Vikings raid Frankston for win
The Canberra Vikings have spoilt celebrations at the Frankston Festival of Rugby with a 36-12 victory over the Melbourne Rising at Frankston Park on Sunday.
The Viking strung together a second-consecutive win to move to the top of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) ladder alongside the Fijian Drua, with a six tries to two victory in warm and blustery conditions.
With Steve Cummins out for the remainder of the season after the lock underwent minor surgery, hooker Siliva Siliva took on the captaincy responsibilities for the first time.
The Vikings hit the scoreboard early when Andrew Robinson collected a loose ball and offloaded to James Dargaville, who strolled in to score untouched in the fourth minute.
The visitors ended a 20-minute arm wrestle when Ryan Lonergan combined with halves partner Wharenui Hawera down the short side of a scrum to put fullback Tom Banks over in the corner to give the Vikings a 12-0 lead in the 25th minute.
Hooker Folau Fainga’a shoved over for the Vikings third try in the 33rd minute before the hosts responded just before the break when flyhalf Jack McGregor cut through the defence to make it 19-7 at half-time.
Canberra continued their impressive outing after the break when Melbourne product Rob Valetini extended his side’s lead to 26-7 when he scored four minutes after the restart.
With Rising backrower Lopeti Timani in the sin bin, Valetini crossed for his second try of the game midway through the second-half after they won a five-metre scrum against the feed.
Rising substitute Angelo Leaupepe scored his first career NRC try when a Crossfield kick from Sione Tuipulotu found the winger out wide in the 64th minute to make it 31-12.
The Vikings capped off the bonus point victory when substitute scrumhalf Pedro Rolando crossed in the corner from another strong scrum in the 76th minute to seal the 36-12 win.
Canberra Viking 36 (Valetini 2, Dargaville, Banks, Fainga’a, Rolando tries; Hawera 3 cons) defeated Melbourne Rising 12 (McGregor, Leaupepe tries; McGregor 1 con)