The Gungahlin Bulls remain on top of the table after a 28-14 win over the Belconnen United Sharks at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval on Saturday.
The Sharks threw everything they had at the Bulls in what was a must win match, with the first half a very tight affair. But the home side was able to withstand pressure and score points quickly.
Gungahlin struggled with discipline in the first half, conceding consecutive penalties which gave the Sharks momentum to charge down field to and get two forced dropouts.
The Sharks were on a roll, when they cut the momentum of the Bulls as winger Iszac Bell charged 70 metres down field, but his body was forced over the sideline to give the Bulls possession.
Sharks lock Ewan MCarroll opened the scoring in the 11th minute of play when he dived on the ball in goal after it deflected off a Bulls player. The conversion was successful by Campbell Woolnough and the Sharks led 6-0 after an impressive start to the game.
Bulls hit back in the 22nd minute, when power centre Jack Williams found a hole in the defence and ran straight through to get the Bulls first try of the afternoon, a successful conversion made it 6-6.
It was a tight contest between the two sides in the first half, but the Bulls were able to get the lead for the first time with just eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Bulls fullback Tristan Eldridge teamed up with his halves to find another gap in the Sharks defence. Eldridge stepped around the fullback to dive under the posts and get a six-point lead, making it 12-6.
The battle between the top of the competition Bulls and the sixth placed Sharks was becoming increasingly competitive as they headed into half time with the Bulls having the lead, in one of their tightest contests of the season.
In the second half, the Bulls were the first to find the line, confusing the Sharks defence a gap opened in the middle of the field for lock Zachary Patch extending their lead 18-6 after a successful conversion.
Looking to get themselves back in the contention the Sharks forced an in-goal dropout. In the next set they used their width, finding PK Amponn-Nyamekye to get their second try of the afternoon.
Closing the gap, the Sharks continued to challenge the Bulls making it 18-10 with just 23 minutes remaining in the match.
But conceding a penalty on the line the Sharks couldn’t keep the Bulls out and once again fullback Eldridge went over next to the uprights to make it 24-10 after a successful conversion.
The Sharks almost made it a try-for-try battle, but they were unable to maintain the ball over the line, given the Bulls a 20-metre tap restart.
Making their way down field, Bulls showed why they’re one of the best attacking teams in the competition, second rower Jackson Owen went over on the right side and the Bulls led 28-10.
A spectacular play by the Sharks with just 10 minutes remaining saw half Matt Woolnough and Josh Pokoney in a chip and chase effort, the Bulls fullback cleaned up the Ball in goal, but an effort by Woolnough saw him take him out over the sideline to regain possession.
Using their momentum, the Sharks found the line with fullback Livai Kaloutolu after a spectacular effort by the team. The score became 28-14 as they headed into the end of the match.
Looking to score again the Sharks became extremely close through forward Brandon Nagatti who was just millimetres from the line.
But the Bulls held them off to claim their 11th win of the season.