The Tuggeranong Vikings booked its spot in this weekend’s John I Dent Cup grand final with a dominant 59-12 victory over the Gungahlin Eagles in Saturday’s preliminary final at Viking Park.
The Vikings produced a dominant performance and scored eight tries to set up a blockbuster clash against the Queanbeyan Whites in the season decider.
Tuggeranong has won three consecutive John I Dent Cup titles and the 47-point victory over the Eagles ensured the reigning champions would feature in a fourth straight grand final.
The Vikings responded to last week’s shock 33-32 loss to the Whites in the major semi-final and quickly dismissed any doubts about their form by running in three first-half tries to take a commanding 30-0 lead into the half-time break.
The complexion of the second-half was much the same as the first as Tuggeranong outclassed Gungahlin in every area of the game.
Nigel Ah Wong scored two tries for the Vikings and was joined on the score card by Jarrad Butler, Brendon Taueki, Missy Nepo, Jake Rakic, JP Mynhardt. They were also awarded a penalty try. Isaac Thompson kicked three conversions, two penalty goals and a drop goal, while Andrew Dickson added two conversions.
Anthony Dawes, Liam McGrath crossed the Eagles.
Belconnen United boosted its chances of claiming the National Premier League minor premiership with a 2-0 victory over Canberra FC at Deakin Stadium on Sunday.
Second-half goals from Jack Green and Tom McLachlan secured the three competition points for United, which moves the Belconnen-based club to within two points of league leaders Cooma Tigers.
Cooma continued its excellent form with a 3-0 victory over Woden Valley on Sunday. Julian Borgna, Goran Josifovski and Stephen Domenici were on the score sheet in what was the Tigers’ 11th win in a row.
In other NPL action, Canberra Olympic eased past FFA COE 5-2, while Tuggeranong United warmed up for its FFA Cup clash against South Hobart FC with a 5-1 dismantling of Monaro Panthers on Saturday.
The Canberra Raiders’ season hit a new low when it was hammered 54-18 by the New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Warriors ran riot as they crossed for 10 tries to the Raiders’ three.
Manu Vatuvei was the visitors’ standout with three tries to his name, while Sam Rapira crossed twice. Sione Lousi, Sam Tomkins, Konrad Hurrell, Ben Matulino and Ngani Laumape also grabbed tries for the Warriors, while Chad Townsend kicked seven goals.
Josh McCrone, Paul Vaughan and Reece Robinson were on the score card for the home side, with Jarrod Croker kicking three from three with the boot.
In local Canberra Raiders Cup action, Goulburn Workers Bulldogs defeated Tuggeranong 36-26, Queanbeyan Kangaroos hammered Gungahlin 56-8, Queanbeyan Blues thrashed Belconnen United 60-8, and Woden Valley saw off West Belconnen 32-16.
Ainslie’s NEAFL finals chances were left hanging in the balance after the tricolours suffered a 30-point loss to Sydney University on Saturday.
Ainslie, despite being in the contest up until half-time, failed to show up in the second-half and let the Students cruise to a seemingly straightforward 16.8 (104) to 11.8 (74) victory.
A dismal third quarter display from the Canberra side proved particularly costly, with Sydney University kicking seven goals to Ainslie’s two.
The loss leaves Ainslie in sixth place on the NEAFL ladder, and means the tricolours must win its remaining three games – against Eastlake, Queanbeyan and Belconnen – to secure its place in the finals.
In other NEAFL action, Belconnen scraped past Eastlake in a thriller at Manuka Oval, winning 9.13 (67) to 8.8 (62), while Queanbeyan was thrashed by Redland 28.15 (183) to 9.2 (56) in Brisbane.
The Canberra Gunners’ finals hopes remain intact after a thrilling 81-79 victory over Albury on Saturday night.
Daniel Joyce sunk a two-pointer with four seconds remaining to give his side the two-point victory and help snap a three-game losing streak.
Joyce put on a fine individual performance with 16 points and five rebounds, while US import Garlon Green also had another strong game (26 points, six rebounds, five assists).
The Gunners are now just one win outside the SEABL eastern conference top four, but the Canberra side must win its remaining three games to have any chance of qualifying for the finals.
In the women’s league, the Canberra Capitals Academy secured its third win of the season with an 83-37 hammering of Albury. Ellie Junod hit 23 points and Alice Coddington contributed 20 points as well as eight assists.
Stephen Blunden scored an incredible six goals as the CBR Brave thrashed the Sydney Bears 12-4 on Sunday afternoon.
The Canadian import was unstoppable as he led the Canberra side’s attack with conviction. In the process, he became the first Brave player to score six goals in a single match, making his huge haul that little bit more impressive.
Sunday’s eight-goal victory over the Bears came a day after the Brave had seen off Newcastle 3-2 in a thriller in Canberra. The back-to-back victories move the Canberra side into the top two of the Australia Ice Hockey League standings, and strengthen its chances of qualifying for the finals in its inaugural season.