Chance Peni vows to 'tackle low' in comeback from suspension
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Chance Peni vows to 'tackle low' in comeback from suspension

Chance Peni is out of chances.

The ACT Brumbies winger will return from suspension after 11 weeks on the sideline when he starts for the Canberra Vikings against the Sydney Rays on Saturday.

The tip tackle which saw Chance Peni suspended for a second straight time.

The tip tackle which saw Chance Peni suspended for a second straight time.

Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Peni, 24, has played just 17 minutes of rugby since April 28 after copping back-to-back suspensions for dangerous tackles.

The first was for knocking out Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg in round 11 of Super Rugby and upon return to Canberra club rugby he was red carded for a tip tackle.

It marked his fourth ban in 13 months and in the former rugby league player has missed 11 games through suspension in his first year in Canberra.

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Peni was named on the Vikings' bench in their season opener last week but wasn't used and said he "can't wait" to finally play this weekend.

"I definitely still get nervous before every game, it doesn't matter if I've been out, but it has been a long time and I just want to get back to playing," Peni said.

"I went from one [high] tackle to a totally different one and it was frustrating to get that much time.

"I just went into [the second game] with the mentality of trying to get back out there for Super and didn't really want it to happen that way but things happen for a reason. Hopefully I can get back to the way I was playing.

"They [Brumbies] weren't happy with me but it was one of those things where I'm not sure what happened, a bit unlucky but it was my fault at the same time, I already had a couple and then got that one, it was not ideal."

Peni is one of five changes to the Vikings this week after four players left for the Wallabies and they're almost already in must-win territory following a loss in round one.

There are just six games left in the season and Peni said the road trip is a must-win if Canberra are to make the play-offs and avenge last year's grand final loss.

"Being such a short season - and last week was hard not getting the win - makes it a must-win in Sydney," Peni said.

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"I know [Rays centre] Curtis Rona, we grew up together and have played some of our footy together in league and union, we were both at the Force last year, so I'm keen to play against him."

Peni played seven games for the Brumbies this season but missed the final eight rounds through suspension and said he wants to hit the reset button ahead of preseason.

"This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me, at the start it was hard trying to get into the Brumbies mindset of being so structured," Peni said.

"At the start of the season weren't going very well but by end it was forming into a lot better rugby, so I can't wait to get back out there and keep our end-of-season form going into next year.

"I definitely want to cement my spot in the Brumbies starting side, that's my goal and just get my head around the plays and what they want me to do.

"I'll keep my tackles low and go into next preseason aspiring to get my spot back."

NATIONAL RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 2

Saturday: Sydney Rays v Canberra Vikings at Concord Oval, 3pm.