A clinical first half from the Wyong Roos that saw seven tries set the platform for a massive 48-14 win over Illawarra, bouncing back from their first loss of the season last week.
Illawarra’s goal line defence uncharacteristically showed little resistance in the first half, but to their credit they were able to put together a much improved second period.
It was a real team effort from the Roos, with Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Chris Centrone and Paul Momirovski constantly starting their set on the front foot with strong returns, and the forwards dominating up the middle. The class of Mitch Cornish and Jayden Nikorima were the reason the Roos were able to convert so many chances into points, with the side putting in one of their most complete performances of the season.
The game started in horrible fashion for Wyong when the kick off bounce was cruel to Nikorima and he watched it pass him to the dead-ball line. The Roos recovered from this error, however, and scored off the back of a penalty when Mitch Cornish put Brock Gray through a hole.
An amazing piece of play followed off the kick off, when Matthew Ikuvalu made a dash down the left sideline, and found Nikorima lingering in support to score an incredible try.
The Roos then made another error off the kick off, but again were able to defend that error, before eventually marching up-field to score their third try of the game through Chris Smith, extending their lead to 14-0.
A series of penalties allowed Wyong back into attacking field position, and they once again capitalised when Momirovski spun out of two tackles to score. Unfortunately for the Roos, windy conditions had a negative impact on goal kicking, and that try only increased their lead to 18-0 despite having scored four tries.
Points dried up for 10 minutes, and Illawarra looked the team most likely to score in this period, but the Roos defence once again were too strong.
Eventually, Centrone extended the after a strong set by the Roos that saw then travel from try-line to try-line, before doing the exact same thing off the kick-off set with Centrone scoring his second try in three minutes to extend their lead to 26-0.
A dominant first half was capped with under a minute remaining, when Liam Knight charged onto a short ball to duck under the defence and score a barge-over try.
Wyong kicked off where they ended the first half thanks to the pure class of Cornish, who delivered a brilliant double-pump on a plate for Gray to crash over for his second try.
It was going to take a special effort to crash the Roos’ defensive line, and Josh Kerr stepped up to deliver the goods. He bumped his way through various defenders in his 40-metre raid, even selling a dummy before pinning the ears back and scoring a long-range try.
The dazzling feet of Nikorima came at Illawarra’s peril in the 55th minute, as he stepped off both feet to dance his way around the opposition, stretch out and score a brilliant try.
Illawarra were next to score thanks to a barge-over effort from Blake Laurie, before a Mitch Cornish picked up the scraps and ran the length of the field for a try against the run of play.
A beautiful short ball at pace from Tyrone McCarthy put Chris Lewis through a hole, and he charged towards the right corner to make the final score 48-14.