A first-half attacking blitz led the Wentworthville Magpies to an outstanding 38-14 win over defending Premiers Mounties in the Ron Massey Cup ‘match of the round’ at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
With NRL recruits Yileen 'Buddy' Gordon and Adrian Ha’angana leading the way, the Magpies won the match with five first-half tries to take a stunning 28-4 lead at the break, before coasting home to a seven-tries-to-three win.
The loss by Mounties was part of a remarkable round on the opening weekend of the season where both 2015 Ron Massey Cup Grand Finalists were beaten, and a number of comebacks across the weekend produced victories.
The opening round also saw the mercury soar into the low 30s across the weekend, testing the early-season fitness of players in the sweltering conditions.
Four tries to centre Jayden Wheelhouse led the Western Suburbs Magpies to a 38-18 win over Auburn Warriors at Campbelltown Stadium yesterday.
After the Warriors led 18-16 at half time, the class of fullback Shannon Gallant and former Wentworthville half Brendan Waters - on debut for his new club - gave the home side the upper hand in the second half.
In the main match on Saturday, Blacktown Workers came from behind at half-time to topple Ron Massey Cup newcomers St Marys 28-14 in the local derby at St Marys Stadium.
The Brad Drew-coached home side started well and led 10-4 after a tight first half with star recruit Geoff Daniela bagging a first-half try in a strong display.
However, St Marys’ hopes of a dream return to top-flight grass-roots footy were dashed by a powerful Blacktown display in the second half, with winger Wes Taaga scoring a double in the visitors’ five-tries-to-three win.
The Windsor Wolves came from the dead to run down Hills District Bulls 28-24 at Windsor Sports Complex in the most exciting game of the opening round on Saturday.
The Bulls were on target to make their Ron Massey Cup a winning one when they led 14-10 at half-time, and 24-10 10 minutes into the second half.
However, the Wolves, with class five-eighth Aaron Farkas leading the revivial, stormed home with three converted tries in the next 20 minutes to take a stunning 28-24 lead with 10 minutes to play.
The Wolves then hung on in the face of late Bulls attacks in the closing stages to secure their win.
Paul Fletcher began coaching life post-Wests Tigers on a winning note when his Guildford Owls charges were too good for 2015 Grand Finalists Asquith 30-16 at McCredie Park on Saturday.
The Magpies started well and led 10-8 at the half-time break after a tight opening 40 minutes in the hot conditions.
Guildford then scored four second-half tries to gain the upper hand and come away with a solid six-tries-to-three win.
Finally, Cabramatta were far too strong for the hapless Kingsgrove Colts with a 58-6 thrashing at Kogarah Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
Looking to make amends under new coach Eddie Flahey for missing the finals in 2015, the Two Blues had the match won against the outclassed Colts by half-time.
Cabramatta scored six converted first half tries to lead 36-6 at the break, and went on the with job in the second half to post 10 tries.
Concord-Burwood avoided the weekend heat with their first-round bye. They play their first match of the season in Round 2 this weekend.
HHH will be calling the East Campbelltown v Asquith Sydney Shield game at Waminda Oval this Sunday - coverage starts at 2:15pm with kickoff at 2:30pm.