Les Makin admits Vikings took 2015 NRC final for granted
Canberra Vikings prop Les Makin has never won a senior premiership and admits the 2015 National Rugby Championship grand final loss stung the most.
There are just four players remaining from the Vikings 21-10 defeat to Brisbane City two years ago – Makin, James Dargaville, Robbie Abel and Dean Oakman-Hunt.
Makin admitted the Vikings thought it would come easy after dropping just one game in the 2015 season and is determined to redeem himself in the decider against Queensland Country at Viking Park on Saturday.
“We took it a bit for granted the first time around and I think we left a lot out there on the field and we could have done a lot more than we did on the day,” Makin said.
“I do remember the feeling, we went into the final pretty confident and losing wasn’t easiest thing to deal with and it did sting.
“I’ve been involved in a handful of grand finals but never been able to get the cookies. It has been pretty tough to not be involved in any silverware but it’s definitely been a good learning experience.”
The Vikings have never won an NRC title and ACT Brumbies prop Makin said making history had been a driving force behind the “tight-knit group” this season.
“After we came so close two years ago I think it would be much sweeter to get the result on the weekend,” Makin said.
“I know this time around we’re going to go out there and do everything we can to win it and not leave anything on the field, we’ll have no regrets this time.
“Everyone is on the same page this season, nobody is above or below each other and everyone just gets along, there’s an awesome vibe every time we train and play.
“This competition brings that fun and old school side of rugby back which you kind of miss when you play [professional] rugby.
“Winning would also be great for Canberra community, we’ve got a lot of support through our Canberra community and we really want to do it for them.”
Dargaville said he’s left the 2015 loss behind him and just wants to deliver in front of his home fans on Saturday.
“You’ve got to have a pretty short memory for those sort of things, it was terrible feeling losing a grand final but you’ve just got to take it as its own match and go from there,” Dargaville said.
“We learnt a lot from that 2015 loss and I think we’ve definitely built on that this year but it’s a very different team and the boys are just excited to get out there and play.”
NRC GRAND FINAL
Saturday: Canberra Vikings v Queensland Country at Viking Park, 7.30pm. Entry is free.