CRC Match Report: Tuggeranong Provide Late Twist In Final Race

The race for the top four took another twist on Sunday afternoon as the Tuggeranong Bushrangers defeated the West Belconnen Warriors 34-18.

Entering the match two points behind the fourth placed Warriors, Tuggeranong knew they needed a win to keep their season alive.

After the opening fifteen minutes of the match, it appeared their season would be over as the Warriors scored two early tries thanks to Harry Brown and Chris Thorley.

The Warriors caught the Tuggeranong defence off guard for the first try when Ryley Thomas decided to run the ball on the last play. The centre busted through the line out wide before passing the ball in field as Brown finished off the attack.

However, Tuggeranong second rower Dayne Ewings scored two quick tries in similar fashion as he leapt above the Warriors defenders to ground the ball from well placed kicks.

Quinlyn Cannon gave the Bushrangers a two point lead before halftime as the utility crossed the line but an injury to captain Josh Mitchell in the lead up gave Tuggeranong plenty to think about at halftime.

With the game in the balance, Tuggeranong seized the match by the scruff off the neck as Michael Uluakiola busted through four defenders to cross the line before John Papalii added four points of his own.

Determined to consolidate their position in fourth place, the West Belconnen Warriors gave themselves a chance of salvaging the match when Harry Brown set up Aidan Greenwood to score.

Injuries to John Wesley Tauti and Blake Hansen didn’t help Tuggeranong’s cause and a rush of blood saw John Papalii sent off with five minutes remaining.

However, Tuggeranong put the icing on the cake when Seteki Fetuani scored a spectacular team try off the back of an excellent line break Isileli Afemui.

The result sees the Bushrangers move level with the Warriors on points but ahead on for and against with two rounds remaining.