Brisbane City has won their second National Rugby Championship, beating Canberra 21-10 at Ballymore this afternoon.
It capped a perfect 10-0 season and was their second win over the Vikings in three weeks. In two seasons, they have won 18 out of 20 matches. They also won the Horan-Little Shield earlier this month.
The Vikings had scored 425 points in nine games (averaging 47), passing 50 points four times. In the most important game, the Vikings went scoreless for 67 minutes – including the entire second half – as Brisbane maintained their 13-10 halftime lead. Reserve Alex Gibbon scored a converted try with seven minutes left to seal victory.
Canberra had multiple chances to gain the lead, with 48 more run metres than Brisbane from 10 percent less possession (Brisbane 55% to Canberra’s 45%). Their 20 turnovers, 12 handling errors and 20 missed tackled ruined victory hopes.
It looked promising early for the Vikings, with winger Francis Fainifo scoring in the second minute. Brisbane responded three minutes later with a converted try to lock Cadeyrn Neville. Canberra took the lead back in the 13th minute through fullback Isaac Thompson. Eight minutes before halftime, scrum-half Nick Frisby gave Brisbane a 13-10 lead, which they kept until Gibbon’s late try.
While they lost the grand final, the Vikings had a marvelous 2015 season. They finished sixth last year with two wins from eight games but only lost two games this year, both to Brisbane.