The Queanbeyan Kangaroos have defeated the West Belconnen Warriors 64-18 at Raiders Belconnen in a rematch of last year’s Canberra Raiders Cup Grand Final.
The Kangaroos were given a huge boost before kick off when Jedidiah Simbiken, Tavita Aroha and Nukurua Ngere were named in the lineup despite leading Monaro to the Country Championship title 24 hours earlier.
However, the Warriors weren’t as fortunate and had their Monaro representatives, Tori Freeman, Ryley Thomas, Tim Shaw and captain Ryan McQueen missing from the team.
Queanbeyan jumped out of the blocks in the first minute of the match with a try thanks to good service from captain-coach, Aaron Gorrell out of dummy half to the supporting Gideon Afemui.
The Kangaroos continued to pile plenty of pressure on the defending premiers and were soon two tries ahead through but West Belconnen fought back soon afterwards with a try to five-eighth Christopher Thorley.
However two quick tries before halftime saw the Kangaroos take a 28-6 lead at halftime.
The Kangaroos continued the second half in the same manner in which they finished the first as they piled on the points to reach 50 points.
West Belconnen didn’t give up and managed a second try in unusual cicumstances when young second rower Dustin Litster put in a grubber kick for Connor Brebner who planted the ball.
Tensions between the two sides boiled over with ten minutes left when Brebner and Afemui were sent to the sin bin for their part in a melee.
The disruption in play didn’t deter the Kangaroos as Brent Crisp took a quick tap to catch the Warriors defence off guard. With only the fullback to beat, Crisp drew in the defender before offloading to Jesse Dent who scored his second try.
Chris Thorley scored his second try of the match late in the game but Joshua Ayers put the icing on the cake for the Kangaroos right on full time as he ran through five defenders to score under the posts.
The win sees the Queanbeyan Kangaroos remain second on the ladder, while the West Belconnen Warriors have missed the opportunity to jump into the top four.
Queanbeyan Kangaroos 64 (Tries: J Dent 2, N Ngere 2, B Cronan, T Whiley, J Simbiken, B Crisp, J Essex, A Gorrell, J Ayers ; Goals: Crisp 10 ) d West Belconnen Warriors 18 (Tries: C Thorley 2, C Brebner; Goals: A McDonald, C Brebner, C Thorley)