TTM Canberra Raiders Cup: Round 10 Wrap Up
West Belconnen Warriors (2) 44 defeated Tuggeranong Bushrangers (6) 20 at Greenway
West Belconnen has drawn level on competition points with the ladder leading Queanbeyan Blues after they defeated Tuggeranong by 24 points away from home.
With the Blues superior for-and-against record separating them from top spot on the ladder, the Warriors have completed a remarkable turnaround from last year in which they collected the wooden spoon after failing to win a single match.
Despite missing three of their best players to Country representative duty, West Belconnen dominated Tuggeranong from the outset at Greenway.
The Bushrangers battled bravely however they sorely missed their Captain Coach and star fullback Michael Brophy’s attacking enterprise and leadership. Brophy was with the Warriors’ trio in Hawaii with the Country representative side.
West Belconnen has now won six matches in a row whilst at the opposite end of the spectrum Tuggeranong has now slumped to their six successive loss.
The Warriors were best served by Ryan McQueen who scored a double and back-rower Scott Jones who registered a personal points haul of 14 from five goals and one try.
The comprehensive win by the Warriors now sets the platform for a cracking top of the table clash with the Blues in Round 11.
West Belconnen Warriors 44 (Ryan McQueen 2, Dayne Ewings, Ryley Thomas, Joe Cramp, Tim Sloman, Scott Jones, Bobby Roberts tries; Scott Jones 5 goals, Bobby Roberts 1 goal) defeated Tuggeranong Bushrangers 20 (Brendan Brophy Adam Raptis Jamal Nchouki Carl Johnson tries; Carl Johnson 2 goals)
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (3) 28 defeated Gungahlin Bulls (5) 4 at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval
After posting four try haul to demolish Gungahlin earlier this year in Round 3, Goulburn winger Junior Vatikani this up in Round 10 with a further two tries to once again tame the Bulls.
Gungahlin tried hard in front of a solid home following but they were no match for the class and direction provided by the Picker brothers – Mick and Ben – around the ruck area and the potency of Goulburn’s outside backs headed by Vaitkani and fullback Michael Bani.
In addition to his outstanding service out of dummy half and his tenacious defence around the middle of the field, Ben Picker also registered a personal points haul of 12 through one try and four goals from five attempts.
The Bulldogs now stand as the best attacking team in the competition after 10 rounds with 318 points whilst after such a promising start to the year the Bulls have now slipped to six points outside of the top four.
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 28 (Junior Vatikani 2, Michael Bani, Luke Turner, Ben Picker tries; Ben Picker 4 goals) defeated Gungahlin Bulls 4 (Nathan Corby 1 try)
Queanbeyan Kangaroos (4) 28 defeated Belconnen United Scholars (8) 10 at Northbourne Oval
Despite retaining their position at fourth place on the ladder, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos have climbed their way back to being just one point behind first spot after their 18 point win over Belconnen United away from home.
In what has been a tough season for the 2012 Premiers with just one win from 10 matches, the Scholars never seriously troubled the reigning premiers in this encounter.
Although they were without they services of dynamic prop Matt Lewis, who is sidelined with a broken jaw, the Kangaroos led from start to finish at Northbourne Oval and ended up recording a five-tries-to-two victory despite a spirited effort from the Scholars.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos 28 (Jake Kiely, Mitch Sullivan, Ryan Tuckwell, Daniel Watt, Ratu Tagive tries; Jordan Macey 4 goals) defeated Belconnen United Scholars 10 (Phil Ryan, Chris Faaee tries; Chris Thorley 1 goal)
Queanbeyan Blues (1) 10 drew with Woden Valley Rams (7) 10 at Seiffert Oval
Woden has delivered one of their best performances of the year to record a 10 all draw with the top of the table Queanbeyan Blues.
Don’t let their standing on the ladder fool you into thinking that the Rams have been walkovers this year; the tenacious yet inexperienced outfit has been courageous in all bar one of their seven losses this year.
“We haven’t been far off for the majority of the year, we’ve being beaten in six games by under ten point so I think that confirms that we are able to compete against the best teams in the competition,” Assistant Coach Ash Barnes said.
“We’re definitely happy with the effort of the team against a quality team like the Blues. We would have liked to have come away with the two points, but one is better than none, which is what we have been receiving despite being close all year.”
In a low scoring contest, the Blues led 4-0 at half-time before the Rams fought back to eventually close out a 10 all draw thanks to a controlled and composed display which belies the lack of experience they have at their disposal.
“Our completions over the last few weeks have been great," Barnes continued. "In tough conditions the boys were patient and were happy to trade sets with the Blues. We were able to build pressure through a good kicking game and our defence has steadily been improving; to only leak 10 points against a team with the strike of the Blues was very pleasing.”
Two of Woden’s experienced players particularly stood up against Queanbeyan according to Barnes.
“Tim Crome has really stood up over the past few weeks. He heavily involved himself on the weekend and was a handful every time he touched the ball.
“Adam Kyle playing at five eighth really helped with the organisation of the team lately and on the weekend his kicking game helped to build pressure.
“Whilst those two led the way, Steven Ferry and Junior Moala have also proven over the last few weeks that they are capable First Graders.”
For the Blues, Barnes believes they were best served by former Raiders stalwart Trevor Thurling, Zac Woolford and David Pangai.
Queanbeyan Blues 10 (Craig Wilkinson Dave Pangai tries; Craig Wilkinson 1 goal) drew with Woden Valley Rams 10 (Tim Crome Junior Moala tries; Tim Crome 1 goal)