Defending Sydney Shield Premiers Wentworthville Magpies returned to form with a thumping 36-10 win over arch-rivals Cabramatta in the Sydney Shield match of the round at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
With heatwave conditions testing players’ early season fitness for a second straight weekend, Alex Chan’s Magpies outfit overcame early Two Blues resistance to come away in the second half.
Timoci Vatubuli and Jack Miller scored two tries each out in ‘Wenty’s’ seven try tally, as the Magpies condemned the Two Blues to a second defeat to start the season.
The young Guildford Owls outfit gave notice that they will be a contender with a 54-16 thrashing of the Western Suburbs Magpies at McCredie Park last Saturday.
With fullback Joey Petero, five-eighth Dean Matterson and hooker Joey Tramontana each scoring two tries, the Owls’ nine-try performance moved them to the top of the Sydney Shield ladder on percentages.
The Hills District Bulls joined the Owls at the top of the table with a hard-fought 26-18 win over a gutsy Blacktown Workers in searing heat at Laybutt Reserve, Blacktown last Saturday.
Winger Ash Johnson marked his return for the Bulls with a double as the Bulls only secured their victory late in the second half to remain unbeaten.
The Belrose Eagles overcame the late withdrawal of Captain/Coach James Mortimer to join the unbeaten brigade with a gutsy 28-20 upset over Mounties at Carrawood Park, Carramar last Saturday.
With Mortimer reduced to a coaching role from the sideline, Mounties led 10-four at half-time after a tight first 40 minutes.
Belrose then took every opportunity that came their way in the second half, with Concord-Burwood squad member Marvin Slavin scoring two tries in a superb Eagles comeback. Former US Tomahawk hooker Dave Marando stood out in Mortimer’s absence as acting Captain.
The Peninsula Seagulls joined Belrose in a great weekend for the Northern Beaches teams with a 34-14 disposal of St Marys at Forestville Oval last Saturday – and may have helped unearth a future star with a famous name.
Eighteen-year-old Jack Johns – eldest son of Fox Sports figurehead Matthew and nephew of Immortal Andrew – turned in a man-of-the-match performance on debut at fullback as the Seagulls effectively had the match won with a commanding 28-eight half time lead.
Proud father Matty was reported to be in the gallery to see his boy – controversially omitted from Manly’s Holden Cup squad this season – star in his first senior game.
The most exciting game of the weekend came at Windsor Sports complex on Saturday as Windsor Wolves and Auburn Warriors fought out a thrilling 24-all draw – the first in either Shield or Ron Massey Cup this season.
The young Warriors’ dramatic improvement from their first round loss earned them a point despite the Wolves scoring five tries to four as both sides missed scrambled field goal attempts in the closing stages.
Finally, East Campbelltown Eagles humiliated Asquith 66-6 at Waminda Oval on Sunday – sending the hapless Magpies to the bottom of the Sydney Shield ladder.
The 2015 Sydney Shield Player of the Year Ben Baker starred in the 12-try romp. The classy fullback bagged a personal tally of 30 points with three tries and nine goals from 12 attempts with the boot.
Guildford, Hills District, Belrose and the Seagulls are the four unbeaten teams after two rounds, with East Campbelltown’s massive win pushing them to fifth place as the best of the next five teams with one win.
Cabramatta, Blacktown Workers and Asquith sit at the bottom of the ladder as the three winless teams after the opening fortnight.
Triple H FM will be calling this Sunday's double-header from New Era Stadium, where Cabramatta and Asquith clash in the Sydney Shield from 4pm and in Ron Massey Cup from 5:30pm. For more info visit www.triplehfm.com.au