TTM Canberra Raiders Cup: Round 9 Wrap Up

Queanbeyan Kangaroos (3) 28 defeated Belconnen United Scholars (8) 24 at O’Connor

The Queanbeyan Kangaroos jumped to third place on the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup ladder following a narrow 28-24 victory over the Belconnen United Scholars at O’Connor.

The win by the Roos was their fourth in a row and proves that despite losing nine players from last year’s line-up, they are still able to give this competition a real shake-up come finals time.

The Roos were able to get out to an 18-0 lead but a strong fight back from the Scholars ensured that the game would be close until the final minutes of the game with a try in the 73rd minute to the Roos ultimately deciding the game despite the best efforts from the Belconnen side.

The game started evenly with both teams getting into good field positions however handling errors were preventing either team from grabbing an early lead.

Once the game settled, Queanbeyan was able to open the scoring in the 11th minute through Byran Cronan. The evasive winger made a 60 metre run before fending aside the Scholars fullback to run in under the posts. The conversion from Jack Miller gave the Roos a 6-0 lead.

It was back-to-back tries for the Roos in the 18th minute when some quick passing between the Queanbeyan players created a gap in the defensive line of the Scholars and Jed Pearce made the most of the space to score. With Miller converting the lead was extended to 12 points.

Errors and ill-discipline then returned letting both teams down and not allowing for either side to build sustained pressure on the opposition.

Queanbeyan were the first to regain their composure and made it three unanswered tries in the 33rd minute. After receiving a penalty for a late hit on the kicker, the Roos used the repeat set to their advantage with Ben Shulver crashing over after a short run at the line with multiple defenders trying to stop him. The conversion was once again successful from Miller for an 18-0 score line.

Belconnen got on the score board four minutes before half-time when some quick passing created space for winger Uili Takitaki to cross under the posts. The conversion was successful from Andrew Pelasio to leave the score line at 18-6 going into the break.

Belconnen United came out the stronger of the two sides and scored in the 46th minute through halfback Pelasio. The playmaker then stepped up to convert his own try and in turn reducd the Roos lead to just six points.

The Scholars came close soon after but the try was disallowed due to the try scorer being called offside from the grubber kick that was put through by Richie Allen.

Belconnen were able to get across the line legally in the 49th minute when Captain Mitch Shaw was able to charge over with multiple defenders hanging off him and score next to the post. The successful conversion from Pelasio levelled the score line at 18-all.

Ill-discipline then started to creep into Belconnen United’s play. Firstly, the Scholars gave away a penalty for blocking a run at the ball from a kick and some quick thinking from Miller allowed him to take the quick tap and catch the defence asleep. Miller was able to convert his own try for a six point lead to Queanbeyan.

Finally, another penalty for a shoulder charge allowed the Roos to get good field position and score again through Aisea Taholo in the 73rd minute to close out the game.

The Scholars never gave up and scored again in the 77th minute through Takitaki. Pelasio’s conversion narrowed the final margin to just four points.

Queanbeyan Kangaroos 28 (B Cronan, J Miller, J Pearce, A Taholo, B Shulver tries J Miller 4 goals defeatedBelconnen United Scholars 24 (U Takitaki 2, A Pelasio, M Shaw tries A Pelasio 4 goals)

Queanbeyan Blues (1) 24 defeated Woden Valley Rams (6) 19 at Seiffert Oval

An incredible last-minute try to winger Jake Wheeler has kept the Queanbeyan Blues unbeaten record intact as well as simultaneously breaking the Woden Rams’ hearts at Seiffert Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Woden was set for the upset of the season when halfback Josh Burns slotted a field goal to put them ahead by one point late into the second half however in the the last play of the day, a spectacular chip and chase from the Blues’ Canberra Region representative, Tom Ruediger, set up Wheeler to score between the posts to steal victory from the Rams’ grasps.

It was a shattering outcome for the Rams, who deserved to win after leading for the majority of the contest.

“I don’t think our boys deserved to lose like that, they put in a lot of effort and just to lose like that is devastating but overall I’m very pleased with the effort they put in,” Rams Coach Ash Barnes said.

“The boys know they’re very close to being able to beat the best teams in the competition. We will take a lot out of today’s game, as a group we will learn from a few little things and improve for next week.”

Blues Coach Simon Woolford said he was thrilled with his team’s never-say-die attitude.

“I’m very happy with the result but our performance as a team wasn’t up to the standards we have set over the last couple of years,” Woolford said.

“It seems like at the moment we are finding our best efforts at the back end of games which is good in a way but also disappointing as we want to start games the way we’re finishing them.”

Queanbeyan, the defending premiers, opened the scoring after Ruediger ran the length of the field to score early on but the Rams were able to regain control in the middle of the ground and as a result scored twice in the first half to lead 12-6 at half-time.

“Their middle unit did a really good job, they got a lot of offloads and put us under pressure,” Woolford said.

The second half started on a positive note for the Rams with Tom Pratt scoring through the middle to give Woden an 18-12 lead, however Queanbeyan levelled scores when David Pangai popped a nice offload to put forward Michael Cullen over.

But a well-constructed set from Woden gave Burns the chance to slot a field goal, and then Ruediger stole the show with his match-winning play for Wheeler.

Queanbeyan Blues 24 (T Ruediger, J Wheeler, S Kalsbeek, Ml Cullen tries C Wilkinson 4 goals)
defeated Woden Valley Rams 19 (B Martin, J Martin, T Pratt tries K Harawira 3 goals, J Burns field goal)


Goulburn Workers Bulldogs (2) 32 defeated Tuggeranong Bushrangers (7) 8 at Greenway

Goulburn has registered their third win in a row by defeating Tuggeranong 32-8 at Greenway on Sunday afternoon.

The star of the show was undoubtedly winger Tim Turner who again registered a hat-trick of tries for the second successive week.

Turner has delivered his most consistent season to date in the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup and is now a pivotal member of a dangerous Bulldogs backline.

The Bushrangers battled bravely in front of their home fans but they were simply outclassed in the end by a dominant and classy Bulldogs outfit.

The win has seen Goulburn retain their standing at second place on the ladder, whilst Tuggeranong still sits just two points above Belconnen United in seventh spot.

Goulburn Workers 32 (T Turner 3, J Vatikani, B Hewitt, S Conlon tries B Picker 3, B Hewitt goals)
defeated Tuggeranong Bushrangers 8 (J Hammond, M Gruber tries)

West Belconnen Warriors (5) 28 defeated Gungahlin Bulls (4) 18 at Raiders Belconnen

West Belconnen has kept themselves in contention for a finals birth following an unexpected 10-point defeat of the Gungahlin Bulls at home, which now sees the Warriors climb to fifth on the TTM Canberra Raiders Cup ladder.

The Warriors built their victory on a stellar first half effort in which they went into the sheds with a 20-0 lead over the Bulls.

Warriors Coach Justin Giteau believes the first stanza was the best half of football his side has played not just this year, but in his entire two year tenure at the club.

“It was probably the best half of footy I’ve been a part of at the club,” Giteau said. “The second half was ordinary, but the first half was outstanding.

“We’ve got a tough run into the finals and hopefully that will give us the confidence to kick on.”

The Warriors were best served by bullocking forward Tori Freeman who crossed for two crucial tries and registered several bone-crunching tackles.

Gungahlin did manage to fight back in the second half with three quick fire tries, however Warriors back-rower Sheen Lomax, son of former Canberra Raider John, closed the game out with a try in the 79th minute.

The loss was Gungahlin’s third in a row and sees them slip to fourth place on the ladder following wins by the Queanbeyan Roos and Goulburn.

Bulls Co-Coach David Howell said his side paid the price for too many mistakes and changes to their team line-up caused by injuries to key players.

“It was very disappointing,” Howell said. “We really hurt ourselves and didn’t stick to our game plan.

“We had a few little disruptions with injuries throughout the game but it was just those little things that we didn’t do right today.”

West Belconnen Warriors 28 (T Freeman 2, J Faletagoai, S Lomax tries, H Brown 6 goals)
defeated Gungahlin Bulls 18 (J Ayers, J Ulrick, P Ryan tries, A Greenwood 2, C Thorley goals)