Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup 2018 Season Review: Vikings

Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup 2018 Season Review: Vikings

SEASON RANK: 1st

Founded: 1973
Head Coach: NICK SCRIVENER
Captain: CALLUM SMITH
Home Ground: VIKING PARK

REVIEW 


Vikings are back on top of the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup. It’s a familiar spot for the Erindale outfit, having previously won six of the last eight titles before 2018. However, last season by no means started with the Vikings pencilled in for another crown. That prediction was more suitable for Royals, who went undefeated the previous season.

To make matters even more complicated for Vikings, Head-Coach Tim Sampson took the big job at the newly reformed Western Force. The Vikings had a quality replacement waiting though. Nick Scrivener took the reigns at Viking Park, having coached at the highest level for many years. With change came some mystery. Would Scrivener be the catalyst the Vikings needed to regain their spot at the top?

In the first game of the season, Royals beat the Vikings, but the home-side announced their candidacy for leadership that day. Against a strong if not outgunned Gungahlin side a week later, the Vikings put fear into the rest of the competition. In forty minutes of football, they scored over fifty points, devasting the Eagles and setting themselves up for the season. Other than Royals, just one team had any joy against the Vikings, the Owls.

Vikings just managed a draw thanks to a buzzer-beating try to Sione Taula in Round 3 but couldn’t repeat that effort later in the season, losing at home to Uni-Norths on their Charity Day. Still, it was Vikings matchup with Royals which defined not only their respective seasons, but the competition. Royals won the regular season battle two games to one and, in the Major Semi-Final, beat the Vikings into submission.

It was perhaps the wake-up call the Vikings needed and in the Preliminary Final against the Eagles, the Vikings were marvellous, racking up a big score on the Nicholls side. In the Grand Final, the major talking point was about which Vikings team would turn up, the one which lost to Royals or the team that hammered the Eagles. We all got our answer. The Vikings, clinical in victory, took home the John I Dent Cup in front of their home support.

SEASON HIGHLIGHT

Choosing the Premiers season highlight is simple. Winning a Grand-Final at your home ground against the defending Champions who beat you the previous week is the stuff dreams are made of. Not only did the Vikings beat Royals to win their seventh premiership in 10 years, they did it in a manner which suggests their dominance is set to continue for many years to come. Defensive aggression turned into points the other end. The Vikings made Royals look like a shell of themselves and when they turned on the power on offence, they were magnificent. Royals recovered to make the final result respectable, but it was a demolition job by the Vikings and they were well worth their crown by the final whistle.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

So many in red and black deserve this distinction, but Brendan Taeuki’s prolific scoring in 2018 can’t be ignored. In his first season back in the fifteen-a-side code, Taeuki scored a whopping 19 tries, good enough for first in the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup.

Taeuki was also clinical from the boot and was pipped by just one point by Royals Pedro Rolando for the competitions top-scorer award. Still, the last laugh went to the Vikings fullback, crossing in the Grand-Final on the Vikings way to yet another premiership. Taueki will join Rolando for NRC duty in the offseason with the Canberra Vikings. If 2018 proved anything, it’s that red and black suits the powerhouse fullback.

TOP TRY SCORERS

19 – Brendan TAUEKI
13 – JP MYNHARDT
6 – Len IKITAU, Noah LOLESIO, Sione TAULA
4 – Jordan JACKSON-HOPE
3 – Ryan LONERGAN, Max RAVOUVOU, Ernest SUAVAI, Isaac THOMSPON
2 – Angus ALLEN, Jayme FIELD, Rhys GRIFFITHS, Michael HENRY, Richard JOYES, Michael OAKMAN-HUNT, Izzy TITTOR, Joey VEJVODA
1 – Ryne BOWDEN, Angus BURNS, Blake HENMAN

TOP POINTS SCORERS

193 – Brendan TAUEKI
65 – JP MYNHARDT
47 – Isaac THOMSPON
33 – Ryan LONERGAN
32 – Noah LOLESIO
30 – Len IKITAU, Sione TAULA
22 – Jordan JACKSON-HOPE
15 – Max RAVOUVOU, Ernest SUAVAI
10 – Angus ALLEN, Jayme FIELD, Rhys GRIFFITHS, Michael HENRY, Richard JOYES, Michael OAKMAN-HUNT, Izzy TITTOR, Joey VEJVODA
7 – Blake HENMAN, Noah LOLESIO
5 – Ryne BOWDEN, Angus BURNS, Joe LANGTRY, Andrew ROBINSON, Callum SMITH, Dan SOLOEA, Angus WAGNER

SEASON RESULTS

R1: Royals (h) L 31-32
R2: Eagles (a) W 66-22
R3: Owls (a) D 17-17
R4: Whites (a) W 29-10
R5: Easts (h) W 71-24
R6: Wests (a) W 35-17
R7: Bye
R8: Royals (h) W 34-21
R9: Whites (a) W 22-15
R10: Bye
R11: Owls (h) L 28-31
R12: Eagles (h) W 31-21
R13: Whites (h) W 37-14
R14: Royals (a) L 15-19
R15: Wests (h) W 55-19
R16: Bye
R17: Easts (a) W 57-33
QSF: Royals (n) L 20-26
PF: Eagles (n) W 58-7
GF: Royals (n)




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