Match of the Round: Royals v Wests at Phillip Oval
Wests have trounced second placed Royals 49-0 in a dominant one sided game in chilly conditions at Phillip Oval.
The bonus point win now moves Wests into second place on the John I Dent Cup ladder, leap frogging Royals with the victory.
A strong crowd braved the icy conditions to pack the grandstand but unfortunately for the home fans their side found it hard all day to click into gear.
The game celebrated two milestones for two veterans on either side with Royals captain Craig McMahon and West’s halfback Peter Raines notching up their 100th game for their respected clubs.
While McMahon battled all day directing his side around the paddock, Raines was instrumental from the base of the scrum and was awarded with a try of his own ten minutes before full-time.
Wests coach Craig Robberds was overly pleased about his sides effort, praising Raines performance and dedication to the club.
“ I think we defended extremely well in the first half, which allowed us to attack and score tries,” Robberds said.
“ It was very good to see Peter Raines score, he has been a great player for the club and will be for a couple years yet.
“ I do feel for Craig McMahon being his 100th game as well, but you can’t have it both ways.”
Wests were quick out of the blocks in the first half scoring the opening try in the first five minutes through big prop Ray Dobson who barged his way over the line after a strong set of phases.
Their dominance continued scoring another two tries through Michael Smith and Gareth Watts to head into half time with a 21 point lead.
Despite a strong revving up by Royals coach Russel Ingram, their performance didn’t improve in the second half with Wests continuing where they left off running in another four tries to a record an easy win.
Standout performances from Wests flanker Michael Smith and winger Drew Southwell contributed to the belting while a constant run of errors and mistakes denied Royals any chance of getting themselves into the game.
While the loss sees Royals drop from second to the third on the ladder , they still remain in the finals hunt and will be very determined to return the winners table next week, when they host the Queanbeyan Whites.
As for Wests they face an extremely difficult challenge when they face the top of the table unbeaten Tuggeranong Vikings at home next Saturday.
Wests 49 ( Ray Dobson, Michael Smith, Peter Raines, Gus McKerchar, Gareth Watts, Drew Southwell 2 tries; Tim Small 6 conversions, McKerchar 1 conversion) bt Royals 0 at Phillip Oval
Tuggeranong Vikings v Gungahlin Eagles at Viking Park
The Tuggeranong Vikings have won their ninth game of the season and cemented top spot on the John I Dent Cup ladder crushing the Gungahlin Eagles 71-28 at Viking Park.
The result gives the Vikings a handy 12 point lead at the top of the table and widens the gap between second placed Wests.
Vikings coach Brad Harries was extremely happy with his side’s second half performance, crediting his men’s efficiency to break down the Eagles and allow them to score six tries and turn their one point lead at half time into a 43 point win.
“ We had a pretty accurate second half, we were able to put pressure on them and cause some turnovers which allowed us to take the lead,” Harris said.
“ The second half performance really allowed us to record a solid win.”
While the win virtually sets the Vikings up for a finals appearance, the loss leaves the Eagles battling three other teams for a top four spot.
Tuggeranong Vikings 71 ( Dickson 2, Knight 2, Taueki, Underwood, Mokotupu, Cree, Cloutson & Pradaud tries; Dickson 8 con) bt Gungahlin Eagles 28 (Small, Connachie, Connolly tries; McMahon 2 con; 3 penalty goal)
Queanbeyan Whites v Easts at Campese Field
Easts have upset fifth placed Queanbeyan in a thrilling encounter at Campese Field, notching up their third win of the year with a hard fought 25-23 win.
The win broke a three game losing streak for Easts and gave the men from Griffith their first victory since round four and a major confidence boost as they look to reignite their season.
With a long list of regular first grade players unavailable, Easts coach Jeremy Osbourne praised his young side’s courage to hold onto the gutsy win.
“ It was all ticker today from our boys,” Osbourne said.
“ We had eleven first grader’s missing, so we really only had kids out there and they played great.
“ I am really, really proud of the boys effort.”
The victory moves Easts to just a few points behind the Whites, who now find themselves in a heap of pressure as they search for their first win since beating Uni Norths in round seven.
Round twelve will prove to be a vital round for both sides with the Whites traveling to face Royals while Easts will host the winless Uni Norths. A win will be needed for both sides if they wish to stay in touch with the top four.
Easts 25 (Van Der Walt 2, Iago, Lewis tries; Munro con & penalty) bt Queanbeyan Whites 23 (Caimavuna, Momsen & Holland tries; Windsor goal & 2 penalty goals)