20 May Vikings Rugby Round 7 Wrap Up
Round 7 was a much improved weekend in terms of results for the Vikings, who went 4 from 4 on Saturday in a points fest. There was also a lot to celebrate for several players – Jack Wright and Izaak Weston made their starting 1st Grade debut. Jack Evenden and Dan Uilelea made their 1st Grade debut off the bench – Evo kicking 2 from 2 and setting up a nice try to close the game. Cameron Shaw celebrated his 100th Game for the Club and was named Man of the Match by his peers and coaches. And several players were able to get out of the nudie run by dotting down for their first try of the year. To give you context on what a great day of Rugby it was for the Vikings, collectively, the Club scored 253 points. Have a read to see how everything unfolded.
1st Division 1st Grade (3rd grade) vs Easts
3rd Grade opened the day at Viking Park on Field 2. Cameron Shaw celebrated his 100th Game for the Club and as such led his team out of the tunnel and into battle. There have been some tough weeks recently for the Thirsty Thirds, who were given a shellacking by Hall last week and went down in a physical contest against Royals the week before. This game, however, was a much more dominating performance – spurred on by the inclusion of 100 gamer Shaw, Andrew Dickson and John Gibson (who played his 150th game for the Club) 3rd Grade made the last three weeks seem like a distant memory. It was a very entertaining game of Rugby, the Vikings forward pack constantly on the move and the backs dazzling with silky feet and hands. Shawry was the clear Man of the Match, bagging 4 pies and setting up several others. Justice Henderson again had a great game in the backrow, his presence on both sides of the ball invaluable for the Vikings. And English import and joke-thief Matt Wafer was solid at scrum time and industrious on and off the ball. The memory that will stay with everyone from this game, though, is Swannie Puteho’s attempted and unnecessary swan dive. Vikings 69 – 0 Easts.
3 Cameron Shaw
2 Justice Henderson
1 Matt Wafer
Player’s Player – Cameron Shaw
Premier Division Colts vs Easts
The Colties were looking to right the wrong of last week’s match against Gungahlin, which saw them drop their first game since 2017. They didn’t have an ideal start to their game against Easts, however, the Colts finding themselves behind by two scores after their opponents entered the game with a fire in their belly. To the credit of this young side, the Vikings were able to compose themselves and hit their straps at the back end of the first half, going into the break 28-14. Tom Hooper was massive for the Colts, proving why he has been likened to Brumby Darcy Swain (by himself) with a destructive performance at Lock. Hooker Alex Punou had a fine game in the forwards also, as he looks to lock down the no. 2 jersey for the rest of the year. The Vikings showed a lot of character to come back from their deficit against a very capable Easts side, packing on points in the second half through some well constructed Rugby. Tom Brewer thrived in his first start at Outside Centre for the Colts, earning Player’s Player and combining well with regular Hunter Davis to form a formidable mid-field. Despite some late flair from their opponents, the Vikings were able to hold on for victory. Vikings 47 – 24 Easts.
3 Tom Hooper
2 Alex Punou
1 Tom Brewer
Player’s Player – Tom Brewer
Premier Division 2nd Grade vs Easts
2nd Grade, like Colts, were out looking for redemption, too, after a disappointing loss at Gungahlin last week. The Dirty Twos were slow to start, allowing Easts to score in their first possession after kick-off. But the Vikings were quick to respond, putting themselves on the front foot in attack to make their way down field. Seamus Smith was a constant threat around the ruck at scrumhalf, making several sniping runs to score 2 tries and set up several others. Blake Henman had a fine game at Fullback, returning to his roots as a Junior player. His counter attacking and link with his wingers opened up plenty of options for the Vikings to spread the ball wide. And as always, Professor Pratt was tireless in the forwards. The moment of the match was Michael Henry’s fantastic show and go that left two Easts players in all sorts, only for Richard Joyes to cough up an equally impressive offload immediately after. Vikings 2nd Grade return to winning form in emphatic fashion. This is a team with a lot of potential who will continue to challenge for top of the table. Vikings 57 – 12 Easts.
3 Seamus Smith
2 Ben Pratt
1 Blake Henman
Player’s Player – Richard Joyes
Premier Division 1st Grade vs Easts
1st Grade would score the most points for the day, completely dominating their opponents in all facets of the game. What made the win particularly impressive was the relative experience of the Vikings side that took the field – as noted at the start of this article, there were several debutants in the side. The forwards were the real stars of the day, their work at scrum time having a huge bearing on the Vikings attack. This gave the backs an opportunity to play some outstanding Rugby – Trai Henderson was Man of the Match in his first 1st Grade game for 2019, bulldozing everyone that dared to front him from Inside Centre. Ernest Suavai and Max Ravouvou linked well at Fullback and Wing respectively, with Joe Langtry again solid in D. Len Ikitau and Ryan Lonergan also contributed hugely to the Vikings, after both boys enjoyed time in the Brumbies match day 23 over the last few weeks. The Rugby was clinical from the Vikings – they would score a try, receive the kick off, work through their structures, apply pressure to Easts in their 22, and come away with points. The Vikings defence was once again solid across the park – at one stage late in the game, Easts were hot in attack and pounding the Vikings try line. The Vikings were able to sustain East’s attack, and within seconds were back down the other end of the field scoring a try. A great boost for 1st Grade as we cross the half way mark of the season. Vikings 80 – 17 Easts.
3 Trai Henderson
2 Ernest Suavai
1 Angus Allen
Player’s Player – Trai Henderson
That’s a wrap for Round 7. This weekend all Grades have a Bye, so we will see everyone on the 1st of June when we host Wests at Viking Park!