Last year’s grand finalists, the Wyong Roos, notched their first win of the season, earning a hard-fought 24-18 win over Mounties, with goal kicking the difference between the two sides.
Wyong entered this week’s match desperate to kick start their season campaign and make amends for a disappointing 28-18 loss to Wentworthville Magpies in Round One.
In a devastating blow to their chances of victory against Mounties, just ten minutes into the game, inspirational Roos captain Mitch Williams left the field and wouldn’t return due to a concussion.
Mounties suffered a late setback with 2015 Player of the Year Mitch Barnett a game-time omission allowing for Mitch Kennedy to play alongside his brothers Rhys and Jarrad for the first time.
In a tightly-contested affair where Wyong and Mounties scored four tries each, both sides tried to make the most of their opportunities early on, testing the defensive resolve of their opponents.
After a solid ten-minute period to open the game, the sweltering conditions hanging overhead appeared to catch up with both sides as errors started creeping in to disrupt momentum.
Wyong were first to score, capitalising on one of Mounties’ errors right on their line, with five-eighth Joey Lussick setting up a pin-perfect pass to Mitch Frei to split through two defenders and score for a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes.
For Mounties, their game plan of punching the ball through the middle found great success creating room on the edge to score.
Mounties responded to cut the deficit 6-4 in the 25th minute as winger Eddie Aiono finished a superb piece of play between Sisa Waqa and Jarrad Kennedy.
Mounties found success on the edges again to take an 8-6 lead with ten minutes before halftime, with a slick sleight of hands to the left finding Aino managing to squeeze through enough room to land his second try.
Wyong then landed a crucial blow on the halftime siren with Dominic Reardon dashing for the line for the Roos to claim a 12-8 lead.
Wyong extended their lead 18-8 shortly after the break with Luke Garner’s powerful bust up field setting up Jai Ingram to score on the following play.
Mounties responded with back-to-back tries and levelled the scores 18-all with 20 minutes remaining. Aiono continue his thrilling game antics with a blistering break up the middle resulting in Kato Ottio scoring before Zach Santo raced 50 metres to cross the try line right after.
But Wyong wouldn’t be denied, reclaiming a 24-18 lead with 13 minutes left and held on for a crucial win. Tyler Cornish was instrumental for his side in Williams’ departure, directing his side for the game-winning try with a neat grubber kick for Jai Ingram to score.
Ingram was outstanding for the Roos, deservedly awarded Man of the Match honours with two tries in a first-class performance.
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