The semi-finals of the VB NSW Cup lived up to expectation as the Newcastle Knights and the Canterbury Bulldogs came away victorious in enthralling yet hard-fought games of football.
In the replay of the 2014 VB NSW Cup Grand Final, Newcastle gained redemption as they demolished the Penrith Panthers 44-12, crushing their dream of going back to back. Newcastle will now prepare to play the Mounties on Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval in a fight to progress to the grand final. The game promises to be a cracker!
Jake Mamo was the star of the show scoring three outstanding tries; his performance was remarkable, he made an exciting 221 metres off only 20 runs. Kerrod Holland bagged himself a thrilling double and the experienced George Ndaira slotted six from eight with the boot.
Put simply, Penrith were lacklustre; their best, Malakai Watene Zelezniak scored a try and made a total of 158 metres with the ball. Errors were the main issue for Penrith; they made 14 while the Knights committed 10. Newcastle dominated the completion rate with a respectable 76 per cent while Penrith completed just 48 per cent of their sets.
The Canterbury Bulldogs stamped their authority and gave the red-hot Wyong Roos a warning as they defeated the Warriors 33-20. Jaline Graham, a superstar of the future, was astonishing scoring two tries and kicked a field goal. His speed and footwork proved to be a class above leaving the Warriors' defence in awe.
Mason Lino for the Warriors bagged himself a double and played the full 80 minutes, David Bhana topped the tackle count again with 45 tackles.
Bulldog Danny Fualalo made a strong impact making a superb 225 metres off 21 runs topping the leader-board for the entire weekend. Warrior Raymond Faitala-Mariner tried to inspire his team as he made 145 metres off only 12 runs. Jarrod McNally, the consistent winger for the Bulldogs, scored himself a well-earned double and made 136 metres with the ball.
It’s an exciting time of year as we are so close to the VB NSW Cup Grand Final. We now head into the Preliminary Finals where two outstanding matches will be played at Leichardt Oval on Sunday Afternoon. I love September!
The NSWRL Grand Final day, held at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday, September 27, is the biggest day on the VB NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield calendars and the only live rugby league in Sydney that weekend – and adult tickets are just $10, with kids under 12 free! With face painting, live music and a carnival-like atmosphere, it’s the perfect day out for young and old. Get your tickets here.