Competition leaders Mounties re-established themselves as the team to beat with a 52-12 hiding of defending premiers Wentworthville at Mount Pritchard Sports Complex last Saturday.
With Aubrey Keech Reserve unavailable while still recovering from flooding during the previous weekend’s ‘big wet,’ the Mulga returned to their old home ground with a statement to the rest of the competition.
The first half lived up to the ‘match of the season’ billing as both sides’ big forward packs shared the honours.
Maiko Sivo’s 15th try of the season and Jake Horton’s 13th major for the year were countered by tries to Magpies skipper Chris Rakete and Jordan Tukere to level scores before Jordan Martin scored wide out to give Mounties a 16-12 lead at the half-time break.
Then the competition leaders ran riot in the second half.
Mounties ran in 36 unanswered points – six unanswered converted tries – in the second half against a shell-shocked Magpies outfit.
Sivo completed his hat-trick of tries in the second half to go to the top of the Sydney Shield try scorers list with 16. Horton completed a double to take his season tally to 14 majors.
Veteran prop Tere Glassie, centre Shannon Chapman and fullback Maile Li all got on the scoresheet as the class of the Mounties back line was too much for the Magpies.
Horton finished with a personal tally of 24 points with eight goals from nine attempts to go with his two tries. Horton is now the leading point scorer in Sydney Shield with 198 points for the season already to date.
The Windsor Wolves continued their recent improved form with an easy 50-12 win over a badly undermanned Hills District Bulls at Crestwood Reserve in the only other Shield game for the weekend last Sunday.
Racked by unavailability, injuries and players being called up to the Ron Massey Cup team (Jason Gerecs and Nick Holliday) and Intrust Super Premiership NSW for the North Sydney Bears (Devon Makoare-Boyce), Bulls coach Trevor Schodel was forced to come out of retirement and play himself at rising 45 years of age.
Schodel got through the match unharmed and injury-free.
However, not even his presence could stop Windsor from running riot in the second half after a tight first 40 minutes.
Lachlan Jackson completed a hat-trick of tries for the Wolves and landed two goals with the boot for a personal tally of 16 points, while back rower Elijah Tone bagged a double.
Brandon Smallwood, Chanel Arama, Shaun Fitzgerald and Dylan Robinson all got tries amongst the Wolves’ 10 majors. Hayden McWilliam, Mali Katia and Anthony Overton got the Bulls’ three unconverted tries in a well-beaten side.
The three other matches from this round – Blacktown Workers v St Marys, Cabramatta v Peninsula Seagulls and East Campbelltown v Belrose – will now be played on the next spare weekend of 23/24 July.
Mounties have now racked up 10 straight wins since their only loss for the year to Belrose back in Round 2 on March 12 to open up a four point lead over St Marys at the top of the table.
The only other change to the ladder from last weekend is Windsor moving past Blacktown Workers at the bottom of the table with their win.
Play returns to a full round this weekend with three matches on Saturday and four games on Sunday.
St Marys resume after a three-week break to take on Mounties on Saturday at the recovered Aubrey Keech Reserve in the clear Match Of The Round between the two sides currently first and second on the Sydney Shield ladder.
Triple H FM continue to have footy covered this weekend.
Firstly, talk show “View From The Hill” tackles all League issues on Saturday at midday.
Then on Sunday, it’s back to Sydney Shield with the coverage of the Belrose Eagles v Hills District Bulls clash from Lionel Watts Reserve, Belrose on Sunday at 3pm.
All of the weekend action can be heard on 100.1 FM, via web streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au, and via the TuneIn app.