Vikings thrash Fiji Drua 66-5 under Friday night lights

The Canberra Vikings have bounced backed from two tight losses to deliver their best performance of the season and thrash Fiji Drua 66-5 at Viking Park on Friday.

Defence was the focus and the Vikings were immense throughout, while also restricting the Fijians' free-flowing attack by dominating the ruck.

Vikings skipper Tom Cusack scored a hat-trick as the hosts ran in 10 tries to leapfrog Drua into top spot on the NRC ladder.

"Without a doubt our best performance. The boys stayed positive during the week after two tough losses and really delivered tonight," Vikings coach Tim Sampson said.

"We really needed that, we've had tight games all year, so to put a team and a very good team away like that, we're ecstatic.

"It was a real captain's knock from Tommy, he was everywhere in attack and defence and our breakdown dominance was on the back of his workrate."

The Vikings had all the ball early and their sustained pressure was rewarded when Andy Muirhead crashed over on four minutes.

Fiji marched back down the other end and struck back through crafty halfback Frank Lomani who darted over from the edge of the ruck.

The Fijians were their own worst enemy at the ruck and after failing to seal off were pinged four times in the first half alone for holding on as the Vikings' forwards pounced.

It wasn't long before the Vikings had their second when Sionie Faalelei crashed over on 15 minutes and Cusack quickly followed suit to take a 21-5 lead into half-time.

The Vikings picked up where they left off in the second stanza and it only took Cusack three minutes to bag his second thanks to fancy footwork from James Dargaville.

Faalelei bagged his double on 48 minutes as the penalties kept coming from a poorly disciplined Drua outfit and Ben Johnson's huge right boot was immense finding touch for the Vikings.

Canberra hooker Robbie Abel made a huge break down the blindside then sent the ball back inside for Tom Banks who scored number six on 58 minutes.

It proved a night for doubles after a delicate grubber from Wharenui Hawera put Banks through for his second just five minutes later.

When the Fijians were on the attack the Vikings defence was a brick wall as they refused to give an inch.

Teenage sensation Mack Hansen made his debut after replacing Hawera in the 69th minute, before Abel joined try-scorers and man-of-the-match Cusack secured his hat-trick in the dying stages.

Fiji threw passes behind them all night and struggled with Canberra's dewy conditions as they tried to force plays too often on a slippery night in the capital.

This story Vikings thrash Fiji Drua 66-5 under Friday night lights first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.