The Canberra Raiders Cup spectacle that never was

Warriors players celebrate a try against the Bushrangers.

It was a top of the table clash between two unbeaten teams, but Tuggeranong Bushrangers coach Justin Giteau reckons "you would have been dirty if you paid the money to come out to it".

West Belconnen are the last undefeated team standing in the Canberra Raiders Cup after they knocked over the Bushrangers 26-18 in an error-riddled clash at Greenway Oval on Sunday.

But winning might not be enough to stop Warriors coach Troy Thompson from swinging the axe, with the 38-year-old considering making changes with his side struggling to find any rhythm on the park.

"I’m going to say it’s one of the worst games we’ve played. I thought last week was bad," Thompson said.

"You play the likes of the Roos and you start turning pill over like that and you’ll get flogged, they’ll put 40 or 60 on you.

"It wasn’t errors from blokes getting whacked hard, it was just fundamental catch and pass or just basic under 12s stuff, under 6s sort of errors. It’s happening to us each week.

The Bushrangers’ Daniel Hickson loses the ball just short of the try line after making a line break.

"I just can’t put my finger on it to be honest. I even asked the assistant coaches, I said ‘what do we do for training next week?’ How do we work on that sort of stuff? It’s just concentration."

Giteau says his playing group was "pretty down" in the sheds after sinking to their first defeat of the season, but the Bushrangers mentor says that is not necessarily a bad thing.

They have slipped to third on the ladder on points differential but Giteau hopes this loss will be a platform the club can build on moving forward.

"I think they realise that it’s probably one that got away, but that’s experience," Giteau said.

Bushrangers’ David Faaeteete is tackled by three Warriors players.

"Those games sort of teach you lessons and ways you lose and win games. Hopefully we can take a lesson from it and be better next time we get in that sort of situation.

"[It's] when you’re handing the ball back over on the first tackle and second tackle when you’re in good field position to score points and there is an opportunity there to score points and to really put the game to bed.

"We didn’t take the opportunities that they gave us and full credit to them, they were good enough to make the most of their opportunities."

Tuggeranong opened up a 12-0 lead early before the Warriors closed the gap, and scores were locked at 18-all late in the contest and the game was there for the taking.

Matt Campbell regained the advantage for West Belconnen before Ricky Fulivai capped off the fightback with a try to clinch the win inside the final four minutes.

Meanwhile, the Queanbeyan Blues jumped into second on the ladder when they edged out the Woden Valley Rams 22-18 in a thriller at Seiffert Oval.

The Gungahlin Bulls claimed their first win of the season with a 26-16 victory over the Belconnen United Sharks at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval.

The Queanbeyan Kangaroos put some distance between themselves and the fifth-placed Yass Magpies on the ladder with a 28-18 victory at Walker Park.


Canberra Raiders Cup: WEST BELCONNEN WARRIORS 26 (J Graham, T Aroha-Tuinauvai, B Litster, M Campbell, R Fulivai tries; M Campbell 3 goals) bt TUGGERANONG BUSHRANGERS 18 (F Toetu, J Mitchell, N Vanisi tries; J Mitchell 3 goals)

QUEANBEYAN KANGAROOS 28 (N Grant, S Meke, N Ngere, B Crisp, L Ingram tries; B Crisp 4 goals) bt
YASS MAGPIES 18 (J McGrath, A Swaffield, T Webb tries; J Toppin, A McDonald, S Davis goals)

QUEANBEYAN BLUES 22 (F Fainifo, D Barrie, J Wheeler, T Stevens tries; T Campese 3 goals) bt WODEN VALLEY RAMS 18


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