Rams raided by Vikings - Green and Gold Rugby
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Rams raided by Vikings

Rams raided by Vikings

The Canberra Vikings have made it two from two this season with a strong display as they defeated the Greater Sydney Rams 58-26 in Canberra.

The game was close at one stage with the Rams getting within eight points before the Vikings clicked into gear to run away with the game by a margin of 32 points, scoring eight tries in the process and earning a bonus point.

The Match

The Vikings were out of the blocks quickly and it took just two minutes for them to score the opening try to Captain Jarrad Butler from a lineout move deep in the Rams 22.

The Rams then paid the price for not defending a kick in general play and Ita Vaea found a gap in the defensive line and then threw an outrageous offload to Jerome Niumata who scored in the right corner to make it 13-0 with less than ten minutes on the clock.

The visitors had to put in a big defensive effort and were able to hold out the Vikings one occasion after the Vikings were denied just minutes earlier after Lausii Taliauli lost the ball on the line whilst trying to regather a kick.

They did have their chances to reel back in the score but execution and some solid Vikings defence saw them unable to get back into the game.

The Vikings then went back to their main weapon of the rolling maul off the lineout and it was Butler again who scored at the back and Lealiifano’s conversion made it 21-0.

To the Rams credit they kept coming back at the Vikings as the home sides discipline started to cause them some concern and they took advantage with prop Sam Needs crashing over from close range. Fullback Paul Asquith was able to find gaps in the Vikings line as he injected himself into the backline.

The visitors were the next to score as the Rams benefited again from the Vikings discipline and winger Brad Curtis scored from a brilliant back line move adjacent to the posts and Rohan Saifoloi’s conversion reduced the gap to eight points.

Just before half time the Vikings crossed again as giant lock Rory Arnold cleaned up a loose ball and scored from close range and Lealiifano’s conversion from the sideline made it 29-13 at the break.

After the break, the Rams came out firing and scored third try of the match to Cohen Masson after a series of pick and drives from the Rams pack to make the score 29-18.

Cohen Masson scores for Greater Sydney Rams

Cohen Masson scores for Greater Sydney Rams

But the Vikings would then hit back with Frankie Fainio on the end of some quick hands from replacement Dean Oakman-Hunt to go over in the left corner. Lealiifano’s conversion from the sideline made it 37-18.

Then they stepped it up another gear with Ita Vaea, who had been causing havoc all over the field, going over for the Vikings sixth try of the day to make it 42-18.

With 15 minutes to go, the Rams got a lucky bounce of the ball after a Vikings kick was charged down and fell into the arms of Sam Needs who only need to fall to score his second try of the game and it was converted to make it 42-26.

With around ten minutes remaining, Dean Oakman-Hunt continued a nice cameo and got on the try scorers list himself under the posts and Lealiifano’s fifth conversion racked up the half century for the hosts.

In the shadows of full time, Vikings winger Jerome Niumata bagged his second try of the game in the right corner and Lealiifano converted his sixth try with some tough conversions throughout the day to show he can be called upon for the Rugby World Cup if required.


Photos courtesy of Tim Anger Photography

The Game Changer

The Rams were in with a chance in the second half after Masson’s try but the Vikings stepped up a gear to keep the Rams at bay.


The G&GR MOTM

Jordan Smiler had a great game and his physicality at the breakdown helped the Vikings earn a number of turnovers.

His hit towards at the end of the game was a highlight.


Oz Baabaa Watch

Jerome Niumata had a strong game and scored a brilliant try in the first half and another in the second for the Vikings.

For the Rams, Paul Asquith and Cohen Masson were their best after a slow start.


The Details

Score & Scorers

VIKINGS 58
Tries: Butler 2, Niumata 2, Arnold, Fainifo, Vaea, Oakman-Hunt
Conversions: Lealiifano 6
RAMS 26
Tries: Needs 2, Curtis, Masson
Conversions: Saifoloi, Vascayo

Cards

Nil

Crowd: 2,178

Highlights provided by FOX SPORTS NRC Extra Time

  • tortfeaser

    Ita Vaea was my MOTM. Lots of carries, most over the gain line. A few with ridiculous offloads, maybe too ridiculous on a couple of occasions. Vikings forwards were immense all day, dominating the scrum and with several rolling mauls for more than 20. Still, quite a bit of dropped ball. Frankie Fainifo blew three times as many opportunities as he converted.

    A great arvo for rugby. Dissapointed by the crowd, seemed there were many more for the first game last season.

    • There were a few in contention for the MOTM and it could have gone to a few but I thought Smiler’s aggression was very good and that hit at the end got him over the line.

      Pretty scratchy win that blew out in the 2nd half and a few things to work on especially pick and drive defence but they’ll take that.

    • Spank

      ‘ACT ites’ don’t appreciate Super Rugby let alone NRC unfortunately. Wonder always if the Brumbies (and by extension the Vikings) shouldn’t consider a move to mid NSW Coast

      • Sammy Salsa

        Is this a joke? The Brumbies are by far the best supported rugby team in Australia when considering population. If the Tahs got the same % of population to the game they would get about 125000 to every home game. I grew up in Canberra and now live on the NSW Central Coast, Terrigal to be exact and the level of support the game in Canberra gets is 10 fold what the local comp here dishes up.

        • Sammy Salsa

          To add on from that, Canberra is the only city in the country where rugby union is the dominant football code, if you think Canberra doesn’t appreciate Super Rugby then what do you think about Melbourne? And, if talking NRC level, the Sydney Stars from… where ever, got 300-400 people to there last home game… maybe we should start by having a look at moving that sort of team to the Central Coast and see how it goes first…

      • That old chestnut…

      • Merrow

        Crowd was fairly comparable to crowds at other venues. Grandstand was half empty because no one wanted to sit in the shade. Great afternoon of rugby.

  • Pedro

    How did Lealiifano go in phase play? He seems to be in good form for the Barbarians.

    • He was ok when coming in from fullback and when in the line was also solid.

      He probably needs to be playing 10 if not at the RWC but he’s been at 15 for the last two games he’s played here due to disrupted preparation.

      • tortfeaser

        Ah, thanks for that explanation. He looked occasionally lost.

  • brumby runner

    Thanks Steve. I agree with your selection of Smiler as MOTM. He is playing very good football, and has done for most of the year. Very pleased he has decided to stay in 2016 rather than head o/s.

    Joe Powell also should get honourable mention. Came up against one of the best Shute Shield halfbacks today and finished on top. His service is swift and mostly accurate and he defends well also.

  • Tim

    Thought it was a good game – great playing surface. Some mighty efforts. Once the Vikings click they’ll be unstoppable.

    • Mike

      Against the second best Sydney team, sure. ;)

National Rugby Championship
@steve_l15

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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