TTM Canberra Raiders Cup: Round 2 Wrap Up
Queanbeyan Kangaroos (2) 26 defeated Queanbeyan Blues (5) 10 at Seiffert Oval
In the Grand Final re-match between these two cross-town rivals, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos have mirrored the result of the 2013 decider by trumping the Queanbeyan Blues at Seiffert Oval.
The local derby is always a heated affair however the Blues were especially fired up for this clash given that the Kangaroos upset them in the Grand Final last year after they finished with the Minor Premiership.
In a typically tightly-fought opening to the match, the Kangaroos took an 8-4 lead into the sheds at halftime.
A knock-on by Blues fullback Tom Ruedinger gave the Kangaroos their first try scoring opportunity and his opposite number, Bryan Cronan capitalised with a try from the ensuing play.
Centre Robbie Bryatt then extended the Kangaroos’ lead before Blues forward Levi Freeman narrowed the deficit after diving on a sublimely placed Marc Herbert grubber kick.
With the Kangaroos’ forwards holding their own against their Blues counterparts, the defending premier’s backline went into top gear in the second stanza with Cronan and Byatt starring in the backline with two tries apiece.
The backline was enabled to sizzle through the ever-improving combination between former Raiders NYC hooker Josh Mitchell and halves Jordan Macey and Luke Jones.
Despite his side now standing alongside Gungahlin as the only teams yet to be defeated in 2014, Kangaroos Coach Aaron Gorrell was far from happy with the victory.
“A decent side would have been up by 20 points," Gorrell said of the first half. "We had all the ball and all the field position but we took our foot off their throat and let them back in the game.
"Hopefully if we do that later in the year, we’ll put a side away."
Blues skipper Herbert rued his side’s slow start to the match as well as their uncharacteristic ball handling.
"We started slowly and didn’t hang in from there," Blues skipper Herbert said. "We were still in the match at half-time but conceded too much ball towards the end, which cost us."
Queanbeyan Kangaros 26 (Bryan Cronan 2, Robbie Byatt 2, Jordan Macey, Troy Whiley tries; Macey 1 goal) defeated Queanbeyan Blues 10 (Jake Knight, Levi Freeman tries; Andy McLean 1 goal)
Gungahlin Bulls (1) 42 defeated West Belconnen Warriors (6) 6 at Gungahlin Town Centre Oval
The Gungahlin Bulls have christened the opening of their new home ground with an emphatic 46-6 thumping of the West Belconnen Warriors.
Gungahlin has battled in previous years gone by without the assistance of a home ground, however thanks to the $12.5 million development from the ACT Government, the future is looking bright for Bulls.
“It’s been really tough in previous years without a designated home ground,” Bulls Captain Josh Ayres. “It never feels like you have that home ground advantage where you can build a bit of a fortress.
“It’s a top class facility; the sheds are unbelievable, the field is one of the best in Canberra .It’s good to finally say that the Bulls have a home ground and the future is looking bright for the club.”
The Bulls put on a show for the strong crowd with James Ulrick starring with a hat-trick of tries and former Raiders NRL player David Howell and Patrick O’Keefe each contributing with two tries apiece.
After a stirring opening round victory over the Belconnen United Scholars, the Warriors were bitterly disappointed with their inability to repeat anything close to the calibre of that performance against the Bulls.
Gungahlin Bulls 46 (James Ulrick 3, David Howell 2, Patrick O’Keefe 2, Shaun Grainger tries; Aidan Greenwood 4, Dwayne Connors 1 goals) defeated West Belconnen Warriors 6 (Isaac Hamad 1 try Scott Jones 1 goal)
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (4) 28 defeated Belconnen United Scholars (7) 26 at Northbourne Oval
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs have won their first match of the season in thrilling circumstances after back-rower Luke Turner crossed in the dying minutes of the match to crush the Belconnen United Scholars.
Turner’s try enabled the Bulldogs to level scores before former Raiders NYC star Ben Picker stepped up to slot the winning conversion.
Goulburn went down to the Blues in the opening round despite leading 18-0 at half-time. The Bulldogs again raced out to an 18-0 lead early in the first half this week before eventually going into the sheds ahead 18-16.
The following half of rugby league was a true arm wrestle with both sides giving their absolute all. Goulburn Captain-Coach Mick Picker said in the lead-up to the clash that defence would be a massive focus for the team this week and whilst he admits that there is still improvement needed in the team’s defensive structure, he was relieved to get the first win of the season out of the way.
“With only 14 rounds it’s a sink-or-swim type of comp so we need to get a good start and the pressure will come off later down the track running into finals,” Picker said. “Losing two or three games early on in the season and all of a sudden you have the monkey on your back. It was good to get our first win for the year.”
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 28 (Michael Bani, Junior Vatikani, Jason Gray, Luke Turner, Ben Picker tries; Picker 4 goals) defeated Belconnen United Scholars 26 ( Tsai Tui, Luke Ashlin, Chris Thorley, Lachy Sund, Aisea Taholo tries; Thorely 3 goals)
Tuggeranong Bushrangers (3) 42 defeated Woden Valley Rams (8) 6 at Greenway
The Tuggeranong Bushrangers have registered their first victory of the year in dominant fashion by trouncing a disappointing Woden Valley Rams 42-6 outfit at home.
Both sides were searching for their first win of the year leading into the clash after going down in the opening round of the season.
Woden headed into the match in a confident frame of mind after a seven point loss to defending premiers the Queanbeyan Kangaroos however they turned in a performance that prop forward Adam Kyle described as “disgraceful.”
“It was an extremely disappointing performance from us after a promising opening match of the season,” Kyle said. “We struggled to wrap the player and the ball up after the initial contact in defence and we paid the price for it.
“The offloads and tackle breaks that the Bushrangers made from this killed us. It’s not acceptable and we need to have a big week at training to fix up some pretty basic errors.”
Brad Wallace registered a double in the seven-tries-to-one victory for the Bushrangers whilst talented young halfback Carl Johnson slotted seven goals from as many attempts.
Tuggeranong Bushrangers 42 (Brad Wallance 2, Adam Raptis, Alex Tulolo, Matt Holmes, Brad Robertson, Will Gregory tries; Carl Johnson 7 goals) defeated Woden Valley Rams 6 (Michael Gieger 1 try Tim Crome 1 goal)