proved to be a massive loss, with the Vikings backline causing numerous problems for Wests.

Tuggeranong coach Dan McKellar said he knew his side would have to step it up against an improved Wests, who fought back to defeat Gungahlin in last weekendís Preliminary Final.

"We always knew they were going to be tough and we were wary of them after their performance against Gungahlin last week," McKellar said.

"I was really happy with how we played out there, especially the opening 25 minute block where we blew them away."

Wests were unable to recover from the early onslaught that saw the Vikings race out to a 26-6 lead after just 23 minutes, with Ratulevu scoring a hat-trick of tries in the opening stages of the match.

With the Lions back pedalling, they finally received an opportunity on the back of a penalty in the 25th minute and took full advantage, as Tom Ruediger dived over on the back of some quick hands from the Wests backline.

However the Vikings went into the break with a commanding 29-11 lead, with Wests just starting to edge back into the match as they went close to scoring again just before the half time siren.

Man of the Match Colby Faingaa crossed for his second try just 10 minutes after half time, with the Vikings No.8 having an outstanding game as the lead extended to 34-11 in favour of the minor-premiers.

A Jake Knight try shortly after had the Vikings margin out to 28 before Wests centre Pama Fou raced 70 metres to give his side a slight chance of a comeback trailing 39-18 with 15 minutes to go.

The Vikings held on though, with Faingaa scoring his third try in the dying stages to take the final score to 44-18 and give Tuggeranong the 2011 John I Dent Cup.   

TUGGERANONG VIKINGS 44 (Ratulevu 3, Faingaa 3, Knight tries; Iona 3 conversions, 1 pen goal) defeated WESTS 18 (Ruediger, Fou tries; Uphill 1 conversion, 2 pen goals)

Grand Final Results
First Grade - Tuggeranong 44 Wests 18
Second Grade - Tuggeranong 16 Gungahlin 6
Colts - Queanbeyan 21 Tuggeranong 12
Third Grade - Tuggeranong 27 Gungahlin 3
Fourth Grade - Tuggeranong 23 Wests 18
Womens - Royals 24 Uni Norths 7