Vikings run down the Rising - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rising

Vikings run down the Rising

Vikings run down the Rising

The Canberra Vikings have consolidated their position in the top four and temporarily moved to second on the ladder with a 31-21 come from behind win over the Rising in Canberra. It was a game that seemed to have everything with a penalty try to each team and a total of three yellow cards handed out in a busy night for referee Angus Gardner.

It looked like the Rising would spoil the party as they raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first half and again at 21-14 in the second half with strong games from their forwards including Matt Philip, Anaru Rangi and Richard Hardwick but two late tries from Vikings hooker Connal McInerney saw the home side run out ten point winners with an all important clash in Fiji next week against the Drua.

The Match

The Vikings were unable to capitalise on early field position as their set piece faltered on two occasions to let the Rising off the hook and it was the Rising that opened the scoring after eight minutes as their forwards made the small metres around the fringes of the ruck before hooker Anaru Rangi burrowed over from close range to open the scoring and a 7-0 lead after Archie King’s conversion.

The Vikings thought they had hit back just minutes later winger as Chance Peni found space down the left wing before finding Brodie Leber but he lost the ball in contact right on the line to be denied.

The Vikings scrum wasn’t having the best night, following on from last weeks issues against NSW Country, and again it was the loosehead side coming under pressure with a number of penalties going against them while on attack.

The Rising were also able to take advantage of some poor work under the high ball from the Vikings and Rangi took advantage of one ball that came his way to put the Rising on the front foot. After a penalty right on the Vikings line as they scrambled to defend, Sione Tuipulotu weaved his way through the defence to place the ball against the post, with the nod from the TMO for the second Rising try.

It took about five attempts and 30 minutes after being held up numerous times but the Vikings finally got over the line with Darcy Swain awarded the try after long look from the referee. Hawera’s conversion made it 14-7.

Right on half time the Vikings were awarded a penalty try after a length of the field effort after a kick ahead from Lausii Talauli saw the Rising under pressure after gathering the ball on their own line. The Vikings took the penalty kick to touch and from the resulting lineout, they rumbled forward and Angus Gardner went straight under the sticks and brandished the yellow card to Rangi for collapsing the maul for the double whammy and leave the score level at 14-14.

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The second half was a pretty tough affair for the first 15 minutes before it sprung to life. The Rising got a penalty try of their own to put them in front again after Lausii Taliauli deliberately knocked down a pass with the Rising hot on attack to join McInerney in the bin to leave the Vikings with 13 players for a brief period.

Almost immediately, the Vikings were gifted a try after an awful mix up at the back from the Rising saw Len Ikitau swoop on the ball to run untouched to the line. Hawera’s conversion hit the upright to leave it 21-19.

With 15 minutes remaining, the momentum then swung the Vikings way and off the back of a penalty the Vikings pulled out the rolling maul with McInerney making up for his earlier yellow card to put them in front at 24-19.

And then with three minutes remaining, he sealed the game for the Vikings with another try from close range after the Vikings scrum put the Rising on skates to earn a penalty for a scrum that had mixed results throughout the game. Lonergan’s conversion saw the game end at 31-21.

Key Moment

With 15 minutes remaining, the Vikings slowly got on top with a penalty and a great touch finder from Noah Lolesio and from that McInerney put the Vikings in front with a lead they would not surrender


A tough night for both sets of forwards with some big hits and strong runs from both packs. For the Rising, Matt Philip, Richard Harwick and Sione Tuipulotu put in strong games but the Vikings pack muscled up in the second half and helped by a strong effort from Darcy Swain the nod goes to Ben Hyne

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: McInerney 2, Swain, Penalty try, Ikitau
Conversions: Hawera, Lonergan
Tries: Rangi, Tuipulotu, Penalty try
Conversions: King 2


40’ – Rangi (Rising) – Yellow
49’ – McInerney (Vikings) – Yellow
56’ – Taliauli (Vikings) – Yellow

Match Highlights:

  • Brumby Runner

    Can’t really go past Swain for MOTM. He is in everything and plays the whole match. He is the main target at the lineout, is the main go forward in mauls and attacks and disrupts the opposition mauls, makes his tackles many of which are dominant and is an active ball runner who actually makes ground with almost every touch.

    I was nervous about this game, and early on it looked to be with good reason. Without a fetcher in the side, the Vikings have a lot of trouble getting their hands on the ball early in matches. They can score tries from their own 20m area when they hold the ball, but they are continually chasing it early on.

    They had more presence at the breakdown when Mitch Tye came on in the second half. I think he earned a start in some of the games to come.

    • Bakkies

      Hyne has a similar style to Mowen. If Valetini can’t sort out his injuries I can Hyne starting at 8.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Wouldn’t be surprised if McCaffrey does.

      • Brumby Runner

        Hyne is a strong defender, but it looks to me that this (NRC) is about his level. I would hope to see Valetini at 8 for the Brumbies with McCaffery and Cusack fighting for the 6 spot.

        • mutley

          Samu ?

        • Bakkies

          I don’t know he is going to fit in to a starting side. Brumbies key strength is the lineout. Pocock when fit covers his role.

        • Brumby Runner

          Of course. How quickly people stray from the memory.

        • Bakkies

          Hyne has missed a lot of Rugby to be fair. Like Mowen he does a lot of real hard work, basics well and appears to be a leader. That wouldn’t impress Cheika but he is a long way off that.

    • Was definitely in with a shout and hard to give joint MOTM’s but I thought Hyne’s tackling in the loose was pretty good and just edged Swain. Could have gone either way though.

      It’s good to see the Vikings can finish over the top of teams, as shown by their wins the last 3 weeks

  • Simon

    I’m in Canberra for a wedding this weekend so I went along. Nice little stadium at Viking Park, and a parochial crowd who were just about baying for Gus’s blood – if it hadn’t gone their way at the end he might never have been seen again. I haven’t really seen (or rather heard) this sort of one-eyed support in the other NRC games I’ve been to, it had more of a club rugby atmosphere, with everyone making a big effort to cheer their boys off when subbed. Great to see.

    As for the match, I thought the Rising had the edge most of the match and they definitely got the better of the calls. But despite the fact they had the talent, they were worn down by excellent Vikings defence, squandered possession with handling errors and poor split second decisions, and were finished off by a dominant set piece, particularly the classic Canberra maul. They particularly wasted the time they were 15 on 13, don’t think they scored a point and conceded a soft try.

    In other words they were basically the current Wallabies writ small.

    • MST

      I am glad you enjoyed your Vikings Park experience. Our apologies for the cold weather. It limited the crowd (as did it being post AFL grand final) but it gave you a taste of what its like when we get a decent crowd. The saddest part for many of us is that we get just a entree size serving with only 3 home games. Most other team aren’t blessed with the established supporter base the Canberra Vikings have. It probably goes some way to explain why teams are yet to get close to any tribalism.

      As for the game I can’t disagree with your assessment and as a Canberra Vikings Supporter I was worried for most of the game. Gus is always welcome in Canberra, and he seems to make sure we are always even more happy to see he leave!

      • Simon

        Poor old Gus! For what it’s worth, as a neutral I thought his calls were reasonable but I certainly understood why the Canberrans felt aggrieved. Had a quiet chuckle to myself at several moments.
        Had a great trip anyway. Back to more pleasant climes in Brisbane today!

  • Keith Butler

    Seems like the usual problem for both the Rebels and the Rising, forwards not quite up to the task. Could be a hard season in 2019 even with, potentially, a backline full of internationals. A piece of sage advice from back in the old days that could come back to haunt the Rebels “forwards win matches, backs determine by how much”.

Melbourne Rising

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

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