Monday 29 April 2013 1:30 PM
2013 TTM Canberra Raiders Cup
For an updated ladder for the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup Click Here
For the 2013 Draw and wrap up of results Click Here
TTM Canberra Raiders Cup Round 4 Preview
Woden Valley Rams (5) v West Belconnen Warriors (8) on Saturday at 5:00pm at Raiders Belconnen
The Woden Valley Rams 34-30 defeat of TTM Canberra Raiders Cup powerhouses the Queanbeyan Blues announced their standing as a serious contender for this year’s title however Coach Cameron Hardy believes that the victory will be rendered meaningless unless they back it up this round against the West Belconnen Warriors.
West Belconnen are yet to win in this year’s competition and are subsequently sitting at the bottom of the ladder but Hardy, who has coached and played with the Warriors, is adamant that they will not be taking them lightly.
Last week the Warriors led last year’s Grand Finalists the Queanbeyan Kangaroos 16-10 at half-time until the Kangaroos scored 28 unanswered points to beat them 38-16.
“You can never underestimate West Belconnen,” said Hardy. “I’m a West Belconnen boy myself so I know the club quite well.
“They haven’t had the best start to the year but we can’t take them lightly at all because they’ve definitely got some talented players in their ranks.
“We can’t go into the game complacent and it would be disrespectful of us to do so. Germ [Simon Woolford] put it nicely last week when he talked about respecting your opponents. The Blues probably didn’t respect us as much as they should’ve last week and they paid the price for it.
“In saying that though I felt we earned the victory last week. Our defensive effort was really impressive as were our completions and discipline. If we don’t win this week last week’s win doesn’t mean anything though.”
Hardy has been thoroughly impressed with the development of the younger players in his side many of which have come up from the Under 18s as well as some other handy recruits.
“The development of the younger players has been fantastic. We look to give the talented young fellas coming through at the club opportunities and they have never let us down so far this year.
“Pat Prior in the front row, David Hicks in the back-row and Jake Wheeler at fullback have been particularly impressive.
“Our edges have been working well and we’ve identified our strengths and we’re playing to them.”
Mitch Vincent was terrific for the Rams in last week’s win over the Blues scoring two scintillating long range tries however Woden will be without his services this weekend as Vincent will be attending a wedding in Queensland.
The Warriors will also be without the services of a handy backline player with five-eighth Joe Cramp ruled out with a medial ligament strain in his knee.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos (2) v Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (4) on Saturday at 3:00pm at Freebody Oval
Goulburn Captain Daniel York has revealed that the confidence of his side received a significant boost last week after defeating competition leaders the Tuggeranong Bushrangers.
“The Bushrangers have had a great start to the year and are probably the form team of the competition at the moment so to get a win over them last week gave the side a real boost in confidence,” said York.
Winger Junior Vatikani starred for Goulburn in the victory over Tuggeranong scoring a hat-trick of tries and will again be a key figure if the Bulldogs are to topple last year’s Grand Finalists the Queanbeyan Kangaroos.
“Junior was awesome for us last week,” said York. “His runs are invaluable; he’s just like an extra forward for us and is proving to be a real handful for opposition defences. We’ll need another big game from him this week to be a chance of beating the Roos.”
Queanbeyan will be striving to deliver an improved first half performance after trailing cellar dwellers West Belconnen 16-10 last week. The Roos cannot afford to give a similar first half performance against the Goulburn.
Queanbeyan Blues (3) v Gungahlin Bulls (7) on Saturday at 3:00pm at Seiffert Oval
The Queanbeyan Blues were disappointing last weekend against Woden and Coach Simon Woolford has been riding his talented side hard at training as a result of their poor showing.
The former Raiders skipper hopes that the Blues take a hard lesson out of the loss where complacency and ill-discipline proved costly.
“I thought even in the warm-up our guys were taking Woden for granted,” Woolford said.
“When you give away 11 penalties to three you can't win footy games, no matter who you're playing. I just hope our guys learn a lesson from it.”
Gungahlin will also be looking to bounce back from a disappointing previous round where they were smashed 52-18 by the Belconnen United Scholars.
Tuggeranong Bushrangers (1) v Belconnen United Scholars (6) on Saturday at 3:00pm at Greenway
After setting the competition alight in the previous two rounds the Tuggeranong Bushrangers were brought back to Earth by a 26-22 loss at the hands of Goulburn.
They will no doubt be looking to get back into the winners circle this Saturday with a win over 2012 premiers the Belconnen United Scholars in front of their passionate home fans.
Fullback Michael Brophy will again be crucial for Tuggeranong to emerge victorious. The former Raiders lower grader scored two tries last week against Goulburn and will no doubt be a heavily marked man by the Scholars.
Alternatively, the Bushrangers will have to keep a watchful eye on Scholars star Junior Lafaele who scored a hat-trick of tries in Belconnen United’s 52-18 victory over the Bulls last weekend.