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Duffy helps Eagles soar in thriller against Whites


Chris Dutton

Queanbeyan lock Matthew Hirst gives opposite number Darragh O'Byrne some rough treatment.

Queanbeyan lock Matthew Hirst gives opposite number Darragh O'Byrne some rough treatment. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

THEY didn't have a coach and were starved of possession, but Xavier Duffy emerged as the Gungahlin Eagles' last-minute saviour at Nicholls Oval yesterday.

The Eagles held on for a 31-26 triumph over the Queanbeyan Whites to give themselves a boost in the John I Dent Cup ladder battle.

And it was Duffy who produced a superb breakdown steal in the dying seconds to ensure the Eagles secured a victory.

Despite missing coach Owen Finegan - who was away in his role as the chief executive of Snowy Hydro Southcare - the Eagles held on for a five-point win.

The Eagles streaked clear at the start of the second half, but the Whites launched a late fightback to try to steal the match.

They scored with five minutes remaining and then held the ball for the rest of the match searching for a game-winning try.

But Duffy stepped up at the breakdown to force a turnover just 10 metres out from his own line and win a penalty to escape with a win.

Eagles captain Ben McGee praised the former St Joseph's College flanker for his superb performance.

''I didn't even know [Finegan] wasn't going to be here until Thursday night, so it was good to get that one,'' McGee said.

''[Duffy's] an unbelievable player, especially in the dying minutes of the game, he's often pulled us out of hard spots.

''He's consistently only of our better players … he played about a season in colts and then has been one of our best players in the past few years.''

The breakdown was the biggest frustration for the Whites in the tight match.

Coach Wayne Southwell was constantly left scratching his head as the Eagles successfully slowed down the Whites' attacking ball.

But his young side was determined not to let the Eagles run away with the match and fought for victory until the last seconds.

Before the match, the Whites were just five points behind the Eagles on the ladder.

But Queanbeyan now faces a tough task to force its way back into finals contention after the top four sides stretched the gap over the rest of the competition.

The Whites have four players in their back line who are still eligible to be in the club's colts side.

While Southwell was frustrated with the defeat, he said the performance sent a statement to the rest of the competition.

''I'm disappointed with that … the breakdown was tough, we needed some quick ball and I'm a little bit confused with the way some things went,'' Southwell said.

''I thought our guys showed a lot of courage, we're in this well and truly.

''No one is going to write us off after a game like that.''

Brumbies winger Cam Crawford scored a double for the Eagles, while flanker Rutikha Ilolahia also crossed twice.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Tonga 2 1 1 0 7 6
Argentina 2 1 1 0 35 5
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Ireland 2 2 0 0 77 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 -17 4
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
View all

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