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HIGHLIGHTS | Ron Massey Cup Round 22

Tony Dosen, Triple H 100.1FM

A storming second half propelled double defending Premiers Mounties to a rousing 24-16 win over the Auburn Warriors in their Ron Massey Cup feature match at Aubrey Keech Reserve last Saturday.

Fijian international Henry Raiwalui opened the scoring for the Mulga with his first try in the third minute, before the Warriors slowly dominated the rest of a grinding first half.

David Minute replied for the Warriors in the eighth minute to level scores, before penalty goals from Manaia Rudolph in the 14th and 22nd minutes gave the Warriors a 10-6 half time lead.

Mounties then hit back hard with tries to Yileen ‘Buddy’ Gordon in the 12th minute of the second half, Maurice Kennedy five minutes later, and a second to Raiwalui with 15 minutes left for a 20-10 lead.

Josh Bergamin scored a comeback try for the Warriors with 10 minutes left to get the visitors back to 20-16 with Rudolph’s fourth goal, before Mounties hooker Jarrod Brackenhofer scored the match winning try with six minutes left to end the Warriors’ four game winning streak – and break the Mulga’s four game losing sequence.

The Wentworthville Magpies had to work hard to overcome a game yet undermanned Cabramatta 34-20 in the match played at New Era Stadium last Saturday Night.

With the Two Blues lack of numbers at chronic end of season levels, eight players – Jay Belgrove, Taku Simon, Rayne Horrigan, and Kisi Taulani in the starting 13, plus all four interchange players Tim Jones, Zac Wedesweiler and comeback player Trent Jennings – were forced to ‘butter up’ for back to back matches after playing in the earlier Sydney Shield fixture.

That didn’t stop Cabramatta surging out of the blocks with early tries to Brent Anderson and Isaac Montgomery to lead 8-nil after 10 minutes.

The Magpies then responded with five eighth Zac Nicholls scoring in the 21st minute, before a double to Lebanese international winger Danny Barakat at the back end of the first half gave Wenty an 18-8 lead at the break.

Magpies prop Kurt De Luis scored straight after half time to extend the lead, before Montgomery completed his double to give him 15 tries for the season to keep the Two Blues in touch at 24-14 down with Don Thompson’s second conversion.

However, the horrific workload eventually took its toll on the Two Blues with Jordan Martin putting the game out of reach with his try 15 minutes into the second half.

Belgrove scored a consolation try to give him a unique hat trick for the night after scoring a double in the Shield match earlier, before Wenty centre Scott Schulte put the icing on the Magpies’ cake with the last try of the night with five minutes left.

The Hills District Bulls kept their place in the Top Four with a hard fought 21-12 win over the Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves in the match at Crestwood Reserve last Sunday.

The Bulls started in a blaze with early tries to Dave Baumann and Chad O’Donnell for a 12-nil lead after just 10 minutes.

The Wolves then steadied before being rewarded for their pressure at the back end of the first half with Kurt Aldridge’s first try in the shadows of half time to leave the Bulls in front only 12-6 at the break.

In a tight and tough second half, both sides then got right into the arm wrestle for 20 scoreless minutes before Aldridge bagged his second try with exactly 20 minutes left. He landed his second conversion to have all of the Wolves’ points with scores locked up at 12-all.

Baumann then broke free down his favoured left edge to score his second try with 12 minutes left to regain the lead for the Bulls at 18-12 when O’Donnell landed his third conversion.

O’Donnell then landed a penalty goal with five minutes left to give the Bulls an eight point buffer.  Jayden Horo then potted a field goal in the last minute to close out the tough win whilst snapping shut a three game losing streak.

The Guildford Owls moved into the Top Four for the first time this season with an easy 46-16 win over Western Suburbs at McCredie Park last Sunday.

After a tight first 15 minutes, Guildford centre Nick Okladnikov opened the scoring in the 16th minute with his first try down the left.

Centre Josh Camroux scored from a scrum 10 minutes later to extend the lead, before Okladnikov got his second try when the Owls ran the ball on the last tackle five minutes from half time for an 18-nil lead.

Wests winger Tala Mapesone got to a bouncing Brendan Waters grubber kick for a try as the half time siren sounded to reduce the Guildford lead to 18-6 at the break.

Camroux landed a penalty goal four minutes into the second half to extend the Owls lead to 20-6, before Lazarus Brown scored his first try from a penalty set four minutes later for a 26-6 lead.

Owls five eighth Nathan Masima finished off a sweeping movement 14 minutes into the second half, before Okladnikov completed his hat trick on the last tackle from the restart set to virtually put the Owls out of sight at 36-6.

Wests came back with two tries in three minutes from Pio Sokobalavu and Blake Goodman to get some respectability back on the scoreboard, before Guildford prop Eden Syme burst over with five minutes left to make sure of the Owls’ win.  Brown completed his double in the final minute to round out the final 46-16 scoreline.

Finally, the St Marys Saints stayed on top of the Massey Cup table with a 58-24 thumping of the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Laybutt Fields, Blacktown last Sunday.

The Saints set down their stall early with tries to centre Geoff Daniela and five eighth Matt Place for an early 10-nil lead after 12 minutes.

Makeshift Blacktown centre Shane Kiel replied for the Workers Sea Eagles with his try in the 14th minute, before the Saints clicked into gear through the middle to put Blacktown to the sword for the rest of the first stanza.

Prop Tom Romer bagged a close range double, before interchange prop Cowen Epere got his try 10 minutes from half time.  Back rower Aaron Pene then scored five minutes from the break to give the Saints a commanding 34-4 lead.

Blacktown winger Shaun Fitzgerald finished off a backline movement on the strok of half time to have St Marys up 34-8 at the interval.

Kelepi Manu scored in the first minute of the second half to give Blacktown some hope of a miracle, before Place marked a return to the club he left earlier in the year with a try in response three minutes later.

Blacktown five eighth Ben Fritz kept the Workers in the contest with his try 10 minutes into the second half, before the Saints again moved up a gear to put the game beyond doubt.

A second half double to representative fullback Mason Cerruto to take his Massey Cup tally for the season to 12 – along with winger Ratu Tuisese scoring wide out – blew the Saints lead out to 58-20 as Place kicked nine goals from 10 attempts for a personal tally of 22 points.  Blacktown winger Pattyloma Aupaau got a late consolation try for the well beaten home side.

St Marys and Wentworthville still share the lead on 38 points, with Hills District Bulls (30) and Guildford (29) now making up the Top Four.

Mounties (28) are up to fifth with their win ahead of Blacktown (28) on percentages, with Auburn Warriors and Concord-Burwood-Glebe (26 each) making up the Top Eight.  Wests (21) and Cabramatta (18) look set to miss out on finals action.

This weekend sees two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday – with the pick of the action being the Mounties clash with Hills District Bulls at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday at 1pm, and the showdown between traditional rivals Guildford and Wentworthville at McCredie Park on Sunday at 3pm.

For full scores and scorers' details, visit the NSWRL Match Centre

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