The Whites won their third game in a row with a 26-20 score against Wests at Jamison. The 2620 score line could easily have been a defeat had the Lions’ kicker, Danny Matthews, converted tries and penalties.
More injuries and carded players did not help to raise the spirits. Queanbeyan lost their first game of the season in fourths 31-38, thirds won 52-21, colts 74-7 and reserves 38-7.
Number 8 OJ Noa was a stand out in the top side until he was red carded towards the end of the game for a hard hit. Yellow cards were appearing from the pocket with regularity in all grades with Wests hit in the firsts with at least three.
Replacement winger for Petau Lefau, Caleb Malisauskas, tore a hamstring as did Daniel Penca early in the game. Captain Ryan Jones was forced off the bench despite a niggling back complaint.
With Les Leulua’iali’i-makin, Carl Elliott and Neori Nadruku, the scrum tore Wests apart and earned a penalty try- a rare reward.
After Jones laid on a speedy try to Elliott the score line jumped to 26-10 but with ten to go and OJ in the bin it went to 26-20.
It should never have got to that given the territory held by the Whites.
The reserves shared the six tries around in a very entertaining display featuring the skills of Riley Ahern. He was shaded by the all-round effort of prop Jordan Cremerius with Toni Fifita contributing throughout.
Colts had a day out scoring 12 tries with Elijah Chadwick grabbing three, Kyle Hanns and Michael Gordon two each in the romp. Centre Pat Byrne is proving to be a most valuable player with his utility, speed and toughness. Chaddy is a big lad with a big bag of ability.
Thirds are a good side with Fraser Kemp at his best and the combination of Nathan Smith and Eriene Apineru all class. With forwards like Jason Wirangi and Michael Edwards it is hard to go wrong. Simi Latu is also a great damager.
Fourths are feeling the effects of the mounting injury toll in all grades. Even the return of old Dan Hawke could not prevent the first loss of the year thanks mainly to Wests’ Craig Robberds experience and deft kicking.