John I Dent Cup Round Seven Previews

Saturday, 19 May, 2012
Musashi Match of the Round:
Wests (2) v Tuggeranong (1), Jamison Oval, Jamison
First Grade: 3.15pm, Reserve Grade: 1.50pm, Colts: 12.25pm

The anticipation for the top of table, Musashi Match of the Round has been building for weeks, with the winner more than likely to take the competition lead. Both teams are in great form with Tuggeranong undefeated and Wests winning their last 4 games.

Wests will be looking for retribution after last year’s Grand Final defeat. Winning their last four, they would love to continue their current form against Tuggeranong, and will gain confidence in an unchanged line-up from last weekend. Last week’s Musashi Man of the Match Gus McKerchar will again be looking to control the tempo of the game and get his team into good territory.

Tuggeranong had the bye on the weekend, and come into this game with 5 changes to the starting line-up from two weeks ago, which they hope won’t affect their momentum. The return of Beau Mokotupu at half-back will strengthen the team’s direction. Rodney Iona also returns to the starting line-up to cover for Brumbies fly-half, Zac Holmes. Brumbies Contracted Player Colby Faingaa continues his consistent season with the Vikings, after playing every game this season, and will have to play a large part in this game if Tuggeranong are to stay undefeated.

The last time these two teams played: Grand Final, 2011 (Tuggeranong 44 – Wests 18)

Royals (6) v Gungahlin (4), Phillip Oval, Phillip
First Grade: 3.05pm, Reserve Grade: 1.40pm, Colts: 12.15pm

Royals have been struggling to perform for the full eighty minutes this season. Following a promising start on the weekend, they struggled to maintain the pace with a physical Wests outfit. They will need to improve on their concentration if they are to pick up their second win of the season this weekend at Phillip. Two changes have been made from last weekend with Feleti Kaihea returning to the starting line-up for Eugene Mulipola in the front row. Soakai Tai is unavailable and will be replaced by Michael Brandt after strong performances in the lower grades.

Gungahlin have returned to the top four with their third win of the season last weekend. Last year’s finalist will be looking to consolidate fourth position with a win over the out of form Royals side. The Eagles have made two changes from last weekend with Stuart Crew returning to the second row and Brumbies Contracted Player Cam Crawford starting this weekend. Cam will be hoping to link up well with Andrew Barrell and Leigh Weston in open play to create many try scoring opportunities.

The last time these two teams played: Round 19, 2011 (Royals 34 - Gungahlin 21)

Queanbeyan (5) v Easts (7), Campese Oval, Queanbeyan
First Grade: 3.05pm, Reserve Grade: 1.40pm, Colts: 12.15pm

With their hard fought victory over Uni-Norths last weekend, Queanbeyan have now won two in a row. The momentum is building for Queanbeyan, who will be hoping to push for the top four positions with a third successive win over last placed Easts. They have made three changes from last weekend’s starting line-up, including their fourth fly-half of the season in Jacob Kara. They will welcome back into their first 15 the physical presence of JP Fenukitau and speedy winger Robert Beath,  who will cover the loss of Brumbies Contracted Player Tevita Kuridrani. Leon Power will once again make his presence known at line-out time for Queanbeyan, after two solid displays by the Brumbies Contracted Player.

Easts are still playing for their first victory, and will desperately need it this weekend before they lose touch with the pack. Their forward pack has been performing well, but will need to create more opportunities for the young Easts backline if they are to have a chance against the Whites. Four changes have been made, including three in the backs, with the loss of goal kicker Heath Gibb for this weekend. Brumbies Contracted Players Ben Hand and front rower Jerry Yanuyanutawa will again play a role this weekend, with Jerry hoping to continue his try scoring form after scoring his first try of the season on the weekend.

The last time these two teams played: Round 16, 2011 (Queanbeyan 23 – Easts 20)