The St Marys Saints sent out a warning signal to the rest of the Ron Massey Cup competition when they easily disposed of the Hills District Bulls 42-16 at St Marys Leagues Stadium last Saturday evening.
The Saints’ handsome victory was set up by a devastating first 40 minutes of attack against a nonplussed Bulls defence.
First, classy half Adrian Davis directed the Saints’ attack down their left side to produce tries for winger John Tuliatu and back rower Joe Vaegaau to give the home side a 10-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes.
Bulls skipper Tim Robinson barged over from close range to get the Bulls back in touch at 10-6, before the Saints really went to work.
Tuliatu completed his double in the 20th minute before the men in green switched their attack to the right hand side for the rest of the half with equally effective results.
With Liam Coleman – son of 1980s and 1990s Souths and Wests half Craig Coleman – pulling the strings, the Saints posted three more tries before the break to put the Bulls to the sword.
First came a double from try scoring freak Maika Sivo before a Coleman short ball and Vaegaau break sent former Wests Tigers and Penrith NRL centre Geoff Daniela over on the stroke of half-time to have the Saints in command with a 32-6 lead at the break.
The second half became a scrappy affair with plenty of dropped ball before the Bulls mounted a comeback of sorts through tries to Jamal Hunt and Danyon Barnes to bring the scores back to 32-16.
The Saints then steadied when hooker Soni Luke dummied over from acting half, before Sivo completed his first hat-trick in bottle green colours – following his off-season move from Mounties – four minutes from time to complete the easy win.
The Western Suburbs Magpies completed their first win for the season when they ground out a 28-12 win over the Cabramatta Two Blues at Campbelltown Stadium last Saturday.
In a contest that was a real arm wrestle for long periods, the deadlock was finally broken in the 24th minute when Josh Davis finished a Brendan Waters and Jerome Mose move to score.
Brent Anderson finished off a replying move down the left eight minutes from half-time to have scores locked up at 6-6 at the break.
As was the case at St Marys, the second half started with more than a fair share of dropped ball before a well worked second man play from a Wests scrum win saw winger Jayden Wheelhouse finish off good work from Tala Mapesone to score and regain the lead for the Magpies.
A scything break from Cabra half Brendan Cox sent Nesiasi Mataitonga away to score for a grandstand finish at 12-12 with 20 minutes left.
A Mapesone intercept and 55 metre dash to score with under 15 minutes left was the turning point to give the Magpies the lead for one last decisive time.
Davis then scored his second try to break the game Wests’ way – after what appeared to be a knock on in the tackle before the try – at 22-12 with 10 minutes left.
A sin binning for dissent with five minutes left finished the Two Blues’ chances, before David Harris completed the scoring for Wests against the 12-man Cabramatta defence in the final minute to make sure of the two competition points.
The Mounties match against Concord Burwood Glebe at Aubrey Keech Reserve and the Guildford clash with Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles were both postponed after Sydney’s ‘big wet’ continued last week.
Wentworthville and the Auburn Warriors enjoyed byes.
St Marys’ big win sees them join the Bulls and Blacktown as equal leader on six points, while Cabramatta are now the only team with no competition points at the bottom of the table.
Four matches are scheduled – weather permitting – this Saturday to complete Round Five action. The Bulls travel to Lidcombe Oval to take on Auburn in the pick of an even round of fixtures.