The Wyong Roos defeated Mt Pritchard Mounties 30-14 at Aubrey Keech Reserve with Nene MacDonald grabbing a double in the 16-point victory.
Both sides traded tries throughout the first half and it was the Roos who scored first. Centre Nathan Stapleton proved too elusive close to the line and converted his own try for a six-point lead after 10 minutes.
Mounties hit back minutes later when a quick shift to the left caught the Roos short and winger Bill Tupou went over untouched to trail 6-4.
Mounties fullback Jack Ahearn then sliced through some feeble Roos defence to score his side’s second try and give them a 10-6 lead.
The lead was short-lived when a mid-field bomb was put up by the Roos and allowed to bounce.
The ball was regained by Nene MacDonald who raced away to take a 10-6 lead with a great try.
MacDonald showed he was just as good in defence minutes later when he knocked down a Mounties pass that prevented a certain try.
The home side maintained the pressure and a Jack Ahearn grubber was fed through the defence to be claimed by his side but the referee ruled a knock-on, with just five minutes left in the half.
In the dying seconds of the first half, a simple try from dummy half and conversion gave the home side a narrow 14-12 halftime lead with neither side managing to gain the ascendency in the opening 40 minutes.
It took just three minutes for the first points to be posted after the break and it came after a big break by Roos centre Samisoni Langi, who had been a constant threat all game. The big centre broke free of the defence down the middle and found Macdonald in support who raced away only to be brought down 20 metres out from the line. With Mounties’ defence back-pedalling, the Roos went on the attack and the ball went right and found centre Brendan Elliott who crossed to hit the front 16-14.
For the first time in the match a side posted back-to-back tries as the Roos again exploited the Mounties’ weak left-side defence to send MacDonald over for his second try of the match. Stapleton’s attempt hit the post and was waved away but the visitors led 20-14 with half an hour left in the contest.
The Roos had dominated much of the second half and it was only poor ball security that had thus far prevented them from running away with the match.
But with 12 minutes left the Roos intercepted a Mounties offload and went on the attack once again. This time they went left and found an unmarked Omar Slaimankel who crossed out wide. Stapleton’s tough afternoon with the boot continued and the Roos led 24-14.
After a Mounties try was called back for a forward pass, the Roos scored on the siren after a wobbly cross-field kick was put in. The bounce of the ball beat the defence and most of those chasing except for centre Elliott who touched down for his side a to earn a well-deserved victory.
Wyong Roos 30 (MacDonald 2, Elliott 2, Stapleton, Slaimankel tries; Stapleton goals) defeated Mt Pritchard Mounties 14 (Ahearn, Tupou, Bateman tries; Duggan 1 goal)