Vikings coach Sean Barrett cited a major lift in intensity as a catalyst to his side consolidating a top two spot with an emphatic 31-10 victory over Illawarra rugby premiers University at Vikings Oval.
Vikings were surprisingly held to a 27-27 draw by Campbelltown last week but built on a 10-0 halftime lead against the Bulls to post a convincing bonus point victory.
Two early second half tries sealed a strong Blueys win and Barrett said his team lifted against the reigning premiers.
‘’We knew they would want to set a platform and we answered in a very strong manner,’’ Barrett said.
‘’Our line speed in defence, our communication and work rate was better than last week which was a bit of a speed-bump in the season.
‘’Our intensity was right up where we wanted it and to keep them scoreless to halftime was a really positive start.
‘’We made some dents in their line and second half the game opened up for us and we put on points.
‘’Our skipper Joel (Diggins) was outstanding in the thick of it, along with Jack Hobbs, while Andrew (Barrett) at fly-half scored two tries and really had an impact.
‘’We head to Ocean Park next week to face the old enemy Shamrocks and we know how tough they will be, but we’re in good shape after a performance like this.’’
Shamrocks moved within two points of fourth-placed Uni after outlasting a brave Tech Waratahs 35-30 at Ocean Park.
Shamrocks trailed 19-8 at halftime but scored four second half tries to see off the improving TechTahs, led by Tim Olsen who scored two tries.
Shamrocks lifted when it mattered but they will need to play better to beat a Vikings team who loom as the most serious rival to the unbeaten Avondale.
Meanwhile, Avondale made it 15 straight wins and enjoy a rest for next weekend’s Wet Weather round after a 51-13 thrashing of Harlequins at Campbelltown Oval.
Mani Tuigamala scored three of Wombats’ nine tries as Avondale made it 13 bonus point wins for the season.
The Avondale vs Campbelltown second grade game was marred by ugly fighting leading to the match officials abandoning the game in the second half. No player was sent off but it will be a busy time at the Illawarra Judiciary for both clubs as players lost control and fighting broke out leading to the match being called off. Illawarra Rugby officials were quickly aware of the drama.
Meanwhile, Shoalhaven’s home game against Kiama was deferred to next Saturday, July 22. Shoalhaven take on Bowral at Eridge Park on Tuesday night in their wet weather catch-up game before returning home on Saturday to face the Cows.
In the late kick-ff at Camden Rugby Pk, Bowral held out a spirited Camden 15-6.
Ladder: Avondale 73, # Vikings 59, # Bowral 49, # University 41, # Shamrocks 39, # # Shoalhaven 31, # Campbelltown 19, # Kiama 19, # Camden 16, # Tech 16. # Game/s in hand.