RMC Wrap: Round 16

Western Suburbs Magpies maintained their lead at the top of the Ron Massey Cup table with a convincing 28-10 win over Concord-Burwood Wolves at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday.

Before around 1,100 people - the biggest crowd to attend a Ron Massey Cup match this year, as part of the successful “Back To Lidcombe” Wests Old Boys day promotion – the Magpies were coming away from the Wolves in the second half.

In a tight first 40 minutes, Wests winger Thomas Capper opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he finished off a neat move in the corner.

The Wolves replied after concerted pressure in the 25th minute when hooker Jackson Garlick burrowed his way over from close range to level the scores.  That was as close as the visitors got for the rest of the day.

Josh Davis regained the lead when he burst over off a Brendan Waters pass six minutes before half-time to give the Magpies a 10-four lead at the break with Shannon Gallant’s conversion.

Wests effectively won the match with a burst of two tries in three minutes early in the second half  against a Wolves side that struggled to overcome the loss of backrower Rodney Mason with an ACL injury to his right knee late in the first stanza.

Luke Williams fed off a pass from man of the match Dayne Craig in the 50th minute for 16-four with Gallant’s conversion, before Gallant superbly finished off a Brendan Waters kick three minutes later to give the Magpies a commanding 22-4 lead to the roars of the big crowd.

With the Wolves offering little in their disjointed attack – even when boom young half Riley Travers was injected – Wests defence held the Wolves safely.

Sione Fukofuka got a converted try in the 72nd minute to give Concord-Burwood late hope, before Capper finished off a Waters chip kick from yet another Craig burst to bag his second try in the last minute and put the icing on the cake at 28-10 with Gallant’s last conversion.

Gallant led an emotional singing of the Wests team song on the Lidcombe Oval bike track in front of  - and with the crowd after the win.

Mounties replied with an emphatic statement of their own the next day across town at Storey Park when they turned the 2015 Grand Final rematch against Asquith into a one sided mismatch – thrashing the Magpies by an incredible 68-4.

After a tight first 10 minutes, Chad Porter’s first of his hat trick of tries in the 11th minute was the signal for the most devastating display seen by a visiting team to Storey Park in many years.

Mounties laid on six more tries in just 25 minutes to lead 34-4 at the break – with second rower Sonny Bristow opening up the lead in the 15th minute, centre Allen Mulia Malau adding to the lead in the 19th minute, followed by the first of winger Finlay Dibley’s hat trick of tries three minutes later, before NRL reality TV Rookie contender Jordan Martin joined in the party with his try three minutes after that for 28-nil after just later.

Magpies full back Alex Nicholls-O’Neill got the one bright moment for Asquith with his 15th try of the season in the 28th minute from a Brad Wall grubber kick in goal.

Normal service then resumed when Porter bagged his second try seven minutes from half-time against the nonplussed defence to open up the 30 point lead at the break.

With super fast speed at the ruck and at the ground - and a rampaging back row of Steve Tavita, Sonny Bristow and boom young forward Jake Goodwin running riot, “the Mulga” were ruthless in the second half with six more unanswered tries to complete the Magpies’ miserable afternoon.

Goodwin muscled his way over through four defenders from close range to open the second half scoring and kill off any hopes of an Asquith revival at 40-four with Porter’s conversion.

Then Mounties stepped into overdrive with five more majors.

Porter completed his hat trick of tries with a clever burst for 46-4, before replacement hooker Mitch Beggs-Mowzcan crashed over shortly after bring up the half century.

Dibley completed his hat trick with his second and third tries using his blinding speed, before Mat Whitehouse dived over in the final minute to warn the rest of the competition that “The Mulga” mean business heading into the back half of the season.

Porter finished with a remarkable personal tally of 32 points in the rout with 10 goals from 12 attempts to go with his three tries – seeing the pivot move past 100 points for the season.

St Marys burst back into the Top Eight at Asquith’s expense with a hard fought 26-18 win over the Auburn Warriors at St Marys Leagues Stadium last Saturday.

After Warriors hooker Connor Jones opened the scoring in the 14th minute, star Saints half Adrian Davis again took charge for the home side.

Davis scored his first try in the 25th minute, then laid on a try for five-eighth Sam Jones 10 minutes later, before completing his double on the stroke of half-time to give St Marys an 18-6 lead at the break. 

When centre Ray Lesoa finished off a left side movement started off by (who else) Davis 4 minutes into the second half, the Saints were threatening to blow the Warriors away at 24-6.  Davis had landed all four conversions to boot.

Then came a stalemate over the next 25 scoreless minutes as both sides struggled to land the knockout blow.

Warriors winger Ben Dakuwaqa gave the visitors some hope with his 12th try of the season with just on 10 minutes left to bring the scores back to 24-12 with Addison Demetriou’s conversion.

Davis then landed a penalty goal with under 4 minutes left to give the Saints a winning cushion at 26-12.  Davis landed five goals from five attempts to go with his two tries for a personal tally of 18 points. 

The Warriors had the last word when back rower Junior Tia Kilifi scored with 90 seconds left to make the final score respectable with Demetriou’s third conversion – which brought up the centre’s 100 points for the season.

The Guildford Owls overcame being reduced to 12 men for the second time in three games in a stirring 36-18 win over Cabramatta Two Blues at New Era Stadium last Saturday Night.

In a tense atmosphere dictated by what was at stake – a place in the Top Eight – the Two Blues jumped out of the blocks early with two superbly worked tries inside the first 10 minutes.

Winger Levi Sopi opened the scoring in the third minute in the left corner, before classy utility BJ Nathan finished off a right sided movement in the 10th minute to give ‘Cabra’ an eight-nil lead.

The Owls responded with tries to winger Leslie Ngaluafe in the 18th minute and backrower Matt Rickard two minutes later at the end of the first set from the restart to give Guildford a 10-eight lead with Mason Farrell’s conversion.

The Two Blues came again when centre Isaac Montgomery muscled over through three defenders to score to regain the lead, before fullback Brendan Hikaka dummied his way through poor defence to extend the ‘Cabra’ to 18-10 when Jake Jackson finally nailed a conversion.

In a warning sign of things to come, Owls winger Kelepi Manu scored 3 minutes from half-time to reduce the Cabramatta lead to 18-16 at the break after Farrell’s conversion.

Heeding coach Paul Fletcher’s call at half-time to tackle their way to victory, the Owls shut out a disappointing Two Blues attack to keep the home side scoreless in the 2nd stanza.

The Owls were superb in scoring five unanswered tries of their own. 

Tyrone Shelley regained the lead for the Owls with a try from dummy half in the 51st minute to regain the lead for the Owls at 22-18 with Farrell’s conversion.

Emotions were starting to boil when Two Blues five-eighth Corey Makelim was sin binned by referee Jeff Hartup for dissent after the Shelley try.

As he returned, Owls back rower Jarrod Farlow burst through tired defenders to score and extend the Guildford lead to 26-18.

Then came the sensation of the night with experienced ex NRL and Super League forward Shane Shackleton was sent off by referee Hartup for head butting an opponent at a play the ball with 15 minutes left  - opening the door for a Cabramatta comeback.

It was the Owls though – just like they did against Asquith a fortnight earlier after having a player sent off – that finished full of running to win going away.

Farrell sealed the win with a superb try with nine minutes left to extend the lead to 30-18, before centre Harmony Hunt finished a late right side raid with three minutes left to put an exclamation mark on the win at 36-18 with Farrell’s conversion.

The Wentworthville Magpies kept third place on the Ron Massey Cup table when they held on to beat an improved Windsor Wolves 30-22 at Ringrose Park last Sunday.

In an entertaining match, centre Dave Sisifa opened the scoring for the Magpies in the 9th minute which he converted for a six-nil lead.

Marli Sini replied for the Wolves for 6-4 five minutes later before Magpies winger Roydon Gillett scored his 12th try of the season in the corner in the 18th minute to extend the Wentworthville lead to 12-4 with Sisifa’s conversion.

After concerted pressure giant centre Abraham Murdock crashed over five minutes from half-time to pull Windsor back to 12-10 with Aaron Farkas’ conversion.

Then the killer blow after Windsor dropped the ball in the first set of six after the restart. Former NRL forward Adrian Ha’angana capitalised on the error when he crashed over from close range righ on half-time for Sisfa to convert and give Wentworthville a handy 18-10 lead at the break.

The Magpies extended the lead when recent Asquith recruit Evan Lee barged over from close range on his Wentworthville debut for a 24-10 lead with Sisifa’s conversion

Farkas scored a super individual try in reply which he converted to keep Windsor in touch in the 51st minute at 24-16, before the killer blow.

Windsor turned the ball over in the first set of six – and Lebanese international Nick Kassis pounced to score in a similar vein to the Lee earlier in the half and blow the lead out again to 30-16 with Sisifa’s conversion.   Sisifa landed five goals from five attempts in a perfect afternoon with the boot.

The Wolves came back one last time when centre James Goring scored 14 minutes from the end. for Farkas to convert and give the Wolves a shout in the closing stages.

However, Windsor could not convert the few chances that came their way and the Magpies’ defence  held firm to secure their win.

Finally, the Blacktown Workers managed to get a precious two competition points when they did as expected and disposed of the Kingsgrove Colts 52-12 at Hurstville Oval last Saturday.

The Workers exploded out with three tries in the first nine minutes to lead 20-nil after just 20 minutes with tries to Matt Place, Will Butler, Josh Fraser and Henry Raiwalui.

That set the pattern for the rest of the half as Blacktown took out their frustrations of recent heartbreaking losses on the hapless Colts – scoring seven tries in total for the first 40 minutes to have a 34-6 lead at the break and the game virtually won.  Anthony Raheb got the Colts’ lone first half try.

The Workers did coast home in the second stanza against the outclassed opposition – only scoring three second half tries with Blake Goodman getting the last try 8 minutes from the end to post to extend the Blacktown lead to 52-6.  

Abed Nasser got the Colts’ consolation try right on full-time to make the score a little respectable.

Hills District Bulls enjoyed the weekend off with a bye and a gift two competition points.

Wests lead the Ron Massey Cup on 24 points from Mounties in hot pursuit on 22 and Wentworthville on 20.  The Colts are still last on the table with just the four competition points.

Another full round is set down for this weekend with two games on Saturday and four games on Sunday.

All games have a bearing on the Top Eight – but the standout match of the season to date sees competition leaders Wests take on defending premiers Mounties at Campbelltown Stadium on Federal Election Day this Saturday.

It is a top of the table showdown which many pundits predict will be a ‘dress rehearsal’ for a clash with higher stakes on offer in September.

Triple H FM has another bumper coverage this weekend.

First, the league talk show “View From The Hill” comes live from Storey Park on Saturday at midday as the lead in to the live coverage of the Asquith v Cabramatta matches later in the day - the Sydney Shield game at 1pm, followed by the Ron Massey Cup game at 3pm.

Then on Sunday, HHH League goes back to Lionel Watts Reserve for the Sydney Shield clash between Belrose and Windsor from 3pm.

Tune in to all the weekend action at either 100.1FM, or via live web streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au, or via the “radio TuneIn” app.