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Canberra Vikings beat Greater Sydney Rams as Christian Lealiifano takes a break from goal kicking

Rams 18 Vikings 37

Christian Lealiifano had a quiet night for the Vikings.

Christian Lealiifano had a quiet night for the Vikings. Photo: Getty Images

It's supposed to be a team of Super Rugby talent, but Canberra's best club rugby players took control in the National Rugby Championships to lift the Vikings to their first win on Thursday night.

A group of part-time rugby players stepped up in a team boasting 11 ACT Brumbies as Canberra beat the Greater Sydney Rams 37-18

Brumbies flanker Jarrad Butler scored a double and the Vikings scored 29 unanswered points to secure their first win of the new third-tier competition.

Wallabies hopeful Christian Lealiifano was attempting to push his case for Test selection, but the talented playmaker barely saw the ball in a slippery game.

In fact, Lealiifano handed the goal kicking duties to Jesse Mogg after admitting last week his inaccuracy with the boot this year had dented his confidence.

"We just wanted to let Christian play, not over-complicate things," said Canberra coach Dan McKellar.

"Get confidence through his carry and defence and not have to worry about kicking.

"It's not a long-term thing, it was just for tonight and Moggy has been hitting them well, so that's the direction we went in."

Canberra's Super Rugby contingent was expected to be the difference

but the Brumbies representatives took a back seat as players like Les Makin, Seilala Lam, Isaac Thompson and Tim Cree took the reins as Canberra erased a horror start to storm to the lead.

Lealiifano struggled to get into the game, while Mogg had a mixed night as he attempts to recapture his best form.

Fullback Mogg got off to a disastrous start, slipping when trying to clean up a loose ball on his own line, which allowed the Rams to score their second try.

But he looked dangerous when he ran the ball and his goalkicking was impressive.

The Vikings dropped the ball from the kick-off, then conceded two tries and Lam was sent to the sin bin as the Rams had more than 70 per cent of possession in the first 20 minutes.

Butler crossed twice in the second half as the Vikings dominated the set piece and Jordan Smiler showed superb desperation in defence.

The Brumbies still have four contract spots up for grabs for the 2015 Super Rugby season and coach Stephen Larkham is searching the NRC for new recruits.

"We back our depth, we've got the squad and the club guys are there for a reason," McKellar said.

"Isaac is always improving and he went straight through a gap for the first try, our forwards dominated the set piece and really got us going.

"It was a bit of a mixed night but I think we finished the first half on top and that gave us some momentum."

Australian sevens star and Commonwealth Games medallist Tom Cusack scored in the second half in his first 15-a-side game in 12 months.

Cusack was on the verge of winning a Brumbies contract last year before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in a club game for Royals, and was instead signed by the Australian sevens team.

Barnstorming prop Les Makin put the Vikings in front just before half-time when he barged through defenders to score and Mogg converted to give Canberra a 16-10 lead at the break.

CANBERRA VIKINGS 37 (Jarrad Butler 2, Isaac Thompson, Les Makin, Tom Cusack tries; Jesse Mogg 4 cons) bt GREATER SYDNEY RAMS 18 (Vasa Falealifii, Atieli Pakalani, Jed Holloway tries, Ben Volavola con) at Parramatta Stadium on Thursday night.

Rugby World Cup 2015

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
View All Fixtures
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
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
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
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
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
View all
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
View all
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
View all
 

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