7/22/2013

John I Dent Cup Round 15 Action


Tuggeranong Vikings v Uni-Norths Owls at Viking Park

The Tuggeranong Vikings have grinded out a 49-13 win over a gallant Uni-Norths Owls who trailed by just one point at half time.

In what was the top versus the bottom of the competition, the Owls stood very little chance arriving at the home of a team that has not lost a game all season.

But despite this and other issues, they were able to give victory their best look all season.

Uni-Norths have clearly struggled to gain any momentum all season, and while in individual games they have had short bursts of control, their eleven straight losses would have done them no confidence at all.

Injuries and player unavailability have always been a frequent problem for the joint-venture club, whose players a predominantly university students coming and going.

All head coach Joe Hedger has asked of his men all season is to support one another and get the basic plays right in games, and this is all they could have aimed to do against the almighty Vikings.

While the Vikings have been premiership favourites all season, this certainly has not come as an underestimation; the side having dispatched other contenders in the Royals and Wests in tight affairs.

A 71-28 trouncing of Gungahlin also reaffirmed this status.

In freazing and wet conditions, kicking games were going to be important, and as the small crowd rugged up, both sides put boot to ball early.

It was a courageous start for the visitors, who played the wet conditions well and muscled up in defence.

They were able to withstand numerous Vikings attacking raids on their own line, and despite being 14-13 down at half time, were looking the goods.

Defensively they were outstanding, and given the shocking weather, they played smart with ball in hand.

The Vikings finally cracked them again early in the second half, however, giving them a handy 21-13 lead.

The early threat from the Owls failed to continue throughout the rest of the match.

Some late tries had the Vikings grind out a 49-13 win.

Vikings coach Brad Harris was impressed with the Owls effort in the first half, but was pleased with his own men's effort to take the game away in the terrible weather.

"They [Owls] compete for everything, and we weren't really clinical enough in that first half," he said.

Queanbeyan Whites v Wests Lions at Griffith Park

The Queanbeyan Whites have kept their spot in the top four by completing a four game winning streak in smashing Wests Lions 35-7 at Griffith.

In what was the clear match of the round at such a crucial time in the competition, both sides had the opportunity to pressure an of-late inconsistent Canberra Royals side for second spot.

It has been a much needed comeback by Queanbeyan in recent weeks, having won their past three matches to keep themselves in the top four and content in the competition by seven points.

They were always needing to bring their A-game against the third-placed Lions though, who in the same three weeks period had conceded points in a game just once.

While they went down to Tuggeranong by just five points, they had smashed the Gungahlin Eagles and the Royals by a combined 79-0.

Wests startling form of late had to be maintained against the resurging Whites though, and unfortunately for Craig Robberds' men, that was not achieved.

"We were trying to get closer to second spot, but unfortunately I think that's gone for us now," said Robberds.

"It'll come down to our game against Gungahlin in a few weeks, who are going to try and get fourth spot."

Gungahlin Eagles v Eastern Suburbs at Nicholls Oval

The Gungahlin Eagles have kept their finals hopes alive by slaughtering Eastern Suburbs 70-0 at Nicholls Oval.

The wet, freazing conditions were handled much better by the home side, who continue their chase of Queanbeyan and Wests on the ladder.

They entered the clash on a three match losing streak, and off the back of a tough clash against the Tuggeranong Vikings.

But still being in the hunt for a finals spot, their hunger and effort in the clash would have been expected to surpass that of Easts.

While Eastern suburbs are no chance of playing finals football this season, their underdog tag entering this clash was not to be taken too seriously.

With four wins, including surprise ones against Wests Lions and the Queanbeyan Whites, there was no saying they could not do the same against Gungahlin.

However they failed to execute basic plays, handing Gungahlin their very easy win.