The Whites were defeated 28-20 at Campese Oval even though they scored four tries to three it was the kicking game of Royals half Pedro Rolando that took the match.
Rolando kicked two conversion, three penalties and scored a try to seal a win. Queanbeyan kicker Riley Ahern missed all attempts at conversion and penalty. To be fair none of them was easy and he played well in his debut.
To rub salt into the wound two Royal tries came from the Whites mistakes with an intercept pass and a failed recovery of a kicked ball.
In all the Whites could not be too unhappy knowing they can match last year’s premiers. With the penalties again flowing against the home side and Whites players filling the sin-bin chairs there must be questions asked about the apparent ill-discipline. In Saturday’s game the assistant referees were very actively involved offering decisions a long way from the play.
Several changes to the side including Zac Tarrant at five eighth, Riley Ahern at fullback and Tom Ruediger at outside centre were successful. Certainly, they made ground and played strongly with few opportunities.
Props Fred Kaihea and Neori Nadruku were the pick with evergreen Jamie Marmont in the mix. Centre JR Morgan is having a standout season with his straight running hard defence and good offloads.
Nadruku scored a try and was energetic throughout while Kaihea, a colt, is a club keeper. Old Sokai Tai just is a wonderful footballer.
If there was a game of the year the reserve grade win 29-28 is it. Down 7-21 at the break they Sean Debenham’s coached side came back to 22-28 with time over. But a Royals player threw it across the sideline to end the game. No that’s a penalty. Queanbeyan scored, Nathan Smith kicked the conversion and it was song time.
Barty and Bozzato should be paid for meters covered while Ben Gordon should be penalized for playing like a five eighth. A patched up team playing to the end.
If that was good what about the Colts? They copped a blast and probably another one or two after their dismal game against Easts. They responded. The teams were even going into this contest and now it is uneven after the Whites won 36-12.
Flanker Michael Gordon scored three tries and deserved a run in first grade, Puni Aupuni scored two and is a talent, throw in Becks Seeto and you have the men of the match. The side scored some of the best tries in years.
Thirds did not have the cattle and suffered a 33-19 loss with too many players injured or away having a picnic or have their hair done. It is disappointing that players come and go according to the movement of the moon.
Angus Balmaks was there. Zac Byrnes was there and Fraser Kemp was there.
Fourths had a miracle comeback down 0-26 to win 29-26. Not bad given they had 14 to start and then a bench to call upon by the break. Thank goodness for Luke Cochrane and some older heads like Sam Boyton and young one like Tom Sullivan.