Early urgency lacking for Vikings

NRC
by Sam Phillips

Canberra Vikings coach Tim Sampson wants to flip the script on two fronts this week, having fallen to Brisbane City in a thriller on Sunday.

Sampson rued two aspects of his team's performance - their lackadaisical start and inability to combat City up front.

"We let Brisbane City get out to a pretty big lead there at 21-7," Sampson said.

"Chasing games like that, we can't keep doing it.

"It would be nice to flip that and put some scoreboard pressure on the opposition."The Vikings struggled to get any continuity in the first half. Photo: Getty ImagesSampson put the slow start down to poor execution in crucial moments during the match.

"We have just got to be better there and execute more off the back of starter plays," he said.

"There was one occasion there for 15 minutes where we didn't get to first phase.

"It comes down to individual players and making sure their knowledge is there.

"Making the right decision at the right time."

Up front, Sampson said his team must lift, with a NSW Country Eagles side yet to record a win sure to play to their strengths come Saturday afternoon.


"They play a pretty forward orientated style of rugby and that's probably where we got exposed on the weekend - through the middle of the field," he said.

"We will probably have to just tighten up defensively there."

Tom Banks was far and away the Vikings' best yesterday and his time in Wallabies camp has accelerated an already dizzying trajectory, according to Sampson.

"There is an air of confidence with him coming back into our squad," he said.

"I think you saw some of that with Banksy on the weekend - he had a really good game."

The Vikings take on the Eagles in Armidale on Saturday, kicking off a 1pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on the FOX SPORTS website.

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