TTM Canberra Raiders Cup: Round 4 Wrap Up

Gungahlin Bulls (3) 34 defeated Queanbeyan Kangaroos (5) 10 at Freebody Oval

The Gungahlin Bulls have stormed into third position on the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup ladder after a comprehensive 24-point win over the Queanbeyan Kangaroos away from home.

Under the guidance of former Raiders trio Lincoln Withers, Troy Thompson and David Howell, the Bulls are promising big things in 2015 and are tracking nicely at the moment.

“Things are going really well for us,” said Gungahlin five-eighth Chris Thorley who joined the club this season from the Belconnen United Scholars.

“Training is really interesting; we’re learning something new all the time off Linc, Thommo and Doc. You’d be stupid not to want to come to a club with those sorts of guys and their influence shows on the field too with the games that we’ve won.”

Thorley was one of the side’s best in the win over the Roos, registering a personal points haul of 14 after scoring a try and slotting five conversions.

Gungahlin Bulls 34 (Chris Thorley, Dwayne Connors, David Howell, Jack Elliott, Aidan Greenwood, Toikan Moinokoa tries; Thorley 5 goals) defeated Queanbeyan Kangaroos 10 (Jedi Simbiken, Adam Pearce tries; Jack Miller goal)

 

Queanbeyan Blues (1) 30 defeated West Belconnen Warriors (4) 6 at Raiders Belconnen

Former Raiders stalwarts Brett White and Simon Woolford delivered one-off cameos to guide the Queanbeyan Blues to a 30-6 victory over West Belconnen away from home.

Despite the fact that the defending premiers were undefeated thus far in 2015, Coach Simon Woolford believed that the inclusion of the former international was necessary given that the Blues were short on numbers this week in both first and reserve grade.

"I always said when I retired I was never going to play local, but when a mate needs a hand that's what it's all about," White said. 

"It's just a one-off thing, it's always good to put a bit of interest into local footy. 

"I'm due to have a run back at Cooma in the first [Raiders] bye actually,  I just wanted to test the water and see where I'm at. 

"He [Woolford] hit me up at first-grade training on Friday and rang me all afternoon, he talked me into it. 

Woolford said that White didn't need much convincing to put the boots on again. 

"The club was in a tough position this week, we only had 32 players available for two grades," Woolford said.

"I made a joke of it to Whitey at the Raiders' captain session [he should play], he looked at me and I could tell he was half keen. I told him if you play, I'll play."

Together, White and Woolford added 458 games of NRL experience to the Blues as they secured their fourth straight victory.

Queanbeyan Blues 30 (Craig Wilkinson, Elijah Ngata, Aaron McInnes, Tom Ruediger, Keni Kaweleva tries; Wilkinson 5 goals) defeated West Belconnen Warriors 6 (John Papalii try; Tavita Ahosivi goal)

 

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (2) 34 defeated Woden Valley Rams (6) 28 at Goulburn Workers Arena

Former Raiders second-rower Joe Picker made a successful return from a facial injury as Goulburn narrowly defeated Woden 34-28 at home.

Picker, who compiled 121 games in the NRL, missed the opening three rounds of the competition after injuring his cheekbone in the pre-season trial against West Belconnen.

His first game for the Bulldogs saw the 27 year old reunited with younger brothers Mick and Ben.

Goulburn got off to a flying start and led Woden 22-6 at half-time, however the Rams gave last year’s Grand Finalists a scare in the second half before eventually going down by six points.

Woden’s cause wasn’t helped by losing powerful prop Kilu Pangai early in the match with a hamstring injury. Pangai had spent the pre-season with the Raiders NRL squad after graduating from the Under 20’s.

"We gave them 65 per cent of possession in the first half, it definitely killed us," Rams Coach Ash Barnes lamented after the match. 

The win by Goulburn sees them retain their place at second on the ladder as well as their standing as the best attacking team in the competition, having registered 120 points in just four games.

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 34 (Chris Hart, Ben Marmont, Junior Vatikani, Michael Picker, Nicholas Cornish, Joe Picker tries; Ben Picker 5 goals) defeated Woden Valley Rams 28 (Cleveland McGhie 2, John White, Charlie Hallam, Adam Lucas, Tim Crome 4 goals)

 

Tuggeranong Bushrangers (7) 32 defeated Belconnen United Scholars (8) 18 at Greenway

To cap off a week of former Raiders players featuring in the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup, former Raiders winger and Manly premiership winner Michael Robertson has returned to his home town of Tuggeranong to lead the Bushrangers to their first win of the year.

Robertson lined up at five-eighth and his experience was invaluable in managing the side’s play in the torrential conditions at Greenway.

“My brother Brad plays here so they convinced me to have a trot,” Robertson said.

“I think having the former Raiders players involved is good for the comp, we might be a bit slower but everyone's been around the traps a bit and can pass on some knowledge.”

Leading into this contest, neither side had registered a victory and the superior game management and patience in the wet conditions by Tuggeranong got the home side over the line, with Jayden Pollard and Brendan Brophy both scoring doubles. 

“We just didn't hold the ball, we just gave the match to them really,” Belconnen United Captain Mitch Shaw said.  

“We just needed to go one pass off the ruck and go through the middle. We shouldn't be throwing cut-out passes. We've been close in every game but we can't stay in it at the end.”

Tuggeranong Bushrangers 32 (Jayden Pollard 2, Brendan Brophy 2, Lachlan Hurst, Mitch McAppion tries; McAppion 4 goals) defeated Belconnen United Scholars 18 (Matt Heckenberg 2, Mitch Shaw tries; Andrew Pelisio 3 goals)