A four-try performance from winger Maika Sivo propelled competition leaders Mounties to a 38-22 win over Cabramatta in the Sydney Shield game played at New Era Stadium last Saturday evening.
After Cabramatta got off to a good start with early tries to Jake Webb to lead 10-nil, Mounties asserted their class.
Sivo’s four tries, along with two tries and five goals from seven attempts from Jake Horton for a personal tally of 18 points, was enough for Mounties to keep their lead at the top of the Shield table with a seven-tries-to-four win.
In another high-scoring try-fest, Western Suburbs just edged out a fast-finishing East Campbelltown Eagles 40-38 at Waminda Oval last Sunday in the annual Benny Stevens Memorial Cup match.
Wests jumped out to a 10-nil lead after a tight first 10 minutes with tries to Paul Roberts and Jai Doolan – Doolan maintaining his great strike rate with his 15th try of the season.
The Eagles came back with the first two of backrower Guy Thompson’s three tries to lead 12-10 after both were converted by fullback Ben Baker.
Wests then replied in kind converted tries to Toa Mata’afa from a Roberts pass, and Tony Tali from a Roberts bomb that skewed off the side of Roberts’ boot and took a horror bounce. Doolan’s conversions gave Wests a 22-12 lead at half-time.
The Magpies extended the lead to 28-12 two minutes after the interval when Kelsey Coakes scored off a Doolan pass.
East Campbelltown came back a second time with winger Craig Moustakas’ 12th try of the year followed by Mason Talolua crashing over from close range to bring the scores back to 28-22 with Baker’s conversion.
Wests then extended their lead again to 40-22 with 15 minutes left as defence went out the window in the emotional atmosphere. Phil Bromal and Tom Gleary scored converted tries to give the Magpies their buffer.
Baker was then sin binned for dissent by referee Martin Jones with 12 minutes left in what was a critical call.
The Eagles – driven by the emotional atmosphere for the Stevens family, who were present – had one last comeback in them. Thompson completed his hat-trick and Fred Tavaga crossed shortly afterwards while Baker was in the bin. Michael Stevens missed the vital conversion in Baker’s absence -to leave the home side still eight points short.
The Eagles did have the last word in the last 90 seconds after Baker returned from the sin bin for Ronnie Palumbo to score one last converted try to bring the scores back to 40-38, but time ran out for the Eagles to pull off a win.
The win sent the Magpies back into the Shield top eight – at the expense of the Eagles, who scored 38 points for the second-straight week at home without winning. It was the Eagles’ fifth-straight Sydney Shield loss.
The Blacktown Workers came from 14-nil down to post their second-straight win with an upset 20-14 win over the Guildford Owls at McCredie Park last Sunday.
With former Asquith Magpie Lachlan Piper making a welcome return from injury for the Workers, it was Guildford that jumped out of the blocks to lead 14-nil after 20 minutes with tries to Rickard, Amanaki Manu and Jonoathan Mose.
The visitors then steadily ground their way back into the match with superb defence – plus tries to Daniel Cassone and Man Of The Match Jake Attard – to lead 20-14 with Blake Goodman landing four goals from four attempts including a key penalty goal to get the Workers well and truly off the bottom of the ladder.
St Marys again served notice to the rest of the competition with a resounding 38-14 win over Belrose at St Marys Leagues Stadium last Sunday.
It was a tight contest for the first 60 minutes, with Belrose leading 8-4 through tries to Clint Maguire and David Martin at half-time, despite again missing captain/coach James Mortimer on the field.
When Beau Abrahams levelled scores at 14-all with a try converted by Dave Marando to cancel out the tries scored by John Tuliatu, Peter Scanlan and Urima Toomalatai, a grandstand finish was on the cards.
However, a devastating last 20 minutes of attack from the Saints put Belrose to the sword and the game to bed.
Toomalatai and Tuliatu got their second tries, with Jamie Hill and Troy Brooks finishing the job as the Saints scored four converted tries and 24 unanswered points in those last 20 minutes to score a massive win.
Defending Premiers Wentworthville were too strong for a disappointing Hills District Bulls 36-10 at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
Ryan Burroughs and Regan Ronal both bagged doubles as the Magpies absorbed a strong Bulls start to score eight tries in their easy win. Wallace Tangiiti had an off day with the boot landing only two from eight to make the final score flatter the Bulls.
The Peninsula Seagulls struggled to beat an undermanned Auburn Warriors 30-28 in the match at North Sydney Oval last Sunday.
The Warriors – who thanks to injuries and other pull-outs only had one fresh reserve and just a 14-man rotation for the full 80 minutes as a result – really took it up to a lacklustre Seagulls outfit that were flat for a second straight week.
It appeared that it was business as usual as the Seagulls led 12-nil after converted tries to Richie Goodwin and Todd Wilson.
However, the Warriors got the match back to 12-all at half-time with two superb converted tries of their own to Jake Gleeson and Jamie Croker.
Converted tries to Nick Grant and Jake Pickering gave the Seagulls a 24-12 buffer 10 minutes into the second half and it looked again that the Seagulls would assert their dominance.
The Warriors came back a second time with tries to Yehya Masri and Connor Jones to set up the grand stand finish at 24-22 with 11 minutes left. Jones’ try was crucially not converted.
Goodwin’s second try with seven minutes left extended the Seagulls lead to 30-22 with Luke Martin’s conversion to ensure the two competition points.
Nonetheless, the Warriors came back one last time with a converted try to Anthony Minute with three minutes left to give the Seagulls one last scare at 30-28.
The Warriors could not make the most of one last set of six right on full-time – to leave the visitors to ponder what might have happened if they had arrived at Bear Park last Sunday with a full complement on their bench.
Finally, the Windsor Wolves made it back-to-back wins with a 60-nil dusting of wooden spoon favourites Asquith at Storey Park last Sunday.
After a tight first 20 minutes, the Wolves scored the first four of their 11 tries in the first half to lead 22-nil at the break, before going on with the job against their outclassed opponents in the second stanza.
Shaun Fitzgerald, Abraham Murdock, Ben Hudd and Dylan Robinson each got two tries for the Wolves, with Hudd kicking five goals for a personal tally of 18 points.
Mounites lead the Shield table on 18 points, with St Marys and the Seagulls giving chase on 16 points. Belrose and the dangerous Wentworthville are next on 14 points. Asquith are still winless after 10 games at the bottom of the table.
Another full round is set down for this weekend, with four games on Saturday and three games on Sunday. The Mounties versus Peninsula Seagulls match at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday, and the Belrose showdown with Wentworthville at Lionel Watts Reserve on Sunday are the clear stand-out games of the weekend.
Triple H FM goes back to the Sydney Shield this weekend with their call of the Belrose and Wentworthville clash this Sunday at Lionel Watts Reserve at 3pm.
The popular league program “View From The Hill” also returns the airwaves at its new home of Triple H FM this Saturday at midday.
Both ‘View From The Hill’ and the live Sunday call can be heard on 100.1FM, or via live streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au, or on the TuneIn app.