The Wyong Roos have made a strong statement this evening by accounting for the North Sydney Bears by 34-6 at North Sydney Oval in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.
Despite a strong show of support from the Bears faithful at the club’s spiritual home, a dominant performance by Roos five-eighth, Jayden Nikorima, saw the playmaker kick seven goals from seven attempts, while Connor Watson and Chris Centrone both grabbed try-scoring doubles to help their side to a convincing victory.
The Roos snared first points in part thanks to a penalty against the Bears for hands in the ruck that eventually led to a repeat set for Wyong. With the Bears desperately defending their own line, Nikorima threw a pass out to fullback Watson, who crashed over out wide. Nikorima added the extras to make it 6-0 in favour of the Roos after 10 minutes.
Another penalty to Wyong shortly afterwards would see the visitors again have a throw of the dice inside Norths’ 20-metre line. But while the Roos continued to look dangerous with the ball in hand, the home-side’s defence would hold strong.
With 25 minutes gone, Nikorima chanced his hand with a beautiful chip over the top in centre-field before regathering on the first bounce, only to be taken down 20 metres short of the line. But while the Bears were able to scramble to diffuse the situation, Nikorima would add an extra two points to his team’s score-card not long afterwards when a penalty was blown right in front of the sticks, bringing the score to 8-0 with 12 minutes left in the opening stanza.
The Bears looked to strike back when they received two penalties in quick succession inside the Roos’ 10 metre line shortly before half-time, but despite multiple promising attacking raids, Norths were unable to finish — the Roos heading into the sheds with an eight point advantage.
On the resumption, the Bears were seemingly through inside the first minute of play when Jamal Hunt broke through and only had to put the ball down. But the play was called back by the referee on the grounds of an obstruction earlier in the piece.
But it would again be the Roos who would draw blood with another penalty goal to Nikorima before an energetic run from Brendan Santi saw the back-rower crash over from close-range. Nikorima again converted from out wide to make it 16-0.
The Roos would pick up where they left off from their very next set, when Nikorima’s final-tackle bomb wasn’t diffused by the Bears, allowing Watson to race through and grab his second. Nikorima was again on song with the boot, putting the visitors 22 points clear.
The try would briefly spark Norths into action — the Bears upping the tempo in attack with some strong charges close to the line. But the Roos were unperturbed, repelling wave after wave of red and black attack.
Wyong would then turn defence into attack when Watson broke clean through the Bears defence — the fullback sprinting some 40 metres before throwing on overhead pass back inside to Chris Centrone who strolled over to score. Nikorima made it six from six with the boot to make it 28-0.
With eight minutes in the match remaining, a slick backline movement saw Centrone finish up with his second of the night before Nikorima kept his goal-kicking record intact at seven from seven despite hitting the upright in his attempt.
Norths would desperately try to open their scoring account late in the game, and would finally come up with a consolation try through Tautalatasi Tasi on the stroke of full-time — the winger racing over in the corner to touch down. Eli Levido converted from the touch-line to bring the final score to 34-6 in favour of the Roos.