11 Aug Vikings and Wests in Preliminary Final showdown
Tuggeranong Vikings and Wests will meet in the Aquis Entertainment John I Dent Cup Preliminary Final on Saturday afternoon with the winner earning the right to face Canberra Royals in the Grand Final next week.
These two sides have developed quite the rivalry over the past decade spanning all the way back to 2005 when they met in the decider. They have since met in the 2011 and 2012 Grand Finals as well.
Tuggeranong will go into the match as the red-hot favourites, but Wests will not be overawed by the challenge. When these two sides last met, it was the Lions who rose to the occasion and defeated their opponents 35-31 in Round 15.
With revenge on their minds, the men from Tuggeranong will be out to win the forward battle to lay the foundation for their slick backline. For Wests, it’s all about dominating the set piece which they executed to perfection last time these two powerhouses met. At this could be the area which determines the contest.
Vikings have been very successful over several years and with some experienced heads on the paddock, they will look to steer the ship towards victory. Speaking after last week’s defeat in the Major Semi-Final to the Royals, Vikings coach Tim Sampson revealed his side was ready.
“We have to bounce back and get ready for the next game, we are really looking forward to the challenge they (Wests) pose,” Sampson commented.
Wests triumphed over the Queanbeyan Whites in the Minor Semi-Final to find themselves one game away from the big dance. It wasn’t the prettiest game of Rugby at Viking Park on Sunday, but it was a hard grind in freezing conditions.
The Lions coach Craig Robberds spoke after the victory about preparing his side for the challenge ahead and will be keen to be able to pick from a full-roster ahead of what should be a titanic battle.
The undefeated Royals may be sitting back and enjoying a week off ahead of the grand Final, but whichever side they will meet have qualities that could out the Minor premiers, and favourites, on the back-foot. As such, they will no doubt be looking on with interest at the outcome.
The preliminary Final has all the ingredients to be a great game, with the weather forecast suggesting there will be some free-flowing Rugby on display. Saturday afternoon at Viking Park promises to be no better place to be as these two giants battle for a place in the Aquis Entertainment John I Dent Cup Grand Final.
AQUIS ENTERTAINMENT JOHN I DENT CUP
Saturday 12 August
Tuggeranong Vikings v Wests
(Viking Park, 15:25)