Brisbane City out of National Rugby Championship finals

Brisbane City won’t be joining Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship after being beaten by the Canberra Vikings 13 points to 10.

“We had plenty of opportunities, we created plenty of opportunities, but creating them doesn’t win games,” City coach Mick Heenan said.

“We didn’t manage our opportunities well enough when we go into their 22.

“We went a bit side-to-side and should’ve been a bit more direct, but that’s easy to say now.

“Our scrum was great.

“The scrums have been good all season, we let ourselves down in the lineout, but our defence was outstanding.

“To restrict the Vikings to one try was great.

“Our defence gave us an opportunity, unfortunately we just couldn’t convert.”

The Vikings were the first to score, outside centre Len Ikitau crossing in the 12th minute. Wharenui Hawera converted to give his side a 7-0 lead.

Both sides struggled in the wet conditions, with handling errors and turnovers limited scoring opportunities for much of the first half.

City overcame the weather to score their first try in the 32nd minute when Quade Cooper took a quick tap and sliced through a gap to slide through the mud and score. The flyhalf failed to convert his own try, as the Vikings maintained their lead at 7-5.

Hawera slotted a penalty goal after the half time siren to stretch Canberra’s advantage out to 10-5 at the break.

Another 30-metre Hawera penalty goal further extended the Vikings lead to 13-5 after eight minutes of the second half.

City then added their second try in the 55th minute when Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa burrowed his way through the defence to score after a sustained City raid on the Vikings line. Cooper again failed to convert the try to trail Canberra 13-10 with 25 minutes left on the clock.

A yellow-card to Canberra prop Thomas Ross followed, giving City a one-man advantage with 17 minutes of play remaining.

City failed to capitalise on their advantage and the Vikings held onto their slim lead to book a spot in the NRC semifinals.

The defeat means Brisbane City finish their 2018 NRC campaign in 5th place with four wins and three losses.

Queensland Country are now the only Queensland side alive in the competition and will look to advance to their second consecutive grand-final when they clash with the Western Force on the Gold Coast next weekend.

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