Rugby League: Queanbeyan v Gungahlin
Patrick O'Keeffe is tackled. Photo: Graham Tidy
Queanbeyan Kangaroos coach Aaron Gorrell hopes his side has found its ruthless edge just in time for the finals after demolishing Gungahlin 56-8 on Saturday.
Having regularly struggled to keep the foot on the throat of rivals this year, the defending premiers made a statement at Freebody Oval.
The win allowed them to stay second on the Canberra Raiders Cup table, and they can secure the double chance in the finals with a win over West Belconnen in the last round next week.
The for-and-against boost could be crucial in holding off Goulburn, which hosts Tuggeranong on Sunday, in the race for second spot.
Queanbeyan led 20-4 at half-time and went on with the job in the second half.
"We haven't done it all year, that's the first time we've stuck it out for 80 minutes," Gorrell said after playing 10 minutes off the bench in the second half.
Winger Bryan Cronan scored three tries for the Roos, while brother Thomas also bagged a four-pointer in the 11-tries-to-two rout.
More good news is imminent, with Mathew Lewis set to return in time for finals after breaking his jaw earlier this year.
"To the boys credit we did it tough there for a few weeks. At one stage we had seven players out, but we stuck to it, and we only dropped two games."
Gorrell remains cautious of West Belconnen, which beat the Roos at home last time around.
"We don't want to be beaten by a side both times this year, and you don't want to go into a semi-final without a win under your belt, so we'll have to be at our best to beat them."
Meanwhile Queanbeyan Blues maintained top spot on the table with a 60-8 thrashing of Belconnen United, condemning it to the wooden spoon.
Fourth placed West Belconnen's recent slump continued with a 32-16 loss to Woden Valley, its third straight defeat.
Goulburn hosts Tuggeranong on Sunday with the Bulldogs needing to win to keep their top two hopes alive.
Canberra Raiders Cup
Blues 60 (Tyler Stevens 3, Levi Freeman 3, Jake Knight 2, Tom Reudiger, Leu Saipani, Marc Herbert, Scott Rutland tries; Freeman 4, Herbert, Andy McLean goals) bt Scholars 8 (Lachlan Sund, Mitchell Shaw tries)
Woden 32 (Ben Maguire 2, Jeff Morgan, Tim Crome, Junior Moala, Josh Burns, tries; Crome 2, George Pohahau 2 goals) bt West Belconnen 16 (Dayne Ewings, John Papalii, Tim Sloman tries; Scott Jones 2 goals)
Queanbeyan Kangaroos 56 (Ryan Cronan 3, Jordan Macey 2, Ratu Tagive, Daniel Watt, Thomas Cronan, Luke Sutton, Adam Pearce, Troy Whiley tries; Macey 5, Whiley goals) bt Gungahlin 8