The Wyong Roos have gone four straight by defeating the Penrith Panthers 28-10 in Week One of the VB NSW Cup Finals. The win, which earns the Roos a week off, came off the back of a Nathan Smith double but ultimately at a great cost when they lost Mitch Williams to an arm injury in the 48th minute.
The Roos have now won three straight games against Penrith, Round 16, Round 18 and now Week One of the finals. The Panthers, however, have another bite at the cherry next week.
Roos speedster Omar Slaimankhel was simply outstanding, scoring the last try of the game to seal the win and displaying amazing strength and agility throughout the match.
The game started the way Penrith wanted to as they came out of the blocks early, scoring in the fifth minute after Kieran Moss threw a cut-out pass for Malakai Watene-Zeleziniak to use his athletism with minimal room to score in the corner.
As the first half went on the Roos started to find their rhythm and scored two tries in the space of 15 minutes. Penrith had most of the possession in the last 10 minutes of the half but the Roos held off the pressure as they finished the half 12-6.
The second half saw Wyong run all over Penrith, scoring three tries to one after Penrith lost one of their hardest workers – Ben Murdoch Masila – who came off with concussion.
Rodney Coates was very strong for Penrith and proved hard to handle for the Wyong defenders. The Roos, however, didn’t relent and secured a well-constructed win orchestrated by their halves Tyler Cornish and Jono Ford much to the delight of their coach Rip Taylor.
Wyong Roos 28 (N Smith 2, O Slaimankhel, N Stapleton, T Cornish tries; Cornish 4 goals) bt Penrith Panthers 10 (E Aiono, M Zelezniak tries; S Scarlett goal)