Queanbeyan Whites into John I Dent Cup grand final after one-point thriller

The Queanbeyan Whites are 80 minutes away from their first John I Dent premiership in four years after squeaking past the Tuggeranong Vikings in a one-point thriller.

The Whites scored five tries to three, but had to defend gamely for the final 20 minutes to hang on for a pulsating 33-32 victory in the major semi-final at Viking Park on Saturday.

The Whites have the week off while the Vikings will have to regroup for next Saturday's preliminary final against either the Gungahlin Eagles or Wests if they are going to win their fourth straight title.

It was the second loss in a row for the Vikings after the minor premiers won their first 10 games of the season before slipping up in their final game against Wests.

The Whites are chasing their piece of first-grade silverware since 2010 and have a young side, with captain Dan Penca the oldest at just 26.

Penca said while it was important to celebrate the victory, the real work was still ahead in a fortnight's time.


"The boys are over the moon and it's a great feeling, but that's one step forward for us,'' Penca said.

"We've still got a lot to work on.

"We're going to enjoy it because it's not often boys play in first-grade grand finals.

''We'll train hard in the next couple of weeks and prepare really well for the grand final.''

Vikings fly half Isaac Thompson had two chances to give his side the lead inside the final 10 minutes.

The first came when he missed a conversion attempt from near the right-hand sideline in the 72nd minute, followed by a 35-metre penalty goal chance right in front of the posts with six minutes on the clock.

Vikings coach Brad Harris said it was the team's sub-standard defence that cost his side victory, with Thompson finishing with a personal haul of 20 points including two tries.

"(Thompson)'s fine, he kicked other conversions from wide angles that put us in that position,'' Harris said.

"Certainly I don't look at it that we need to kick that to win it, we shouldn't concede 33 points.

"If we concede 33 points we don't deserve to win the football game.

"We've got a bit of work to do.

"We'll re-group, find out who we're playing next week and it'll be a big test of our resolve and character.

"We've lost our last two games now, so we've got to make sure we correct that.''

JOHN I DENT CUP: Major semi-final: Queanbeyan Whites 33 bt Tuggeranong Vikings 32 at Viking Park on Saturday. Second grade: Vikings 20 bt Queanbeyan 5. Third grade: Royals bt Vikings 28-19. Colts: Queanbeyan 17 bt Vikings 15. Fourth grade: Queanbeyan 24 bt Vikings 20. Women's: Royals 28 bt Uni-Norths 14.

SUNDAY: Minor semi-final: Gungahlin v Wests at Viking Park, 3.15pm.