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Local Sports Wrap 30th and 31st of August

By Antony Perry - 1 September 2014 0

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RUGBY UNION

It took a week longer than expected, but the Canberra Vikings’ National Rugby Championship campaign is alive and kicking after a 37-18 victory over Greater Sydney Rams last Thursday.

The Vikings put their disappointing 28-23 loss to Perth Spirit in round one behind them as they notched their first win of the competition in relatively comfortable fashion.

Jarrad Butler was the star of the show. The flanker scored two tries and made his presence felt at the breakdown all night.

Butler was joined on the score card by Isaac Thompson, Les Makin and Tom Cusack. Cusack was playing in his first 15-a-side game in 12 months.

Jesse Mogg converted all bar one of Canberra’s tries.

In local action, St Edmund’s College thumped Canberra Grammar 40-0 on Sunday afternoon to claim the under-18s first division title for the second year in a row.

RUGBY LEAGUE

The Canberra Raiders collected their second win in as many weeks when they dismissed Wests Tigers 27-12 at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.

Coach Ricky Stuart fielded a side with an average age of just 23, but his decision paid off as Canberra’s youngsters glittered throughout the 80-minute contest.

Mitch Cornish played superbly at halfback and was instrumental in his side’s first two tries. Jack Wighton, playing at fullback, also had a memorable evening as he and Cornish combined magnificently.

Bill Tupou, Wighton, Josh Papalii and Anthony Milford scored for the home side, while Jarrod Croker slotted all four conversions and a penalty goal. Milford added a drop goal of his own.

In the Canberra Raiders Cup, the Goulburn Workers Bulldogs beat the Queanbeyan Kangaroos 32-24 on Sunday to set up a grand final clash with the Queanbeyan Blues. It will be the first time in five years that the season decider will not feature the Kangaroos.

AUSSIE RULES

Ainslie’s 2014 NEAFL season is over after the Canberra side suffered a 7.11 (53) to 5.6 (36) loss to the Northern Territory Thunder in the pair’s elimination final on Saturday.

Ainslie kicked just five goals during what was a very disappointing display.

The Tricolour’s elimination brings the curtain down on a tumultuous year for Canberra clubs in the NEAFL. Since the competition formed in 2011, Canberra has been represented by five clubs.

But next year only Ainslie and Eastlake will fly the nation’s capital flag.

The Tricolours were never really in the game and the Thunder opened up a commanding 26-point lead in the third quarter before Ainslie kicked three goals to give the home side a scare. But it was too little too late as the highly fancied Northern Territory side saw out the match to set up a preliminary final clash with Sydney Swans Reserves next week.

FOOTBALL

It was supposed to be Goran Josifovski’s day, but Belconnen United didn’t receive the memo.

Saturday’s qualifying final between Cooma Tigers and Belconnen was the 34-year-old veteran’s 200th game in Canberra’s top tier. United, though, rained on his parade.

Josifovski’s Tigers were dismantled 6-0 by a rampant Belconnen. It was a huge turnaround from just two weeks earlier, when Cooma defeated United 3-0 to claim their first league championship.

Jason Ugrinic was outstanding for the Blue Devils and scored three goals. Tom McLachlan, Marty Rainers and Goran Mukevski also scored for Belconnen.

The win takes Belconnen straight to the season decider in two weeks’ time. Cooma faces Canberra FC, who beat Canberra Olympic 3-2 on Sunday, in the elimination final on Saturday.

ICE HOCKEY

The Canberra Brave’s fairy tale season came to an end on Saturday night when they were beaten 6-1 by Melbourne Ice in the pair’s Australian Ice Hockey League semi-final.

The Brave have risen from the ashes of the Canberra Knights in 2014, and they won many admirers on their way to becoming the first Canberra team to make the AIHL playoffs in the competition’s 14-year history.

The Canberra side has done remarkably since forming just six weeks before the start of the season, but a maiden grand final appearance wasn’t to be as the Brave were no match for the Ice.

Trailing 3-0 early in the second period, Stephen Blunden scored the Brave’s first goal to give his side a sniff. But the Ice regained their three-goal margin shortly after, and went on to score two more goals in the final period to complete the comprehensive victory.

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