Monday 29 April 2013 1:30 PM
2013 TTM Canberra Raiders Cup
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TTM Canberra Raiders Cup Grand Final: Kangaroos upset Blues in extra time thriller
Queanbeyan Kangaroos 17 defeated Queanbeyan Blues 16
The Queanbeyan Kangaroos have upset Minor Premiers and cross-town rivals the Queanbeyan Blues to claim the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup in a thrilling Grand Final which went into extra time in front of a packed out Seiffert Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues had only been defeated twice during the regular season, once to the Woden Valley Rams and once to the Kangaroos, and we’re heavily favoured to take out this year’s title.
Unfortunately for the Simon Woolford coached outfit, the Kangaroos’ big match experience came to the fore, most notably through the likes of inspirational prop forward Matt Lewis and star five-eighth Jordan Macey.
It was Macey who kicked the match-winning field goal two minutes into extra time to steal victory from the Blues’ grasp.
Whilst the former Manly Sea Eagles reserve grader’s field goal proved the difference in the end, Macey thought he’d thrown grand final glory away when he threw a wayward pass over the sideline with his side on the attack.
“I thought I blew it, but I was stoked to get the win in the end after throwing that terrible ball,” Macey said.
In the lead up to the match, Kangaroos Coach Aaron Gorrell prophesised that if Macey were to deliver a Man of the Match performance than his side would most likely win.
“I wish I could have had a punt on that,” Gorrell laughed.
“He's very important to us. He makes our decisions and he made a few poor ones, but in the end he made the right ones when we needed it.”
The Blues have one of the best forward packs in the competition and when Lewis injured his hamstring in the warm up it sent a scare through the Kangaroos camp.
Lewis courageously played through the pain and his impact in the 50 minutes he played in was a vital ingredient to the Kangaroos’ win.
“There's no way I'd miss a grand final,” Lewis said. “They strapped it up for me but it was still no good. It was giving me pain all through the game.
“It was terrible watching most of the second half and extra time, I had my jumper over my head.”
Macey described Lewis' bravery as inspirational. “When he did his hammy we were behind the eight-ball from the start, but he played with a lot of heart,” Macey said.
Gorrell paid credit to the rest of his forward pack for lifting in Lewis' absence.
“Losing Lewy was pretty disappointing and it's the first time we've won without him this year,” Gorrell said. “We just needed other guys to step up, and they did.”
The Kangaroos started the game well and raced to a 10-0 lead through tries to tries to Daniel Watt and Jed Pearce, however the Blues, aided by a strong breeze, fought back to lead 16-10 at half-time through tries to Levi Freeman, Aaron McInnes and Josh Chudleigh.
Roos winger Fonua Tonga reduced the gap to 16-14 midway through the second half through an eye catching individual effort, before a Troy Whiley penalty goal levelled the scores with eight minutes of the match remaining.
The Kangaroos regained the lead through Macey's field goal two minutes into extra time and their desperation in defence saw the club claim their third premiership in four years and erase last year’s painful loss to the Belconnen United Scholars.
QUEANBEYAN KANGAROOS 17 (Daniel Watt, Jed Pearce, Fonua Tonga tries; Troy Whiley 2 goals, Jordan Macey field goal) bt QUEANBEYAN BLUES 16 (Josh Chudleigh, Aaron McInnes, Levi Freeman tries; Craig Wilkinson 2 goals) at Seiffert Oval on Sunday.
The Kangaroos also won the reserve-grade premiership with a 20-10 win over the Blues and the club nearly had a premiership hat-trick however the club's under-18 zone 2 team lost its grand final to Gungahlin 24-26.
In other grand finals on the day, Gungahlin beat Woden Valley 36-20 in the under-18 zone 1 grand final and Binalong beat Harden 32-6 in the George Tooke Shield on Saturday.