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Roos Leaps And Bounds Ahead Of Tigers

Paul Arandale

Wyong Roos - 2016
Wyong Roos - 2016

A dominant Wyong Roos opened their 2017 NSW Intrust Super Premiership NSW account in style with a crushing 42-nil defeat of the Wests Tigers, which included a hat-trick by Roos Centre Dale Copley.

The strong southerly wind was used to Wyong Roos advantage from the kick-off and the kick from Josh Mantellato looked more like a bomb. The Wests Tigers were caught off guard and Wyong regained possession, with the Roos going on the attack straight away. Three plays later, Chris Centrone opened the Roos account with a try in the right corner and Mantellato missed a difficult kick from the sideline - it was 4-0 after a minute of play.

The opening 10 minutes did not get much better for the Tigers. Kicking out on the full from the restart, followed by a penalty gifted the Roos another opportunity. They didn’t score from this opportunity but shortly after Chris Smith found the line to put the Roos in front 8-0 after 10 minutes.

The Wests Tigers had been doing a lot of defence and just needed some luck. They had a chance to put Wyong under pressure but their attacking options were ended disappointingly.

Although the rain eased, the wind was playing havoc, plus the greasing conditions made handling a challenge for both sides; a mistake by the Roos on their own try line invited the Tigers to attack, but again they came up empty handed.

It was becoming a forwards battle with the Wyong pack, led by Zane Tetavano and Justin Toomey-White, making some good metres whilst Jordan Grant and Esan Marsters doing likewise for the Tigers.

The half went into a bit of a dull period with neither side putting much pressure on the other, although Wyong looked the better side.

Five minutes out from half-time Wyong almost had their third try when Dale Copley did all the hard work only to drop the ball over the line. It didn’t take long however for the Roos to score their third with Jayden Nikorima backing up Paul Momirovski who had taken a bomb. Nikorima sprinted unopposed to the corner. The try scorers were making life difficult for Mantellato’s return to Wyong with the former Hull K.R. goal kicker missing all three attempts but in the conditions they were all great attempts. His last attempt would signal half time and the Roos would go into the sheds leading 12-0.

The rain came back heavier to start the second half but that didn’t seem to worry the Roos as they piled on the points.

The Roos fourth try came thanks to Brock Gray who ran into a nice gap provided by Mitch Cornish. Mantellato added the extras to give the Roos a strong 18-0 lead.

Wyong were almost unstoppable as Dale Copley scored the Roos' fifth, running a good inside line. Mantellato converted and the Roos lead was 24-0 with more than half an hour to play.

Copley soon had his second and it was becoming one-way traffic as the Roos took advantage of the strong wind behind their backs.

The Roos were doing everything right. They had strong runs by their forwards, A 40-20 by Mitch Cornish and great handling skills from the backs - including an intercept by Chris Centrone who ran 40 metres untouched for his second try.

Not to be outdone, Copley bagged a hat-trick and Mantellato dived across in the corner to make it a miserable afternoon for the Tigers. Full time score saw Wyong 42-0 winners over Wests Tigers.

Although the Tigers were on the wrong side of the scoreline it is only early days, as for the players wearing the green and gold of Wyong, they can all be happy with their first up performance, especially the left side of the Roos attack of Copley and Mantellato. This pair are sure to be a threatening combination to watch throughout the season.