29 Jul Vikings Rugby Round 17 & Finals Wrap Up
Over the past weekend the Premier Grades played their final Round game against Royals, while 4th Grade and the ViQueens played in their first week of finals. There were some huge results on Saturday, the Premier Grades in particular, that have drastically shaped the Finals Series this coming Saturday.
1st Division 2nd Grade (4th Grade) vs Uni-North Owls, Elimination Final
4th Grade faced a relatively unknown Uni-North outfit in their Elimination Final. As with most of the matches in our Lower Divisions in 2019, the score line did not truly reflect the game. In the opening stanza, the match was a see-saw affair, both teams unable to score despite much of the game being played in each of the team’s 22’s. Uni had the majority of possession and some momentum to boot, but the Vikings were determined, patient and defended their line superbly. Tries to Freddie Pitasi and Ryan Slater after some opportunistic play took the Vikings into the half 14-0 up and from this point on the Vikings never gave up the lead. Cameron Shaw continued his red hot form with a cracking game at Flyhalf, while Matt Wafer led the forwards at Prop. Tries to Grant Lukins and Matt French and some accurate kicking by Chewy Dickson edged the Vikings away for an important victory. 4th Grade now face an in-form Queanbeyan side in the Major Semi-Final next weekend. Vikings 29 – 7 Owls.
3 Cameron Shaw
2 Matt Wafer
1 Damian Goobler
Player’s Player – Matt Wafer
ViQueens vs Uni-North Owls, Qualifying Final
Having played some consistent football at the back end of their season, the ViQueens were able to sneak into 3rd place and contest the Owls in the Qualifying final, the winner playing in this weekend’s Major Semi-Final while the loser would play the Minor Semi-Final. Unfortunately the allure of finals footy was not enough for the ViQueens to herd enough cattle for the match, the girls running on to the field with only 13 players. To their credit, the girls put in a solid shift early in the piece to keep Uni out for a good portion of the first half. The overlap advantage became too much for the ViQueens, however, and Uni were able to put on 3 unanswered tries to lead at the break. The girls weren’t going to roll over and give Uni the victory easily, though, with tries to Paris Robinson and one of the Peta’s, maybe Peta Leddy (although we’ll never know) keeping the score within reach. However, the ViQueens were forced to drop to 10 players due to injury and as a result the game was called early. The ViQueens showed a lot of heart to roll up their sleeves and have a go, the kind of characteristic they will need next Sunday when they play Royals in a do-or-die Minor Semi-Final. ViQueens 10 – 29 Owls.
3 Rhianna Burke
2 Sharon Waihape
1 Peta Leddy
Player’s Player – All 13 Girls that took the field.
Premier Division Colts vs Royals
The Colts saved one of their best performances for last, putting on an impressive game of footy against the old-foe Royals. The Vikings had a slow start to the match, giving away several penalties and opportunities to Royals that put them on the back foot. But the Vikings kept their cool and were able to head into halftime with the lead despite playing with only 14 men. Billy Carberry keeps getting better and better, the tough Inside Centre leading his team from the front with a barnstorming performance. Cooper Sullivan has been very impressive since joining the side a few weeks back, the Openside Flanker keeping himself busy and being a constant threat around the ruck. The second half was much more methodical from the Colts, who showed some great composure and a positive completion rate to dominate their opponents. After a disappointing back half of the season, the Colts performance on Saturday reminded us of what this team is capable of. They face a very tough run through the finals, but if they build off Saturday’s momentum and some key individuals continue to lead from the front, the Vikings will fancy themselves for back-to-back Premierships. Vikings 33 – 5 Royals.
A special mention to Kieran Reilly, who on Saturday played his last game for the Club. Kieran leaves this week to take up a scholarship with a College in the US to play American Football. All the best mate!
3 Billy Carberry
2 Cooper Sullivan
1 Tim Cushan
Player’s Player – Kieran Reilly
Premier Division 2nd Grade vs Royals
The Dirty Twos had a tremendous game on Saturday, playing out a classic against Royals. The Vikings found themselves in an arm wrestle in the first half, Royals enjoying the majority of possession and some good territory. The Vikings defence was outstanding, however, the boys able to keep Royals at bay and make some crucial turn overs. Once the Vikings had ball in hand they looked threatening – Jeremy Mututu the beneficiary of the Vikings polished attack, scoring his third hat trick for the year. The Vikings went into the half with the lead, but it was really anyone’s game given how close the two sides had been. Whatever Coach Allardyce said to his men really put the fire in their bellies, though, and the Vikings piled on the points at an alarming rate to draw away. Seamus Smith was dangerous in attack, as was Travis Pula who had a superb game at Inside Centre. Sione Taula was scary in defence, the rugged Prop leading the way with some bone jarring shots. Jeremy Mututu had one of the tries of the year, chasing down a kick and toeing it on for a great 90m try. A great game for the Vikings to turn one on, especially against a potential finals competitor. Vikings 52 – 15 Royals.
3 Seamus Smith
2 Sione Taula
1 Jeremy Mututu
Player’s Player – Travis Pula
Premier Division 1st Grade vs Royals
This was an all-important match for 1st Grade, with a lot on the line – the Vikings were playing to secure the Bob Hitchcock Shield in 2019, as well as lock in a place in the Major Semi-Final this coming Saturday. The Vikings were first on the board, scoring a well worked try off a rolling maul. The line out would prove to be the Vikings trump card for the day, the boys scoring a lovely try off a clever play at the maul only minutes later to lead by two scores. Royals wouldn’t allow the Vikings to make an easy day of it, however, taking back momentum and having most of the territory in the back end of the first half. They would score just before half time, the Vikings leading 12-5 heading into the sheds. After a tight start to the half the Royals big forward pack got the edge on the Vikings, scoring to take the lead for the first time in the match. A sneaky run by Isaac Thompson in the mid-field led to the Vikings third try, Noah’s conversion from the sideline putting the Vikings back in front, 19-14. Both sides traded a penalty each, keeping the game within one score, but it was Royals who kept the pressure on the Vikings. With 20 minutes remaining and Royals with all the possession, the Vikings put in an outstanding defensive display to keep Royals off their line and cause a turn over on several occasions. Thanks to their win and Gungahlin’s loss to Easts out at Griffith Oval, the Vikings were able to leap frog themselves from 3rd place to 1st and finish as the Minor Premiers in 2019. A great day to be a Viking. Vikings 22 – 17 Royals.
3 Luke Gersekowski
2 Lachlan Lonergan
1 Isaac Thompson
Player’s Player – Lachlan Lonergan
And that’s a wrap for Round 17 and our first week of finals. It’s a huge weekend coming at Viking Park for Finals, with our boys and girls playing on the following days and times:
Saturday 3rd August – Major Semi-Final
1st Grade: 3:25pm vs Royals
2nd Grade: 1:25pm vs Gungahlin
4th Grade: 9:35am vs Queanbeyan
ViQueens (Minor Semi-Final): 3:25pm vs Royals
Sunday 4th August – Minor Semi-Final
Colts: 11:35am vs Queanbeyan