Rugby: Uni-Norths Owls v Easts
Easts player, Jonno Naoupu, charges through the opposition. Photo: Graham Tidy
CANBERRA Royals showed their premiership credentials by holding Queanbeyan Whites scoreless in the second half to claim a 26-15 victory at David Campese Oval on Saturday.
Royals consolidated second spot and will play minor premiers Tuggeranong in the John I Dent grand-final qualifier next weekend, after the the Vikings defeated Wests 48-24 at Jamison.
Queanbeyan has clung to third and will host Wests in the elimination final.
Down by eight late in the first half, Royals made the most of their opportunities to win their sixth straight game heading into the finals.
Royals coach Russell Ingram was content his team could maintain its momentum.
''It was effectively a dead rubber, so we just had to stay focused on what we needed,'' Ingram said.
''We worked on some things today [for the finals] and we executed our game plan well.''
Ingram was particularly impressed with the performances of flanker Soakai Tai and winger Seth Going.
Tai defended well, while his wide running constantly threatened Queanbeyan's defence.
Going scored a remarkable try following a kick through from Royals halfback Pedro Rolando.
Queanbeyan coach Adam Fahey said his team, which had also won six straight, lost focus.
''[We were] looking at what's to come [finals] and not what was happening here,'' Fahey said.
''Having said that, we will focus on the positives out of the loss, we get to fight another day and learn from this experience and be better next week.
''It will come down as a bit of a test of character - we'll see how the boys rebound from this.''
In a further blow to Queanbeyan, prop Chris Barbaro was carried off the field midway through the first half with injury.
In the other match, Brumbies and Wallabies winger Joe Tomane inspired the Uni-Norths to their first win of the season, a 46-36 victory over Easts.