Queanbeyan Blues (1) 56 defeated Tuggeranong Bushrangers (7) 12 at Seiffert Oval

Defending premiers, the Queanbeyan Blues, have snapped a three game losing streak by comprehensively thrashing Tuggeranong by 44 points at home.

After a nine match winning streak to start the year, the Blues appeared to have dropped the ball over the last month with Coach Simon Woolford admitting that his side was in a “rut” following their three consecutive losses.

Two points clear of Goulburn atop of the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup ladder and with the best for-and-against record in the competition, the win now allows the Blues to regain their momentum leading into the finals.

Sione and Shippard starred for the Blues with both players registering a brace of tries in the 10-tries-to-two rout.

Queanbeyan Blues 56 (K Sione 2, L Shippard 2, T Stevens, T Ruediger, C Wilkinson, D Pangai,

J Woolford, B Nicoll tries; C Wilkinson 8 goals) defeated Tuggeranong Bushrangers 12 (J Pollard, M Brophy tries; M Brophy, L Hurst goals)

 

West Belconnen Warriors (4) 42 defeated Woden Valley Rams (6) 22 at Phillip District Oval

West Belconnen has ended Woden’s dreams of playing in the semi-finals in 2015 and simultaneously realised their own ambitions with the Warriors confirming their place in the top four of the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup after the dominant 20-point triumph.

Both teams headed into this match with plenty to play for but especially so for the Rams with their semi-finals aspirations on the line in front of a bumper crowd at Phillip due to a combined Old Boys and Ladies Day.

A Rams win would have drawn them level with the fourth-placed Warriors on the ladder with one round remaining.

Woden had hoped to send club stalwart and Captain Josh Burns out with a finals appearance however that wasn’t to be as West Belconnen outscored them 30-6 in the second half with a strong breeze at their backs. 

“Once they get a roll on it's really hard to stop, half the reason I'm retiring is those big guys on the edge coming at me,” said Burns, who will hang up the boots after 14 years with the Rams.

“They're a good team. We spoke about staying in the grind but in the end their brute size and power just rolled over the top of us. They'll challenge [winning] the comp, I know a lot of coaches are worried about them and they're dangerous.”

On the back of a dominant performance from his forwards, Warriors halfback Howie Brown cut the Rams’ defence to shreds. Burns said the Rams watched plenty of tape on Brown in the lead-up, but his unpredictability proved too tough to shut down. 

Brown, a mid-season signing from New Zealand, scored a slashing individual try in the first half and also nailed six goals.

“He's lightning, we talked about his feet and the unpredictability he's got,” Burns said of the 20 year old. “Once their big bodies get second-phase play happening, he's really dangerous and he showed that again today. He's an X-factor for them.”

“He [Brown] is very much a Shaun Johnson type,” Warriors Coach Justin Giteau added. “He was slow to come over [from New Zealand] and we were always going to be better at the back end of the year with him in the team. We're playing physical footy now and still have a bit of improvement left in us.”

Fullback Ryan McQueen continued his outstanding try scoring form of late by registering a hat-trick of tries. McQueen has now scored nine tries in his last four games. 

West Belconnen Warriors 42 (R McQueen 3, J Faletagoai, H Brown, I Hamad, M Uluakiola tries; H Brown 6, T Aroha-Tuinavuai goals) defeated Woden Valley Rams 22 (J White, K Harawira, E Jenkins, J Morgan tries K Harawira 3 goals)

 

Gungahlin Bulls (5) 22 defeated Belconnen United Scholars (8) 14 at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval

Gungahlin has given themselves a very slender chance of making the semi-finals after defeating Belconnen United by eight points at home.

After a season which promised so much early on, the Bulls suffered a shocking run of injuries mid-season which saw them fall markedly down the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup ladder.

Gungahlin enjoyed a five match winning streak from Rounds 2 to 6 however they have since lost five out of their last six appearances.

The win sees the Bulls remain just two points below the Warriors on the ladder in fifth place, entailing that Gungahlin will need West Belconnen to succumb to defeat and for them to register a victory of over 76 points in the final regular season match of 2015.

Whilst this is highly unlikely given that Gungahlin will be playing second placed Goulburn, stranger things have happened in the great game of Rugby League…

The Scholars have endured a dreadful season in 2015 however they have portrayed their improvement with a highly competitive effort against the Bulls. Compare this score to the outcome in Round 6 where Gungahlin thumped Belconnen United 60-4.

Gungahlin Bulls 22 (P Ryan, C Thorley, J Ayers, C McAskill tries; C Thorley 3 goals) defeated Belconnen United Scholars 14 (J Lafaele, U Lafaela, L Reis tries; M Mapiou goal)

 

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (2) 30 defeated Queanbeyan Kangaroos (3) 4 at Goulburn Workers Arena

Goulburn has ended Queanbeyan’s seven match winning streak and leapfrogged the Roos into second place on the ladder in the process.

In front of a strong home ground advantage, the Bulldogs delivered their best performance for a number of weeks and returned to the winner’s circle after back-to-back losses.

Assisting Goulburn’s fortunes were the returns of star fullback Michael Bani from a dislocated shoulder and the hard-working Blake Hewitt.

“We've had a horror run with injuries and we’re slowly getting blokes back week by week,” Bulldogs Captain-Coach Mick Picker said. 

“We've had to hang in there but we've got ourselves in a better position by winning today. I don't think it [back-to-back losses] is the worst thing in the world to happen. Sometimes, if you're winning every week you get complacent.”

On the other hand, Roos Coach Aaron Gorrell was irate after his side's poor performance declaring that they'd “undone all of their good work” over the last seven weeks and that a finish in the top two was now in jeopardy.

“I think a lot of the boys were still sitting there taking the pats on the back from last week,” Gorrell said. “All of the good work we've done the last eight weeks was undone in 80 minutes. We were disgraceful by any account. 

“It was a second-rate display, our skills were terrible. The attitude and effort wasn't there.”

Clearly scathing of his side’s performance, Gorrell believes the main thing to take away from the loss was how they respond with semi-finals just around the corner. 

“Coming into the semi-finals it could be a blessing, a wake-up call for us. Good sides bounce back the next week, it's how we handle the disappointing display today that will matter in the long run.”

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 30 (M Worboys 2, M Bani, B Marmont, M Picker, B Hewitt tries B Hewitt 3 goals) Queanbeyan Kangaroos 4 (I Afemui try)

 

Current Ladder

POS

TEAM

P

W

L

D

B

F

A

PD

PTS

1

Queanbeyan Blues 1sts

13

10

3

0

0

420

226

194

20

2

Goulburn Workers Bulldogs 1sts

13

9

4

0

0

380

272

108

18

3

Queanbeyan Kangaroos 1sts

13

9

4

0

0

313

308

5

18

4

West Belconnen Warriors 1sts

13

8

5

0

0

396

277

119

16

5

Gungahlin Bulls 1sts

13

7

6

0

0

335

292

43

14

6

Woden Valley Rams 1sts

13

6

7

0

0

353

332

21

12

7

Tuggeranong Bushrangers 1sts

13

2

11

0

0

206

422

-216

  4

8

Belconnen United Scholars 1sts

13

1

12

0

0

254

528

-274

  2