Match of the Round: Queanbeyan Whites v Gungahlin Eagles at Campese Field
The Queanbeyan Whites have jumped to fourth spot on the John I Dent ladder with an impressive 30-12 bonus point win over rivals Gungahlin at a wet and soggy Campese Field.
The Whites held a six point lead over the Eagles at half-time but thanks to a strong second half performance they were able to pull clear and claim their spot in the top four.
It was the first time the two sides had met since their thrilling round six clash which saw the Eagles win 12-10, and the strong crowd which greeted the players were eager to see another cracking game.
While both sides traded possession in the early minutes, it was the Whites who crossed the line first with dynamic fly-half Sam Windsor on the end of a beautiful inside ball to score under the sticks.
Despite the early try, the Eagles soon found their rhythm and started to mount the pressure on the Whites defence, eventually resulting in their first try of game with big prop Liam Mcgrath busting over the line.
Another try soon after to winger Leigh Weston had the Eagles out to a 12-7 lead, leaving the Whites with some work to do.
But as quickly as the Eagles had taken the lead the Whites hit back, with two quick penalty goals from Windsor and a superb try on the stroke of half time by Lachlan Freeth, handed the home side an 18-12 lead.
University of Canberra Brumbies player Leon Power was instrumental in the first half for the Whites, with the 200cm giant directing the forward pack around the park with several strong ball carries.
While another Brumby Robbie Coleman also contributed to the half time lead with a series of darting runs and several handy kicks up field.
Driving rain and wind greeted the sides for the second half battle, with the Whites continuing where they left off, dominating the ruck and possession, leading to outside centre Altus Momsen and prop Chris Barbaro to score easy tries.
While the Eagles did have their fair share of the ball in the second half, they were unable to execute at the pivotal moments, leaving the door open for the Whites to run away with the win.
Whites playmaker Sam Windsor played a classy game in the number ten jumper for his side, while teammates Dan Penca and JP Smith also had solid games.
The win is the second on the trot for the Queanbeyan side after they beat Royals last weekend and now sit in fourth position on the table, holding a narrow two point lead over Gungahlin who slip to fifth spot.
With no games scheduled next weekend due to the competition’s mid season break, both sides will take the opportunity to rest and repair sore bodies before making their charge for the finals when the competition resumes on July 13.
Queanbeyan 30 ( Sam Windsor, Lachlan Freeth, Altus Momsen, Chris Barbaro tries; Windsor 2 conversions, 2/4 penalty goals) bt Gungahlin 12 ( Liam McGrath, Leigh Weston tries; Mitch Connolly 1/2 conversions)
Royals v Easts at Phillip Oval
Royals have broken their two game losing streak and cemented third spot on the table after outclassing Easts with a 30-15 victory at Phillip Oval.
The win breaks a dismal two week run which saw the side lose to Queanbeyan and Wests and Coach Russell Ingram applauded his sides courage to perform and deliver despite missing a chunk of their first grade side due to injury.
“We had a lot of injuries so we gave some of the young guys an opportunity to play and I thought they were fantastic,” Ingram said.
“Our two back-rowers Mcpherson and Teo Tai were up against a really strong forward pack and they competed really well all day.
“I am really proud of the way we played to get the win.”
For Easts the loss leaves the team languishing down in sixth spot on the ladder, leaving coach Jeremy Osbourne disappointed with his sides effort after entering the match as the form team.
“I'm gutted to be perfectly honest,” Osbourne said.
“We turned up ready to play and put in a really strong performance but unfortunately we didn’t front up.”
Both sides will be looking forward to the bye next weekend before returning in two weeks time, with Royals traveling to face the in form Wests while East’s will host the Whites.
Royals 30 bt Easts 15 at Phillip Oval
Uni-Norths v Wests at ANU North Oval
Uni-Norths remain winless after 13 rounds of the John I Dent Cup after going down to a resurgent Wests outfit 30-0 at ANU North Oval.
The loss leaves the Owls on the bottom of the competition ladder and now trial the top of table Tuggeranong Vikings by 50 points.
Despite the loss, Coach Joe Hedger was happy with his sides first half effort which saw the team challenge Wests and put them on the back foot on many occasions.
“The mood within the team is a very understanding mood at the moment, because anyone who saw the game saw that in the first 40 minutes we had the momentum and we played some very good football,” Hedger said.
“I thought Wests really struggled to dominate us in the first 40 and I think we were quite happy about that going into the second half.
“But unfortunately the choices and our ability to execute cost us again and this unfortunately has been a them for the club this year.
“That is something that we will continue to work on and is something that we want to try and and rectify before the end of the year, so we can finish on a high note.”
For Wests, the victory was a great way to return to the winners board after going down to the Vikings last round.
But despite the 30 point win, coach Craig Robberds still believes his side has a lot to improve and thought the team struggled to find clean ball and execute their plays to the best of their ability.
“I am very happy with our defence but our attack was pretty much all over the place,” Robberds said.
“Credit to Uni they were very hard at the breakdown, so we struggled to get our ball back.
“But luckily we got over the top of them at the finish.”
Wests 30 bt Uni-Norths 0 at ANU North Oval