Wyong Edge Out Newcastle
The Wyong Roos have edged out the Newcastle Knights in an absolute thriller, with both sides going try-for-try in the opening half.
Luke Sharpe was outstanding for the Roos, scoring two early tries and setting up another in what was an incredibly classy performance; starring in a side full of Roosters superstars including Paul Carter, Joseph Manu, Jayden Nikorima and Dale Copley.
Both sides played end-to-end Rugby League for the opening 10 minutes, until the Knights kicked a ball dead, which gave Wyong the field position to attack.
They took advantage of the situation, as Mitch Cornish stepped around a number of Knights defenders, before offloading to Mitch Williams, who threw a bullet-pass to a rampaging Paul Carter and he crashed over for the opening try.
An error on their own line gave the Knights back-to-back sets on the attack, and a left-side shift allowed them to lock up the scores when Nicholas Meaney picked up a grounded pass and offloaded to Tom Hughes, who scored the try.
The class of Mitch Williams set up the next try, with a play that impressed Danny Buderus, who was commentating for Fox Sports. He pin-pointed the Roos had numbers on the short-side, dummied to the right, and turned the ball into Sharpe, who darted through a hole to take back the lead.
Wyong made a costly error off the kick-off set, and Tom Hughes made them pay on two occasions. First of all, cleaning up a loose Wyong pass and gaining possession, and then finishing the set with a powerful try to take the scores back to 12 points apeice.
The sides were going try-for-try during the first half, and the strength of Dale Copley allowed him to get an offload away to Sharpe with multiple defenders smothering him. The crafty fullback, alike his first try, accelerated through a gap to score.
An offside penalty on the stroke of half-time gifted the Roos a shot at penalty goal, but the kick hit the upright and Wyong went into the sheds up 18-12 at half-time.
Both teams had an early opening chance but failed to capitalise, with a cruel bounce denying Jayden Nikorima a try, and Tyler Randell crossed the line but the lead-up pass was called forward.
Sharp continued his fantastic day out, setting up the first try of the second half by skipping around various defenders, and throwing a bullet pass for Josh Mantellato to stroll over untouched.
Newcastle had to score next, and the two experienced campaigners linked up for a try, with Randell summing up the situation by throwing a pass to Lachlan Fitzgibbon, who ran a perfect line to reduce the deficit to 22-18.
The Roos hit straight back thanks to two Roosters; a kick was put up and re-gathered by Wyong, before Carter put up a cross-field kick for Joseph Manu, who juggled the ball in the process of scoring but successfully planted the ball down.