Vikings relish University challenge

Vikings' Henry Swan proves a handful for the Shamrocks' defence to contain. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Vikings' Henry Swan proves a handful for the Shamrocks' defence to contain. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

RUGBY UNION

Galvanised by last week's last-gasp win over the Woonona Shamrocks, the Wollongong Vikings are armed with renewed belief for Saturday's clash with University at Vikings Field.

After consecutive losses to Camden and Avondale, the Blueys's season was on the line against the Rocks.

A converted try in the final minute - the kick was from the sideline in front of Shammies's clubhouse - allowed the visitors to escape with a 20-19 victory, which kept them equal with Kiama for fourth spot.

Uni will be a much tougher nut to crack, but the Blueys are relishing the challenge.

"Last time we played Uni we didn't play well as 15 guys, so we want to come out and play really well as a side, and we've been doing that over the past couple of weeks," Vikings five-eighth Nick Matts said.

"Last week we got ourselves out of a jam in the dying stages, so hopefully we'll come out and put a lot of pressure on these guys and pull together as 15 blokes."

The Blueys hope to put together their best defensive effort of the season.

"They've got a very good backline with some pretty amazing talent out wide, so if you can limit the amount of space they've got it starts to work in your favour," Matts said.

"It's like playing anyone else in that you want to get up hard off the line and suffocate their options."

While Vikings aim to upset Uni, Kiama hope to cause a boilover in their home game against competition leaders Avondale.

Kiama gave Uni a scare in a 27-15 loss last week, but they might have to find something extra against a fired up Wombats side, which tasted defeat for the first time this season.

Kiama are away to Vikings in the final round and can finish as high as third or low as fifth.

"It's basically going to come down to a roll of the dice for that last spot," Matts said.

"If we lose this weekend and Kiama lose, it'll come down to whoever wins next week. If we can put in a good performance it'll take a little pressure off us next week, but there's definitely that must-win factor hanging over our heads at the moment."

Reigning premiers Camden will be seeking a bonus-point win over Tech Waratahs at Camden Rugby Park.

The Rams are third but won't pick up any premiership points with next weekend's season-ending bye. A four-try victory over the Tahs should guarantee Camden fourth spot at the very least.

Bowral will be going all out to climb off the bottom of the ladder when they host Shoalhaven.

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