John I Dent Cup Round Four Wrap

Royals v Uni-Norths @ Canberra Stadium

The Canberra Royals comprehensively dispatched the Uni-Norths Owls 52-25 in the first John I Dent Cup match at Canberra Stadium for 2013.

Uni-Norths entered the clash as the only team without victory so far this season, and early pressure on the merger club only continued, with their equal heaviest defeat so far.

They suffered an embarrassing round one loss to struggling club Eastern Suburbs, while round three saw them belted by 27 points by Queanbeyan.

Coach Joe Hedger was still happy with his men's effort, and said that they showed ability to score lots of points.

He said that his side needs to focus on lessening errors, and when that happens they will be more competitive.

"The fact is that we are our worst enemy," he said.

"What I'm really looking for from the boys over the next few weeks is them making better choices, and try to minimise the turnovers."

"Give it a couple weeks and we'll really start to see things improve over time."

"When we get in front, we'll start to put sides away."

The Royals entered the match with a win and loss a piece, but had the advantage of the bye last round.

They were also boosted by the return of star forward Tom Staniforth, who recently represented Australia in an under twenties representative side.

Coach Russell Ingram was generally happy with his side's performance, but would like to see them control the ball for longer periods of time.

"It was pretty simple what we wanted to do tonight- get the footy, build pressure and go forward," he said.

He said his men's set pieces had improved since their 32-14 round two loss to Wests.

"That gave us a bit of platform and we were just a bit more physical at the break down," he said.

It was a tight start to the game with mistakes from both sides meaning domination of the scrum was important.

The Royals showed early form in the game, racing out to a 24-10 lead at half time thanks to some clever plays in the halves which saw forward Soakai Tai cross the line twice.

With Pedro Rolando and Craig McMahon controlling play, Uni-Norths found themselves scoring second for the first time this season.

While the Owls grabbed an aggressive first second half try to stage their comeback, the Royals kept their cool and continued finding holes up the middle,  soon extending their lead again to 45-25.

Owls winger Tom Cox managed to collect his hat trick of tries, but proved only a personal high as the Royals achieved their second bonus point win of the season.

Ingram said that the Royals are developing young players well at the moment, and the pressure created by success in lower grades is working positively for his first graders.

Canberra Royals 52 (Tai 3, Adam, Sutton, Rolando, Cornforth tries; McMahon 7 cons; pen) bt Uni-Norths Owls 25 (Cox 3, Ferreira tries; Irwin con; pen) at Canberra Stadium

Queanbeyan Whites v Tuggeranong Vikings @ David Campese Oval

The Tuggeranong Vikings gripped their stranglehold on the competition even harder on Saturday with an impressive 43-21 win over previously undefeated Queanbeyan Whites.

The Davide Campese Oval blockbuster was the first top of the table clash this season, and an outstanding performance from side-casted Brumby Zack Holmes inspired a win which sent a strong message to the rest of the competition- they are still premiership material.

Queanbeyan coach Adam Fahey said that despite dramatic changes in the Vikings' coaching and playing personnel over the offseason, they are stilll the benchmark team.

"They've got depth, they've got good structures in place which have continued on for the last couple of years," he said.

"They're still the benchmark side for everyone to aspire to at this point in the season."

He said his men simply made too many mistakes to give themselves a chance of victory.

"We made some major errors at critical moments in the game, and Tuggeranong are a good enough side to make those mistakes go their way- they'll put you away," he said.

Tuggeranong Vikings 43 (Tuaeki 2, Cree, Proctor, Niumata, Mokotupu tries; Proctor 5 cons; pen) bt Queanbeyan Whites 21 (Penca, Beath, Windsor tries; Windsor 3 cons) at David Campese Oval

Eastern Suburbs v Wests Lions @ Griffith Oval

Eastern Suburbs claimed their second win of the season in a massive upset of 2012 runners-up Wests Lions 33-29 at Griffith Oval on Saturday.

Errors and ill-discipline forced Easts to defend for most of the first half, but they were able to consolidate in the second half to grind out the win.

Coach Jeremy Osbourne was happy his men were able to turn things around.

"The boys only had a 20 minute captains run, so to stick with a bit of structure was pleasing," he said.

Wests coach Craig Robberds said lack of possession cost his side in the end.
"We hardly touched the ball and were thoroughly outplayed," he said.

Osbourne credited winger Mac Laudenbach for an outstanding performance in his second game of first grade.

Eastern Suburbs 33 (Tago 2, Smith, Smiler, Rathbone tries; Rathbone 2 cons; pen) bt Wests Lions 29 (Raines, Southwell, Small tries; Small con; 4 pens) at Griffith Oval

Bye: Gungahlin Eagles