Tuggeranong 25 Queanbeyan 13
John I Dent Cup grand final: Queanbeyan v Tuggeranong
Tuggeranong Vikings secured a fourth straight John I Dent Cup premiership against Queanbeyan. Photo: Graham Tidy
The Tuggeranong Vikings are the champions of ACT rugby for the fourth straight year after beating the Queanbeyan Whites 25-13 at Vikings Park on Saturday.
ACT Brumbies recruit Nigel Ah Wong scored a hat-trick for the Vikings, while Whites captain Dan Penca became just the second player from the losing team in the history of the John I Dent Cup to be awarded the player of the match.
The Vikings have won every premiership since 2011.
It's the longest winning streak in club history and the first time it has been achieved in the competition since Royals won five straight from 1987 to 1991.
Vikings coach Brad Harris said the team's success was a reflection of the club's overall strength.
"To win four in a row is a great achievement for the club and for all the hard work's that been put in,'' Harris said.
"It definitely hasn't been easy and we knew Queanbeyan was going to throw everything at us today.
"That's exactly what they did. I couldn't be more proud of this group.''
The Vikings went on an incredible 11-game winning streak to start the season on their way to the minor premiership, before a couple of minor hiccups saw them in danger of going out in straight sets in the finals.
The Vikings lost to Wests in their last game of the regular season before Queanbeyan emerged triumphant in a thrilling major semi-final two weeks ago, prevailing 33-32.
However, the Vikings stormed back to their dominant best with a resounding 59-12 victory over the Gungahlin Eagles in the preliminary final and carried that form into the decider.
"There were probably aspects of our game we were cruising along with and those two losses forced us to look very hard at everything we were doing,'' Harris said.
"To the guys' credit, they were able to respond the way we wanted them to and got back on track.
"I wouldn't say we were complacent, but those losses were probably what we needed.''
The only downside for Vikings was losing captain Gareth Clouston with a serious knee injury just before half-time.
Clouston is resigned to missing the National Rugby Championship season with a suspected torn anterior cruciate ligament, continuing the curse of the Vikings' skippers.
Tim Cree and Rodney Iona were both forced to miss the grand final with knee injuries.
Both the Vikings and Whites were boosted with the addition of Brumbies stars.
Flanker Jarrad Butler was a more than handy injection to the Vikings' forward pack, while utility outside back Robbie Coleman crossed for a try in his second appearance for Queanbeyan this season.
Coleman, who is a Queanbeyan junior and played a crucial role alongside Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White in their 2010 premiership, believed the young Whites side would be better for the experience.
"It's always very disappointing to lose a grand final, but all the guys busted their guts today,'' Coleman said.
"It's a very young team and there's a lot of positives for the future.
''All the boys can be very proud of how they played.''
The Whites took the lead through the boot of HP Momsen, before Ah Wong showed why the outside centre has been signed with the Brumbies until 2016, running through a gap to score on the right-hand edge.
His second try was identical to the first and the Vikings led 17-6 at half-time.
Coleman scored from close range to narrow the deficit to four points with half an hour to go, but Ah Wong's third put an exclamation point on the victory.
JOHN I DENT CUP GRAND FINAL: Tuggeranong Vikings 25 (Nigel Ah Wong 3 tries; Isaac Thompson 2 pen, 2 conv) bt Queanbeyan Whites 13 (Robbie Coleman try; HP Momsen 2 pen, 1 conv) at Vikings Park on Saturday.