Rams secure semi-final
Article Published: Saturday 22 September 2007
Edited by: Sports Digital Media
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The Western Sydney Rams became the first team in the inaugural Australian Rugby Championship (ARC) to secure a semi-final spot when they completely outclassed the Canberra Vikings 51-17 at the Parramatta Stadium on Saturday.
In an almost flawless display of running rugby an inspired Rams back-line crossed the Vikings try-line seven times.
It was not so much the win that would have surprised the Vikings but rather it was the winning margin that was inconceivable for the visitors.
The Vikings weren't without their moments though as they responsed with three brilliant tries, but it just wasn't enough against a team that showed great intent, while attacking.
It was the Rams center Rory Sidey that drew first blood for the home team, after the ball was carried through the phases clinically.
The Vikings were down to fourteen men in the second ten minutes, yet showed tremendous heart, realising all to well that they were still very much in contention.
The exciting young fly-half Christian Lealiifano showed why he was regarded so highly in the Australian Capital Territory (ARC), when he sliced through the Rams defence, putting center Anthony Faingaa in space before darting down and narrowing the Rams lead to just four points.
The Rams were also forced to play with fourteen men for ten minutes which kept the Vikings in the game.
The Vikings capitalised on the extra man in the 25th minute when Jone Tawake crashed over in the corner to come within one point of the Rams, with the score at 18-17.
But the Rams put the foot on the peddle late in the first-half and never quite looked back.
It was late in the first-half that the Rams began to run away with game, going into half-time 13 points ahead.
A further two tries by Turner and Parrett early in the second-half put the matter beyond dispute and with that the bewildered Vikings succumbed to a crushing defeat.
For Western Sydney Rams
Tries: Sidey 2, Alexander 2, Turner, Perrett, Johnson
Cons: Martin 5
Pens: Martin 2
For Canberra Vikings
Tries: Faingaa, McLaughlin, Tawake
Yellow Cards: Julian Salvi (Vikings), Luke Johnson (Rams)
Western Sydney Rams 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Ben Martin, 13 Luke Johnson, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Fa'atonu Fili, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Josh Holmes, 8 Tom Egan, 7 Wil Brame, 6 Hugh Perrett, 5 Van Humphries, 4 Ben Hand [c], 3 Aaron Broughton-Rouse, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau,1 Ben Alexander
Replacements16 Ben Roberts, 17 James Lakepa, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Marty Wilson, 20 Dave Rimmer, 21 Mark Howell, 22 Josh Weeks
Canberra Vikings 15 Tim Wright, 14 Eddie McLaughlin,13 Matt Carraro,12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Solomona Fainifo,10 Christian Lealiifano,9 Nick Haydon, 8 Jone Tawake, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 4 Alister Campbell (C), 3 Nic Henderson, 2 Anthony Hegarty, 1 John Ulugia
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Jack Kennedy, 18 Dan Guinness, 19 Jack Vanderglas, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Rowan Kellam, 22 Dan Raymond, 23 Ben Johnston, 24 Tim Cornforth
Date: Saturday, September 22
Venue: Parramatta Stadium, Sydney
Referee: James Leckie
Touch judges: Grant MacNeill, Luke Colbron
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