RMC Wrap : Round 17
The Western Suburbs Magpies re-established themselves as Ron Massey Cup title favourites with an emphatic 34-8 disposal of rivals Mounties at Campbelltown Stadium last Saturday.
The top-of-the-table ‘Match Of The Year’ lived up to the billing in the first half; Wests exploded out of the blocks with two early tries to Jay Bonnell and Jerome Mose to lead 10-nil after as many minutes.
Mounties struck back with winger Jordan Martin’s 13th try of the season in the 16th minute and Steve Tavita crossing four minutes from half-time to be only down 10-8 at the break.
The Magpies then set a marker down with Jackson Williams’ first try from the first set of the second half. Wests made the most of poor Mounties discipline when interchange prop Billy Tsikrikas scored six minutes later to extend the lead to 22-8.
Star half Brendan Waters then virtually sealed the points win with his try in the 55th minute, before Williams put an exclamation mark on the win with his second try 10 minutes from time to stun Mounties. Shannon Gallant converted all the Magpies’ second half tries.
The Cabramatta Two Blues staggered home to outlast Asquith 30-26 at Storey Park in the other Saturday match played last weekend.
In the ultimate game of two halves, Cabramatta were irresistible against a very poor Magpies outfit in racing to a 30-nil half-time lead.
Replacement fullback Chris Faaee helped himself to a first half hat-trick – including a 50 metre effort pouncing on a loose pass from new Asquith half Nathan Rumsby after a Magpies scrum win – and bustling lock Mikaera Ormsby bagged a first-half double.
Asquith looked out of sorts as typified when fullback Jack Hawkins was sin binned for dissent by referee James Vella after Faaee’s second try. Two Blues half Ernest Alo converted all five tries to give the visitors what seemed a match-winning lead.
The second stanza was a complete turnaround in fortunes. Helped by the Two Blues being caned eight-to-one in the second half penalties by referee Vella, Asquith clung their way back.
Centre Jeco Makatoa shrugged off an earlier head knock to get the Magpies on the board before winger Alex Nicholls-O’Neill bagged his 16th try of the season in the right corner.
Hawkins then finished off a left side movement to get Asquith back to 30-14 before prop Al Mammone barged over from close range to bring the Magpies within striking distance 16 minutes left at 30-20 after Adam Kalcina’s conversion.
When Makatoa powered his way over for his second try with nine minutes left, Asquith were poised to pull off a miracle at 30-26 down – especially as Cabramatta winger Levi Sopi was sin binned by referee Vella for dissent in the lead up to Makatoa’s second try.
Asquith had their chances against the 12-man Cabramatta defence in the closing stages, but dropped balls from Mammone after a scrum win and Nicholls-O’Neill with a try on with two minutes left sealed the Magpies’ fate and Cabramatta could breathe a huge sigh of relief.
A first half hat-trick of tries to club stalwart Joe Flint inspired Concord-Burwood to keep their spot in the top four with a 46-30 win over Windsor in the match at Goddard Park last Sunday.
Flint opened the scoring for a fired-up home side in the fourth minute and countered a Tori Willie reply with great back up play to score his second and third tries inside 25 minutes to give the home side a 24-6 lead. Winger Joe Uluibau got Concord-Burwood’s other first half try.
Willie completed a first-half double to give Windsor some hope at 24-10 down at the break.
That hope was set back on its heels by the home side when prop Tifa Iuta used his power to bag a double from close range in the first 10 minutes of the second half to blow the Concord-Burwood lead out to 34-10.
Windsor came back again midway through the half with tries to Jesse Abbott and Guy Hodgins to get the visitors in with a hope at 34-20, before interchange hooker Jackson Garlick sealed the win with a well-deserved try 15 minutes from time for 40-20 with Aaron Booth’s conversion.
Giant Concord-Burwood backrower Kem Seru made a sure thing of the two competition points with 10 minutes left when he crashed over for 46-20 after Booth converted – the hooker/half landed seven from eight on the day with the boot.
Abbott completed his double and Danyon Barnes got a late consolation try for Windsor to make the final score more respectable.
The Wentworthville Magpies moved back to second spot on the Massey Cup ladder with a 32-20 win over the Blacktown Workers at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
Atfer Will Roper gave the Magpies the perfect start in the fourth minute, Ryan Burroughs followed up with a neat try in the corner to give Wentworthville a 10-nil lead after 15 minutes.
Winger Andrew Cartisano continued his good try scoring form with the Workers’ reply in the 20th minute for Kurt Horton to convert and leave the Magpies with a 10-6 half-time lead after a tight final 20 minutes of the first stanza.
Magpies backrower Dan Howard extended the home side’s lead early in the second half before Cartisano completed his double to keep the Workers in the game.
When Jake Attard finished off a sweeping movement to score 14 minutes into the second half, the Workers hit the front for the first time at 16-14 with Horton’s conversion.
However, once again, with the Workers in sight of a massive win, they were overrun.
Wentworthville upped the ante with fullback Nick Walker’s first try midway through the half to regain the lead, before journeyman forward Adrian Ha’angana extended the lead with 14 minutes left to give the Magpies the upper hand.
Walker clinched the two competition points with his second try with five minutes left to blow the Wenty lead out to 32-16 with Siaosi Sisifa’s conversion.
New Workers mid-season recruit Marli Sini got a consolation try in the last minute.
The Guildford Owls’ winning form continued with a 36-24 win over the St Marys Saints at McCredie Park last Sunday.
Paul Fletcher’s men won the match with an opening blast of tries to lead 24-nil late in the first half.
With former Cronulla and Wests Tigers NRL half Penani Manumalealii getting the better of the tussle with Adrian Davis in the halves, the Owls blitzed St Marys with four early tries.
Winger Leslie Ngaluafe opened the scoring before prop Siaosi Naelosi crashed over from close range to make it 12-nil.
Jarred Farlow and half Lazarus Brown then added further tries for the 24-nil lead.
Despite the Saints pulling the score back with tries to winger Chris Aunese-Scanlon and hooker Cam Collins to pull the scores back, the Owls were always in control.
Guildford extended their lead when Ngaluafe completed his double and Manumalealii was rewarded for his outstanding match with his second try for the Owls since joining the club.
Centre Geoff Daniela and five-eighth Sam Jones got late tries for the Saints to make the final score more respectable.
Finally, the Auburn Warriors maintained their hopes of a top four place with a stunning 36-22 win over a disappointing Hills District Bulls at Crestwood Reserve last Sunday.
The Hills faithful were on good terms with themselves early as the Bulls burst out of the blocks with three early tries.
Livewire fullback Gerard McCallum got an early double before centre Ben Vengoa finished off a midfield break for the Bulls to lead 16-nil after just 15 minutes. Half James Boustani converted two of the early Bulls tries.
The Warriors worked their way back into the game with tries to backrower Hala Akuaola Laula and winger Abraham El Zakhem late in the half to cut the lead back to only 16-8 at the break.
The Warriors then stunned the Bulls’ supporters with a devastating period of attack in the middle period of the second half.
The Warriors scored four tries in 10 minutes to blow the game wide open in the visitors’ favour.
Danny Barakat, winger Ben Dakuwaqa’s 13th try of the season, Will Solway and hooker Jamie Clark all scored in the blitzkrieg that virtually won the match for the Warriors with a 30-16 lead with 20 minutes left.
Talisman centre Addison Demetriou sealed the win with his eighth try of the season with seven minutes left to complete a remarkable 36 unanswered points by the Warriors after the Bulls’ fast start.
Bulls prop Tim Robinson scored a belated consolation try for the Bulls in the last minute.
The Kingsgrove Colts enjoyed a weekend off with their second bye of the season.
Wests big win has opened up a four point gap on Wentworthville and Mounties at the top of the table, with another four point gap to Concord-Burwood in fourth spot.
A log jam has formed around the last two spots in the eight, with 5 teams separated by only two points from seventh placed Hills District to eleventh placed Blacktown Workers. The Colts are still bottom of the ladder on six points after their second bye.
This weekend sees another full round of matches with Blacktown Workers playing Wests at Laybutt Fields on Saturday and the five other matches on Sunday – finishing with the twilight fixture at New Era Stadium between Cabramatta and St Marys kicking off at 5pm on Sunday.
Triple H FM continues with their coverage of grass roots footy this weekend.
Starting with talk program “View From The Hill” at midday on Saturday, the coverage continues on Sunday – a double header with a difference.
First at 1pm, it’s the replay of the Sydney Shield match played on Saturday at North Sydney Oval between the Asquith Magpies and the Peninsula Seagulls, followed by the LIVE call of the Sydney Shield match between Belrose and the Auburn Warriors from 3pm.
All the weekend coverage can be heard on 100.1 FM, on the web via streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au, and on the Radio TuneIn App.