Week one of the Finals are done and dusted as the North Sydney Bears and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles were eliminated.
The Sea Eagles were dominantly defeated 45-6 by the runners up in the 2014 VB NSW Cup, the Newcastle Knights. Jordan Latham (Manly) and Damian Sironen (Knights) equalled the most tackles for the match with 31 – Sironen also made 17 runs. A positive for Manly was a 77 per cent completion rate while Newcastle only completed 71 per cent. Kerrod Holland was brilliant for the Knights making a staggering 208 metres with the ball, playing the full 80 minutes and bagging himself a try. Michael Chee Kam was determined for Manly; he was on the field for 72 minutes, made 12 tackles and ran 117 metres with the ball. Ill discipline proved to be an issue for Manly as they conceded nine penalties and gave Newcastle two penalty goals. The Knights as a team completed 163 runs for 1,736 metres, made eight line-breaks and seven line-break assists.
The Wyong Roos proved they are the real deal as they defeated the Premiers of 2014, the Penrith Panthers in convincing fashion 28-10. Omar Slaimankhel was amazing with his agility and footwork to get out of dangerous situations. Slaimankhel was awarded the VB Hard-Earned Man of the Match for his performance, scoring a try to seal the game, playing the full 80 minutes and running 117 metres. Abraham Papalii ran the most metres, making 219 metres off only 22 runs. Penrith fullback Kieran Moss stood out for Penrith setting up the first try for Malakai Watene-Zelezniak in the fifth minute with a beautiful cut-out ball and also made 16 runs for 174 metres. Penrith’s discipline was an issue as they became frustrated with Wyong’s strong defence, scoring one try in the second half. Penrith conceded 11 penalties while Wyong only had seven penalties against them. The Roos only missed 25 tackles for the entire 80 while Penrith missed 41 tackles. Completion rates were almost even as the Roos completed 73 per cent with Penrith completing 70 per cent. Errors were equal for both sides with 11. Nathan Smith scored himself a double as the Roos went four straight.
Mounties put all the teams on notice with a 43-10 thumping of the Warriors. Glen Buttris was incredible for Mounties making 37 tackles but Warrior David Bhana made an impressive 53 tackles topping the tackle count for the weekend. Sam Duggan was instrumental for the Mounties, converting a perfect 100 per cent, also slotting the field goal. Fellow standouts, Jeff Lynch bagged himself a double and Mark Nicholls ran 151 metres with the ball off only 13 runs. Mounties’ defence proved to be the difference between both sides as they only missed 15 tackles, while the Warriors missed 37 tackles. Ill-discipline was a significant issue for the Warriors with Konrad Hurrell sent to the sin-bin in conceding 11 penalties. Mounties on the other hand only had five penalties against them. Mounties attack was electrifying, making 1,568 metres running the ball as the Warriors only made 928 metres. Completion rate was pivotal for Mounties, completing 84 per cent while the Warriors completed 72 per cent.
The North Sydney Bears were defeated by the Bulldogs 22-4 in a game that saw Jaline Graham score two tries. The Bears only scored one try for the entire match with John Olive crossing over. The Bulldogs’ defence won them the game as the Bears threw everything at them but couldn’t get the points they so desperately desired. The completion rate was very even despite the scoreboard. The Bulldogs completed 82 per cent while the Bears completed 79 per cent. Bulldogs prop Danny Fualalo topped the weekend in run metres with the ball, making 246 metres from 19 runs. He was outstanding for the Bulldogs with 27 tackles in a 72-minute performance. Levi Dodd was in fine form with the boot, slotting a near-perfect 90 per cent. For the Bears, Tulsa Saumamao made 44 tackles and ran 72 metres. The Bears did a lot of tackling; they made 375 tackles and missed 28 while the Dogs’ made 308 and missed 34 tackles.
We are now in week two of the VB NSW Cup finals; be sure to get behind your team and show your support at the game!