Henry Speight scores but can't lift Gungahlin Eagles to victory over Tuggeranong Vikings

The Tuggeranong Vikings have staked their claim for a fourth consecutive John I Dent Cup premiership and coach Brad Harris believes his all-conquering side can only get better in the run to the finals.

But while the Vikings stretched their unbeaten run to eight games, the Uni-Norths Owls caused the biggest upset of the Canberra premier division on Saturday to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

Owls scrumhalf Edan Campbell-O'Brien scored a last-minute try to lift them to a thrilling 33-29 win against Wests at ANU North, securing just their third victory of the season to keep the top four in sight.

The Vikings extended their lead at the top of the ladder and are on track to become the first team in more than 20 years to win four premierships in a row.

The Vikings beat the Gungahlin Eagles 22-12 at Gungahlin Enclosed, scoring a late try and penalty to hold on for victory.

Tuggeranong will be bolstered by the return of Australian under-20s stars Joe Powell and Rowan Perry and duo Nigel Ah Wong and Rodney Iona from 10s duties with the ACT Brumbies in Singapore.

"It was physical and we probably lost our way in the second half, but the Eagles were very, very good," Harris said.

"We've got quite a few injuries out of that game, but it's good to keep winning. The games get tougher from here."

Brumbies winger Henry Speight threatened to end the Vikings' golden run, scoring with his first touch in the first half and carrying Super Rugby teammate Christian Lealiifano over the line.

Lealiifano was a surprise inclusion for the Vikings after being released from Wallabies camp to get some extra game time before the Super Rugby resumes next weekend.

Gungahlin hard man Rutikha Ilolhia left the field in the first half after copping a stray boot stud in his eye, but returned to almost lift the Eagles to victory when he  crossed late to level the score.

But Vikings fullback Brendan Taueki wrestled back momentum, scoring in the corner to ensure the Vikings' unbeaten run continued.

Speight was supposed to play 40 minutes to blow out the cobwebs, but wanted to stay on the field in the hope of helping the Eagles win.

"I think Christian was being generous to me, a bit too kind to let me go over for my first try for the Eagles," Speight grinned.

"You don't get many chances to play for your club, this was my first time to play for the Eagles in three years. I hope the Brumbies didn't mind me going the full 80, it was just what I need to get a full blow out."


TUGGERANONG VIKINGS 22 (S Naeata, E Suavai, B Taueki tries; C Lealiiano, I Thompson conversion; I Thompson penalty) bt GUNGAHLIN EAGLES 12 (R Ilolhia, H Speight tries; A Dawes conversion), UNI-NORTHS OWLS 33 bt WESTS 29, QUEANBEYAN WHITES 85 bt EASTS 17.

This story Henry Speight scores but can't lift Gungahlin Eagles to victory over Tuggeranong Vikings first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.