WEEK THAT WAS | Ron Massey Cup Round 9

A remarkable point-a-minute second half saw the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles sweep aside the Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves 48-20 in the Ron Massey Cup match played at Laybutt Fields, Blacktown last Sunday.

In the only Cup match played last weekend, the Wolves started the match strongly when five eighth Rhys Davies opened the scoring with the first try of the game in the seventh minute.

Wolves half Ryan Millard extended the lead to 10-nil when he scored in the 17th minute, before Blacktown fullback Ray Lesoa got the first of his two tries 11 minutes from half time to get the home side on the board.

Wolves winger Harry O’Toole finished a right sided movement in the corner six minutes from the break to extend the visitors’ lead to 14-4, before the Workers / Sea Eagles responded when Lesoa completed a first half double on the stroke of half time – leaving the Wolves in front 14-8 at the break.

The Wolves looked to be almost home when lock Nathan Leatigaga scored in the visitors’ first set of six to start the second half to extend the lead out to 20-8 with Davies’ conversion.

What happened for the rest of the second half was nothing short of remarkable.

In one of the most devastating last 30 minutes that will be played in any grade of rugby league this year, Blacktown posted six unanswered tries in just 29 minutes to blow the game – and the Wolves – away.

Winger Shaun Fitzgerald started the sequence in the 51st minute, before interchange player Shane Kiel got Blacktown to within two points with his try four minutes later.

Quality hooker turned half back Kurt Aldridge then put Blacktown ahead for the first time with his try mid way through the second half.

Blacktown five eighth Barry Ruttley then completed a double in the space of eight minutes either side of a Kyle Eather penalty goal with 10 minutes to play.

After Ruttley’s second try virtually decided the match with seven minutes left, Fitzgerald put the finishing touches to an extraordinary second half with his second try right on fulltime to finish the Blacktown victory over the shellshocked Wolves outfit.

The other Ron Massey Cup match set down for last weekend between the Auburn Warriors and the Western Suburbs Magpies at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday was postponed for a second time this season – this time after the venue suffered appalling vandalism overnight last Friday night.

Match and club officials arrived at Lidcombe last Saturday to find that somehow vandals managed to drive on to the arena at some point during the night last Friday.

The vandals then appeared to have ripped up the playing surface by creating deep craters and holes through driving around in increasing short circles at high speed – commonly known as performing ‘donuts’ or ‘burnouts’ in the vernacular.

The end result was that there was no alternative but to postpone the fixture again – after rain washed out the match when originally scheduled in Round Three back on March 18.

Another date for the match to be played is yet to be determined.

Blacktown’s win keeps them in the Top Four alongside St Marys, Mounties and Wentworthville after the weekend concluded.  Cabramatta – who got their first points for the year with a weekend bye – remain bottom of the Cup ladder with two points.

Western Suburbs officials are currently working with Auburn Council ground staff and NSWRL competition management to ensure that the Lidcombe Oval surface is repaired in time to host the Magpies’ biggest home games of the year - the annual “Back to Lidcombe” day against the powerful St Marys Saints in both Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield this Saturday.

At time of this report going to press, the matches were still going ahead as scheduled – at Lidcombe – this Saturday.

The other two Ron Massey Cup games this weekend are set down for Sunday at 3pm to complete the only first class league in Sydney this weekend – when Wentworthville play Guildford at Ringrose Park and Hills District Bulls take on Mounties at Crestwood Reserve.

The Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield develop Rugby League talent in NSW – click here for the latest on these open-age NSWRL competitions.