CRC Match Report: Blues Claim 2017 Premiership
A late try to Queanbeyan Blues prop Kyle O’Donnell has seen his side claim the Austbrokers Canberra CRC First Grade Grand Final 13-6 over the Queanbeyan Kangaroos at Seiffert Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues led 7-6 after captain-coach Terry Campese kicked a 55th-minute field goal before O’Donnell crashed over from close range as the Blues assumed one hand on the Cup.
Campese was awarded man-of-the-match after a performance in which he was involved in everything, playing a hand in a number of tries, blasting a 40/20 and proving a deadeye from the tee.
The Blues went agonisingly close to nabbing first points after Campese slammed home a 40/20 eight minutes in.
They spread the ball left in the ensuing set and found winger Brendon Taueki, but a desperate Kangaroos cover defence extinguished the flames of the promising attack as Taueki bundled into touch.
But the Blues again found themselves in Roos territory just moments later and this time would pick the lock, halfback Adam Misios tearing through to plant a Campese grubber in the 14th minute.
The former NSW Blues playmaker added the extras to hand his side a 6-0 buffer, but the Roos would waste no time in striking back.
Les McIntyre Medallist Brent Crisp sent the Steeden swirling into the heavens that Taueki was not able to contain, spilling the high ball before Roos winger Tolokana Aroha-Tuinauvai raced through to clean up the crumbs and dot down 17 minutes in.
Crisp made things six-apiece from the tee before the Roos went tantalisingly close to stealing the lead just moments later, halfback Josh Essex crashing over the line but spilling his lollies.
The Roos thought they had broken a six-apiece half-time deadlock early in the second term when winger Jedidiah Simbiken tore up the right edge to snatch up a Crisp punt.
But the Papua New Guinean flyer was deemed to have brushed the sideline and the Blues would rub salt into the wound when Campese made a cunning move to pocket a field goal and hand his side a 7-6 lead.
Aroha-Tuinauvai barnstormed the Roos into Blues territory with a full-throttle linebreak up the middle, but Campese and centre Tyler Stevens would hunt down the former West Belconnen Warrior in a desperate chase.
O’Donnell barraged his way over just after the hour mark to extend the Blues’ lead to more than a converted try ahead, a buffer that would see his side stave off the Roos in a hard-fought local derby for the ages.