Woden Rams player Tom Hicks get the ball away against the Goulburn Workers at Phillip Enclosed Oval. Photo: Richard Briggs
A Mitch Barbara 40-20 was like a ''pop gun'' that fired Woden Valley into life in its hard-fought 18-10 victory over Goulburn Workers at Phillip yesterday.
The Rams held a slender 12-10 lead when Barbara earned his team a scrum in attack and Mark Merritt was able to barge over from the ensuing set of six tackles.
Rams fullback Evan Apitu-Civic added the extras to seal the win with nine minutes remaining.
Woden Valley coach Cameron Hardy said it was a win it ''desperately needed''.
''[The 40-20] did come at a handy time, it was like a bit of a pop gun actually. I thought, 'What's going on here?' and it was a good kick in the end and we came up with the points,'' he said.
It was a tight affair from the start, with the Goulburn forwards getting on top in the first half, driving the ball up the middle only for handling errors to cut their attacks short.
And the Rams were able to cash in, with some slick ball movement from hooker Trent Garrett putting the home side ahead after 24 minutes.
Garrett picked out Daniel Roberts with a lovely pass that sent him over from a couple of metres out.
The dummy-half's work throughout the day drew praise from Hardy.
''Our nine, Trent Garrett, was instrumental. He was outstanding in guiding us around. We're working with him, he's from rugby union coming to rugby league and he's just going from strength to strength,'' Hardy said.
The Rams went into half-time with an 8-0 lead after Apitu-Civic converted a penalty and the home side bounded out of the blocks when winger Andrew Maifelemi made a big break almost from the restart.
But the Bulldogs ground their way back into the game and hit back just five minutes later when a cut-out pass from Daniel York found Brad Hewitt in space on the wing.
Hewitt cut it back inside for Luke Turner to dive over.
The Workers went ahead 10 minutes later when Rick Chamberlain collected his own kick to score and they had the momentum and a 10-8 lead.
But the Rams got back in front through a Kosta Yianarros try and then Garrett's kick led to the decider.
Meanwhile, Canberra Raiders under 20s halfback Jordan Worboys has guided Gungahlin Bulls to a last-minute 34-31 victory over Wests Belconnen at Belconnen.
The Warriors kicked a field goal to lead by a point with a minute remaining only for the Bulls to cross the line to steal the win.