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Jubilant Easts win first game of season after week from hell

Easts' Fabian Tago. Click for more photos

John I Dent Cup: Wests v Easts

Wests take on Easts in the John I Dent Cup at Griffith Oval. Photo: Rohan Thomson

They were thrashed 92-0 last outing, forfeited their next match and the club's very existence was being questioned. 

But Easts put the most tumultous week in their history behind them by shocking Wests 28-26 in front of a jubilant Griffith Oval crowd on Saturday. The foundation club celebrated the victory like it was a grand final after ACT Brumbies centre Andrew Smith's last-gasp try secured their first win of the season. 

Just 10 days ago the club was on its knees after competition heavyweight Tuggeranong racked up a cricket score against them. A huge injury toll forced it to forfeit its next game against the Vikings just days afterwards, the first time in recent history a first XV has failed to take the field. 

After being clapped off by Wests, the Easts players released weeks of frustration by belting out their team song in the sheds for the first time this year. 

They had three Brumbies in Smith, Ruan Smith and Jordan Smiler, but the win was made more admirable by former Wallaby fullback Jesse Mogg's presence for Wests. 

Easts fly-half Darcy Eason also didn't play most of the second half after he was stretchered off and taken to hospital with a heavy concussion. 

Easts coach Phil Hopkins took over from Jeremy Osborne two weeks ago and has urged his side to emerge from their slump by backing themselves. They played attacking rugby and were rewarded with Smith's 50-metre effort in the dying stages. 

"The boys were definitely putting in 100 per cent today, which is something we haven't been able to do for a long time," Hopkins said. "We've been training really well with a lot of enthusiasm and that's how we played. It was exciting rugby and we showed a lot of flair and composure.''

Easts led 13-0 in the first half and 23-12 midway through the second, but looked to have let their chance slip after Wests scored two converted tries to take the lead. Easts survived a mountain of late pressure from Wests before finding the killer punch. 

"I'm pleased for the boys and very pleased for the club,'' Hopkins said. "We've just tweaked things really the last couple of weeks and spoken about how important it is for the club to build momentum.''

Smith said he was happy to help the team off the canvas. 

"These things can sometimes build a team and build a season,'' he said. "If we can string a few more wins together and get more numbers to training, we can build something.''

Mogg scored a try and set up another in his first outing since he was left out of Australia's squad to play France. 

EASTS 28 (Timi Taipara, Andrew Smith, GP Pretorius, Marcus Lawdenbach tries; Laudenbach, Eason pen goals; Josh Monroe conv); beat WESTS 26 (Alex Giucci, Fergus Piekalns, Jesse Mogg, BJ Sione tries; Simon Uphill three conv)

Other matches:Queanbeyan 33 bt Uni-Norths 10; Tuggeranong 29 bt Royals 8.  

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
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