Queanbeyan Blues (2) 24 def. Woden Valley Rams (5) 10 at Phillip
The Woden Rams have conceded their first loss of the season to the Queanbeyan Blues, going down 24-10 in wet and overcast conditions at Phillip Oval Sunday afternoon.
The weather didn’t allow for too much ball movement, and the bigger forward pack of the Blues took advantage of that. With hit-ups being the order for the day, Queanbeyan was able to use their bigger bodies to have the lion’s share of field position for most of the match.
Woden Valley came out firing in the second half but was unable to stop the Blues from punching their way down through the middle of the field. In the end it was a comfortable 24-10 victory for the Blues who have continued their unbeaten run so far this season.
Queanbeyan were the first to score in the 6th minute. After gaining good metres from their backs, a well-placed grubber kick was put behind the Rams defence. The ball travelled into the left hand corner which saw the Blues right winger place the ball down. The missed conversion attempt left Queanbeyan with their 4-0 lead.
Woden then responded nine minutes later after a high bomb sent up by Tim Crome saw the Blues’ fullback knock on the ball.
From the resulting set of six, Kahi Harawira managed to break a couple of tackles and powered over the try line on the second tackle to open the Rams scoring account. With the successful conversion from Crome, Woden took the lead 6-4.
After the Rams conceded another penalty, Queanbeyan was able to take advantage of their poor discipline. The Blues got close to the line and their hooker James Woolford managed to sneak underneath Woden’s defence from dummy half and score under the posts. The lead was re-taken by the Blues 10-6 with the conversion being taken easily from right in front.
Just before the end of the half the Rams were dealt an unlucky blow, and Queanbeyan managed to extend their lead. The Blues left centre split Woden in half and ran almost the length of the field, he managed to off-load to the support runner who scored next to the uprights.
The offload looked well forward but the referees awarded the try and Queanbeyan went into the sheds leading 16-6.
Unfortunately for the Rams they were unable to capitalise on their good field position as execution was what separated the two sides in the first 40 minutes.
Woden Rams Coach Ash Barnes believed the failure to capitalise on attacking opportunities was what let them down.
“Our attacking execution let us down at times, we had some opportunities on their line and couldn’t execute,” Barnes said.
Woden then came out firing in the second half and needing to be the first to score to get back in the game, they did just that.
In the 50th minute off the back of a penalty, the Rams moved the ball quickly to the left hand side attack. Centre Michael Geiger took the ball into the defence and managed a brilliant offload to winger John White who scored in the corner.
Needing the all-important conversion to reduce the lead to just four points, Crome was unable to deliver and the Blues held onto a six point lead 16-10.
Queanbeyan then put the pressure on Woden and travelled the length of the field after a break down the right sideline. With the Rams under pressure they conceded a penalty, which the Blues used to take a two point penalty to extend their advantage 18-10 with 20 minutes left of the match.
The Blues then put the game out of reach after scoring their fourth for the afternoon in the 70th minute. A barnstorming run from one of Queanbeyan’s powerful forwards broke numerous tackles before he gave an easy off-load to the supporting centre Tom Ruediger. Having too much speed, Ruediger made sure to give his kicker an easy conversion opportunity scoring under the uprights.
24-10 was Queanbeyan’s lead after the simple two points were added, and that was how the game ended. The Blues had solid defence during the full 80 minutes and the Rams were unable to get back into the contest late in the game.
Although the Rams had suffered their first loss of the season, Coach Ash Barnes was positive about their effort in tough conditions.
“It was a high quality game in tough conditions, we just let ourselves down in key moments with a couple of decisions that we made and the Blues really made us pay for those,” Barnes said.
“We really showed up and really competed with a high quality side, probably the best side in the competition and pushed them for 80 minutes. I’m happy with our effort.”
Queanbeyan Blues 24 (Craig Wilkinson, James Woolford, Tom Leddy, Tom Ruediger tries; Wilkinson 4 goals) def. Woden Valley Rams 10 (Kahi Harawira, John White tries; Tim Crome 1 goal)
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (1) 38 def. Tuggeranong Bushrangers (8) 0 at Goulburn Workers Arena
Goulburn has continued their unbeaten start to the 2015 season with a 38 point annihilation of Tuggeranong at home.
The Bulldogs led from start to finish in this encounter and proved exactly why many players in the competition have tipped them as a heavy favourite to go one better than last year and take out the premiership.
Chris Hart scored a double for Goulburn, whilst wily hooker Ben Picker registered a 14 point haul through one try and five conversions.
Tuggeranong Captain-Coach Michael Brophy was extremely disappointed with his side’s performance, especially so after their spirited display in Round 1’s narrow loss to Woden.
Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 38 (Chris Hart 2, Codie Medway, Ben Marmont, Matt Worboys, Brad Hewitt, Ben Picker tries; Picker 5 goals) def. Tuggeranong Bushrangers 0
Gungahlin Bulls (4) 21 def. West Belconnen Warriors (3) 8 at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval
Gungahlin has secured their first win this year after an impressive come-from-behind victory over West Belconnen at home.
In torrential conditions, the Warriors led 8-4 at half-time however the Bulls delivered a tenacious second half outing to trump them 17-0 in the final stanza.
The Bulls made the Warriors pay for their clumsy ball handling and lack of execution.
Winger Chris James scored a double for Gungahlin whilst back-rower Aidan Greenwood was also a solid contributor, scoring a try and slotting two goals in extremely tough conditions.
Gungahlin Bulls 21 (Chris James 2, Sean Grainger, Aidan Greenwood tries; Greenwood 2 goals, Chris Thorley field goal) def. West Belconnen Warriors 8 (Ryley Thomas, Dayne Ewings tries)
Queanbeyan Kangaroos (6) 38 def. Belconnen United Scholars (7) 28 at Freebody Oval
The Queanbeyan Kangaroos have also registered their first win of the year with a 10 point win over the Belconnen United Scholars at home.
In what was a high scoring affair, both sides threw plenty of quality attacking raids at one another, however the experience of Queanbeyan’s forward pack, coupled with the leadership of five-eighth and Captain-Coach Aaron Gorrell saw the Kangaroos home.
Belconnen United are a new-look team in 2015 and can hold their heads up high after their performance, despite the loss. Unfortunately, the loss does leave the Scholars, along with the Bushrangers, as the only teams win-less thus far in 2015.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos 38 (Isi Afemui, Glenn Baker, Dale Turner, Ben Shulver, Troy Whiley, Adam Pearce, Daniel Maskill tries; Jack Miller 5 goals) def. Belconnen United Scholars 28