The Wyong Roos put in a dominant second half performance to down the North Sydney Bears 30-4 in torrential conditions at North Sydney Oval.
Both sides completed near the mid-60 per cent mark, struggling to maintain possession thanks to the conditions, but it was North Sydney who struggled the most throughout the contest, failing to get a grasp on the game with their lack of field position and limited try-scoring opportunities.
Wyong, meanwhile, controlled the game from the get-go thanks to wonderful performances by Tyler Cornish, Mitch Williams and Abraham Papalii.
Wyong had the first opportunity of the afternoon when Williams threaded a grubber in from dummy half, but Zane Tetevano could not ground the ball.
After a forced dropout thanks to a smart kick by Omar Slaimankhel, Williams was put another grubber through that deflected off Sitiveni Moceidreke, and with a bit of luck, got a second boot to the ball into the in-goal and planted the ball down himself to score the first try of the match.
Wyong dominated field position for most of the first half, but North Sydney had four consecutive repeat sets attacking the Roos’ line.
The Roos’ defence held strong, however, and a Moceidreke forward pass with only a minute remaining on the clock let Wyong off the hook, and meaning they led 6-0 at half-time.
Jayden Nikorima got ever so close just minutes into the second half, when Cornish put in a perfect grubber, but Latrell Schaumkel swatted the ball out of the would-be try-scorer’s grasp at the last second.
The only thing that could have stopped Nikorima in his next chance was a torn hamstring soon after when Moceidreke put a grubber through, it was deflected off a Roos’ player and the young half darted 80 metres up-field to score. As he was about to score the try, he pulled up short and clutched at his hamstring, but still made it to the line.
As the rain began to vigorously pelt down, the Roos extended their lead to 18-0 after a left-to-ride mid-field shift created an overlap and allowed Dominic Reardon to score, before Cornish slotted a beautiful conversion from the sideline in tough conditions.
The Bears had a sniff of comeback with an unconverted try to Tevita Cottrell in the corner, but Papalii was rewarded for a powerhouse performance with a strong try in the final 10 minutes, increasing the Roos’ lead to 24-4.
Cornish kicked an amazing 40/20 in the dying minutes and was nailed by a Bears defender in the process, and scored off the back of that with a show and go on the buzzer to win the game 30-4.