The Canberra Royals have won their opening match of the season 23-10 on a cold afternoon at David Campese Oval in Queanbeyan.
A dominant scrum and a flawless outing with the boot for Pedro Rolando ensured the visitors started their season on the front foot.
Queanbeyan set the pace of the game early, making the most of some great field position to score off the back of a scrum.
Some quick passing from the backs put Keith Morgan through a hole to dot down under the post for an easy conversion.
From that point, Royals took a greater control of the match mainly thanks to their dominant scrum.
After a number of back to back penalties in the Queanbeyan half, speedy winger Seth Going showed some great footwork to run around his man and score in the corner.
Pedro Rolando sent the ball between the posts from out wide to make the score 10-7 to the Royals.
Despite the freezing wind, things got heated towards the end of the first half when a maul boiled over with an altercation between Queanbeyan hooker Carl Elliot and Royals lock Sam Von Blanckansee resulting in a pair of yellow cards.
A penalty kick each before half time meant the visitors went into the sheds with a 13-10 lead and during the intermission some of the rain that had been threatening to come down during the first half finally arrived.
The rain resulted in some poor handling in the second half, which made it a challenge for both teams to hold possession for long enough to build any momentum.
Queanbeyan had some trouble securing their lineouts and this didn’t help the home side get back into the game.
During the second half Royals were at the receiving end of two more yellow cards in separate incidences, but Queanbeyan were unable to capitalise on their advantage by scoring any points during this time.
Jamie Bodman and Rory Scott were the two Royals players spending 10 minutes each in the sin bin.
Pedro Rolando maintained his perfect accuracy with the boot when he extended the lead to 16-10 and it looked like this would be the final score of the match until Royals fullback Lincoln Smith broke into space on the left edge and toed the ball forward for Andy Muirhead.
The man who has been playing great rugby this year with the Brumbies collected the ball and crashed over the line to put the icing on top of a great 23-10 win for the Royals. Next week the Queanbeyan Whites play Norths at home, while the Royals have the bye.
STATISTICS:Queanbeyan Whites: (10) 10 (T: Morgan, C: Goddard 1/1, P: Goddard 1/1)
Canberra Royals: (13) 23 (T: Going, Muirhead, C: Rolando1/1, P: Rolando 3/3)
TEAMSQueanbeyan Whites: 1. Neori NADRUKU, 2. Carl ELLIOT, 3. James DOUGLAS, 4. Soakai TAI, 5. Michael GORDON, 6. Lewis BOZZATO, 7. Ryan JONES, 8. Justin SIKIMETI, 9. Mitchell DOUCH, 10. William GODDARD, 11. Levi Clark, 12. Christino MANUOLEVAO, 13. Keith MORGAN, 14. Jamie MARMONT, 15. Pierre MOUNAL
Canberra Royals: 1. James BUNDY, 2. Connal MCINERNY, 3. Ryan KOTLEWSKI, 4. Sam VON BLANCKANSEE, 5. Hugh COWAN, 6. Luke KIMBER, 7. Jack FARRELL, 8. Rory SCOTT, 9. Pedro ROLANDO, 10. Craig MCMAHON, 11. Ben JOHNSON ©, 12. Jamie BODMAN, 13. Andy MUIRHEAD, 14. Seth GOING, 15. Lincoln SMITH
Words: Pat Woods