Vikings Structured Game Confirms Second Spot

MatchReportA revving up from coach Sean Barrett during the week has sparked Vikings to re enforce their second spot on the IDRU table with a four try 31 – 10 victory over defending premiers University. In contrast to an out of sorts performance last week Vikings took control of the match at Vikings Oval and never allowed the Bulls any opportunity to challenge for the points.

A well-structured powerful performance from their forwards and an outstanding contribution from veteran backs Michael Ashby and Andrew Barrett saw the Blueys cement second spot on the ladder remaining nine points clear of third placed Bowral. Bowral will have a chance to close the gap when they play Shoalhaven on Tuesday night in their deferred round one match.

“We needed to lift our intensity compared to last weeks speed bump performance and today it was right up there where it needs to be” said coach Barrett at the end of the game. “Our captain Joel Diggins led from the front as he has done all year and Andrew Barrett and Jack Hobbs really had a strong impact today”.

With halfback Tommy Sawden scoring a try and kicking a conversion and a penalty goal in the first half Vikings held a 10 – 0 lead at the break. The Bulls competed throughout the first half but a lack of intensity and some poor option taking gave the small crowd a sense of the inevitable about the result. The Blueys went right on with the job in the second term scoring two tries within seven minutes of the restart.

The match started at pace with both sides showing a willingness to play open football, but it was the Blueys who settled into their structured game to dominate for much of the half. Sawden scored the first try after twelve minutes with winger Daniel Bunten making a strong run from inside his own half down the right flank. Sawden positioned himself perfectly to take the inside pass from his wingman and scoot the final thirty metres to score.

Uni were unlucky not to score in the twenty fifth minute when one of their best Country rep Lock Andrew Rae burst over the line only to see Referee Andrew Strode rule the final pass forward. A try at that point may have spurred the Bulls onto a better performance but inept play and poor handling became more the order of the day for the Bulls as the match progressed.

After the break Vikings settled into the structured play that has taken them to second spot on the table as they took a strangle hold on the match with two tries in quick succession. Jack Hobbs got the first on the back of some power football from his forward mates as he took a couple of defenders over the line with him from ten out.

Andrew Barrett showed all his power and speed as he put on a classic try from forty metres out with an angled run leaving defenders clutching at air. With Sawden adding the extras for both tries the Blueys had control of the match at 24 – 0 after forty seven minutes.

Simon Douch playing at Fullback for the Bulls responded shortly after by backing up a break down the left by Rueben Thompson to score the Bulls first try. The try raised the hopes of the student’s supporters but with some inept and clumsy periods of play dogging their effort the Bulls just couldn’t mount a concerted challenge for the lead.

Sawden and Barrett combined to create and score the Blueys forth try catching the Uni defence napping in the clubhouse corner. Sawden made one of his characteristic darting runs down the narrow side and when cornered put in a grubber kick into the Uni in goal. With three Uni defenders milling around the ball and no one committing to the ball, Barrett snuck in and grounded the ball for the bonus point try with fifteen left on the clock. Sawden converted from the touch line with his fifth goal for the day from as many attempts for a 31 – 5 score line.

With Vikings coach Sean Barrett emptying his bench over the closing ten minutes of the match. Uni were able to pull one back when prop forward Casey Rameka scored a well-deserved try as full time arrived. Uni will be disappointed with today’s effort but maintain fourth spot on the ladder although now by only two points from Shamrocks who had a close win over Tech Waratahs.

For University Rameka was strong throughout with Hooker Wayne Ngatai, Lock Andrew Rae and young Flanker Bailey Lamb also prominent. George Rixon and Simon Douch in the backs also contributed well for the Bulls.

Sean Barrett was very relieved to see his side find their structure again this week after a poor showing last week against Campbelltown with the big games not far away. Fullback Jason Reid made another strong showing at Fullback for the Blueys with Diggins and Hobbs leading a very sound performance from a hard working Vikings forward pack. Tommy Sawden and Michael Ashby continue to prove a handful for opposing sides creating space for the attacking brilliance of Andrew Barrett. Daniel Bunten was a constant threat to the Bulls today in attack and defended strongly as well.

Vikings 31 (Andrew Barrett 2 tries, Jack Hobbs 1 try, Tommy Sawden 1 try, 4 goals, 1 penalty goal)

Def University 10 (Simon Douch 1 try, Casey Rameka 1 try)

Other Match Results

Bowral 15 Def Camden 6

Avondale 51 Def Campbelltown 13

Shamrocks 35 Def Tech Waratahs 30 

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