Triple treat back in Vikings fold

NRC
by Sam Phillips

The Canberra Vikings will welcome a trio of stars back into their squad this week, as they prepare to host the Perth Spirit in a Saturday night NRC semi final showdown.

Tom Banks, Wharenui Hawera and Folau Faingaa are all back in Canberra with their mind firmly on finals football, with the Vikings finishing the regular season as minor premiers.

Banks spent last Saturday playing for the Barbarians in their loss to the Wallabies, Hawera was a late out prior to Sunday's win over the Rams and while Folau Faingaa came off the bench in that match, he has spent the last fortnight outside the bubble while in Wallabies camp.

The trio have been integral parts of the sustained on field success so far this season and coach Tim Sampson said Banks, in particular, would have a point to prove.


"We're hoping so - Tom will probably have a point to prove there," Sampson said.

"(He was) an unlucky omission from the tour but if he plays consistently well this weekend - like he has been - you never know what is around the corner."

There is bad news on the squad front, though, with Sam Carter expected to be required for Barbarians duties as they make the trip across the ditch this week.

On a more positive note, Sampson said his side had erupted in the team bus on the trip home after hearing they had been crowned minor premiers due to Queensland Country's loss to Perth.

"I suppose it's something you don't really focus on but to be in that position is a credit to everyone," he said.

"There was a bit of noise on the bus last night coming home when that result came through from Brisbane."The Vikings are the NRC's minor premiers. Photo: Getty ImagesSampson also made special mention of Blake Enever, who was huge in the Vikings' win just two hours after hearing he would be part of the Wallabies' Spring Tour.

"I have known Blake for a long time - for about six years - and I've seen him come through the systems and the pathways," Sampson said.

"Again in the change rooms it was a lot of carry on there yesterday when we found out about Blake.

"He found out a couple hours before the game so to play like he did a couple hours after finding out that news is a credit to him."

There had been some suggestion the Vikings would sport the old school Kookaburras kit on Saturday night but that has been quashed by competition officials, who deemed the jersey too similar to the strip Perth will wear.

The Vikings take on the Spirit on Saturday night at Viking Park, kicking off at 7pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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