Round 4
Bellevue Oval, Armidale
NSW Country Eagles
NSW Country Eagles
25 - 24
23 Sep, 2017
UC Vikings
UC Vikings

THE EAGLES STEAL A THRILLER IN ARMIDALE!

23 Sep, 2017, 01:00 pm

The NSW Country Eagles have put aside a lopsided penalty count and an error-riddled performance to record a memorable 25-24 victory over the Canberra Vikings in Armidale this afternoon.

It was the Eagles who registered first points when Tayler Adam knocked over a penalty from in front after 4 minutes. 5 minutes later and it was the Vikings who scored in the corner after some nice work at lineout time from captain Cusack ended in hooker Folau Fainga’a scoring in the corner. At 7-3 to the Vikings, it looked ominous for the men in black who were struggling to handle the big, one out runners the Canberra side was throwing at them.

Some astute defending, and handy work at lineout time stemmed the attacking pressure that the Vikings were applying, and slowly but surely – the Country Eagles worked their way up the field, the large crowd at Bellevue Oval, extremely approving of their tenacity in both defence and at the breakdown.

A mis-thrown lineout on the Vikings 5m line in the 21st minute hurt the Eagles, but the Vikings couldn’t exit, and Kyle Godwin rushed through to force a 5m scrum. The Eagles weren’t to be denied again, however, and Sam Ward barged over from close to make it 10-3 with a quarter of the game played.

The Eagles fell asleep briefly, and almost immediately, Canberra hit back to regain the lead in the 27th minute. Fainga’a scoring his second off the back of a dominant rolling maul.

5 minutes later and it was the Eagles who nearly scored to punctuate an end to end first half. Sam Ward unluckily knocking on in reaching out to score.

The half ended with a dash, both sides coming close to scoring. The Eagles looked more likely to do so, but a last gasp turnover from Harrison Lloyd saved the Vikings, and ensured they’d head to oranges with a hard fought, but deserved, four point lead.

The second half started with the wind behind the Eagles, and immediately they looked to kick deep and long whenever the ball entered their territory.

The first 20 minutes of the second stanza would’ve seen coach Coleman and his team bursting with frustration. Again and again, the Eagles would camp in the Vikings 22, but they couldn’t convert this pressure into points. In addition, the lineout was failing badly, at one stage losing three against their throw in the space of 10 minutes. Ill-discipline and errors, as commentator Drew Mitchell said “was killing the Eagles who were so dominant in both possession and territory.”

As is the case so often in this competition, the Eagles couldn’t capitalise, and after a sustained period of attacking pressure, Andrew Robinson picked off an intercept and went 80m against the run of play to score.
At this stage, it was the Vikings who led 21-10 and with 17 minutes to play, you’d have been forgiven for thinking the Eagles would take their foot off the gas.

5 minutes later, the Eagles were camped on the Vikings line after a nice break from replacement Tom Hill – but a knock on from Harry Johnson-Holmes killed the Eagles momentum once more.

To their credit, they kept the wave of pressure coming, and Alex Gibbon breathed some life into the flailing Eagles with a wonderful solo effort from 10m out to score in the corner. Adams missed the conversion, but with only six points in it with 13 minutes to play, again, it was anyone’s game for the taking.

Vikings fly-half Hawera hit back, however, with a 73rd minute penalty goal pushing the margin back to more than a converted try.
There were nerves aplenty at Bellevue Oval when Adams struck a 44m penalty on the angle to take it back to a six point deficit.

The last five minutes was all the Eagles, wave after wave of pressure on the Canberra side resulted in an 80th minute penalty. The ball was kicked to the line, went wide, and Alex Newsome scored three minutes after the bell, meaning Adams had a kick after the siren to keep the Eagles season alive. The new iceman made no mistake and the Eagles snatched a victory in the most dramatic of circumstances.

NSW COUNTRY EAGLES 25
Tries: Ward, A. Gibbon, A. Newsome
Cons: T Adams 2/3
Pens: T Adams 2/2

CANBERRA VIKINGS 24
Tries: F. Fainga’aa (2), Robinson
Cons: Hawera 3/3
Pens: Hawera 1/1

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Team Announcement

Team announcement: Round 4

Wallaby Kyle Godwin returns for the winless Eagles

In their first home game for season 2017, Darren Coleman has welcomed back one big name in a boost for the winless Eagles for their round 4 clash with the imperious UC Vikings this Saturday.

Kyle Godwin is the biggest change for Coleman’s starting XV. The Brumby and Wallaby inside centre has had a 3 month layoff with an injury suffered in the Brumbies final campaign. He pushes veteran Tom Hill to the bench.

In other changes, Alex Newsome will wear the number 13 on his back for the first time this season, whilst Henry Clunies-Ross starts on the wing for the first time this year.

In the forwards, the front row remains unchanged, whilst Tim Buchanan and Rohan O’Regan return, with Lachlan Swinton and Nick Kellaway moving to the bench for Saturday’s clash.

Game details:
Where: Viking Park, Canberra
When: Saturday 21st September, 1pm AEST.
Available on: Fox Sports, Foxtel Go.

NSW COUNTRY EAGLES SIDE TO FACE THE VIKINGS:

1 – PATRICK RYAN (C)
2 – BRANDON PAENGA-AMOSA
3 – SAMUEL NEEDS
4- THOMAS STANIFORTH
5 – TIM BUCHANAN
6 – ROHAN O’ REGAN
7 – MACLEAN JONES
8 – SAMUEL WARD
9 – JAKE GORDON
10 – TAYLER ADAMS
11 – ALEX GIBBON
12 – KYLE GODWIN
13 – ALEX NEWSOME
14 – HENRY CLUNIES-ROSS
15 – ANDREW KELLAWAY
16 – CONNAL MCINERNEY
17 – MATT GIBBON
18 – HARRY JOHNSON-HOLMES
19 – RYAN MCCAULEY
20 – LACHLAN SWINTON
21 – ROHAN O’REGAN
22 – TOM HILL
23 – CHRISTIAN KAGIASSIS

#AsOneWeFly

To see more head to;

www.rugby.com.au
Be sure to follow us on:
Facebook : NSW Country Eagles
Twitter : @CountryEagles
Instagram : nswcountryeagles

Match Day Sponsor – Armidale Regional Council