WEEK THAT WAS | Ron Massey Cup Round 11
Ron Massey Cup pace-setters St Marys Saints again showed why they are contenders for the title when they demolished the Wentworthville Magpies 50-10 in the ‘match of the round’ at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
The Magpies got off to a perfect start when hooker Blake Cook got the first try for Wenty in the third minute – but that was the only time the home side led in the match.
Freakish winger Maika Sivo got his first try to level scores five minutes later to start the Saints’ onslaught, with opposite winger Ratu Tuisese scoring in the opposite corner in the 15th minute to give the visitors the lead.
Saints prop Tom Romer extended the lead eight minutes later before Cook got a second try 10 minutes from half time to keep Wenty in touch.
Saints fullback Mason Cerruto then got his first try in the shadows of half time to again extend the lead, before half Adrian Davis landed a penalty goal on the half time siren to give the visitors a comfortable 22-10 half time lead.
The second half became a procession as the potent Saints backline flexed its muscle.
Sivo got his second try seven minutes into the second stanza before returning Cook Islands international centre Geoff Daniela’s try eight minutes later virtually decided the match at 34-10.
St Marys hooker Soni Luke scored from close range before Sivo completed his second hat trick for the season and Cerruto his double with seven minutes left to bring up the Saints’ half century to complete the Mother’s Day massacre on the scoreboard.
Sivo’s hat trick consolidated the Fijian flyer as the leading try scorer in the Massey Cup this season with 15 tries in just eight games played.
A second try to half Chad O’Donnell with five minutes left clinched the Hills District Bulls a 22-18 win over a gallant Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Laybutt Fields last Sunday to join St Marys at the top of the Cup table.
Smarting from their hiding from Mounties the previous week, the Bulls started the match on fire with an early attacking blitz to put the home side on the back foot.
O’Donnell opened the scoring with his first try in the seventh minute, before wide running back rower David Baumann and stand in five eighth Sean Walpole crossed for early tires to give the Bulls a blazing 16-nil lead after just 20 minutes.
Blacktown then steadied after the early onslaught when winger Chris Aunese-Scanlon scored five minutes from half time to be only down 16-6 at the break with Barry Ruttley’s conversion.
Ruttley then continued the comeback when he got the first try of the second half in the 45th minute to get the home side to within six points.
As both sides then settled into the arm wrestle that developed in the second half, Blacktown then took their chances when flying winger Shaun Fitzgerald finished off successive movements for a double in the right corner to give the home side a remarkable comeback lead at 18-16 with seven minutes left.
Critically, Ruttley missed all his difficult conversions in the second half – and that along with a turnover with five minutes left opened the door for the Bulls.
O’Donnell’s second try following on from the turnover and conversion by interchange half James Boustani regained the lead for the Bulls with under five minutes left.
The Bulls then held on in the face of the last Blacktown attack to clinch the two competition points.
Inspired by playing in the Glebe colours for the first appearance of the ‘Dirty Reds’ jumper at senior level league in 88 years, the Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves secured a badly needed 24-16 win over Western Suburbs at Leichhardt Oval last Saturday.
The Wolves opened the scoring for the good crowd that supported the return of the ‘Dirty Reds’ when winger Latrell Schaumkel scored in the seventh minute.
Wests winger Christian Yassmin bagged a double in the space of four minutes – first out of dummy half in the corner and then from a Veiru Mapesone pass down the right – to put the Magpies up 10-4.
Mapesone then landed a penalty goal for obstruction 10 minutes from half time to have Wests playing the role of ‘party pooper’ to a tee as they held a 12-4 lead at the break.
The Wolves opened the second half scoring just two minutes into the second stanza when after a spilt bomb by Wests fullback Tom Capper, Wolves hooker Jackson Garlick coasted over from dummy half on the next set.
Former Mounties winger Jake Horton then regained the lead for the Wolves with his try down the right 10 minutes later, before hardworking Wests backrower David Harris snatched the lead back for the Magpies with 15 minutes left when he strolled through poor Wolves defence to score.
Wolves backrower Jacob McCudden then created the turning point of the game when carried defenders over the line to score from a scrum win with 10 minutes left to give the home side the lead again at 18-16.
One last Wests turnover in the frantic closing minutes was enough for Schaumkel to score his second try with three minutes left to secure the first win for the “Dirty Reds” jumper since 1929 – whilst snapping a three game losing streak for the Wolves.
Finally, Cabramatta finally scored their first win for the Ron Massey Cup season after eight straight losses when they toppled a disappointing Auburn Warrios 44-30 in a high scoring tryfest at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday.
Talismanic former Manly NYC centre Addison Demetriou returned for the Warriors to score the first try in the first set of six tackles of the match – only to be countered in reply by Two Blues half Nesiasi Mataitonga just two minutes later to set the tone for the match.
Both teams went try for try as defence was wanting on both sides – Cabra winger Tyla Tamou gave the Two Blues the lead, only for Demetriou to reply with his second try in the 20th minute.
Cabra backrower Tenisio Ahovelo then got his first try to regain the lead for the visitors before Tamou completed a first half double to extend the Two Blues lead to eight points late in the first half.
Demetriou then showed his individual class to complete a first half hat trick in the shadows of half time to cut the Cabramatta lead back to 20-18 at the break.
The Two Blues then won the match with close to their best 20 minutes of the season to start the second half.
Fellow backrower Tesi Taliauli got the first try of the second half in Cabra’s first set in possession, before Ahovelo capped his best game of the season with his second and third tries to complete his hat trick to establish a commanding 38-18 lead by the 55th minute.
Cabra interchange player Matt Tomkins then completed another attacking raid through a disinterested defence to have the visitors home and hosed at 44-18 with 20 minutes left.
Auburn did come back with a couple of late tries in the last 10 minutes - to former Manly and Blacktown Workers Intrust Super Premiership half Manaia Rudolph in his second game for the Warriors with 10 minutes left, before winger Adham El-Zbaidieh scored in the corner in the last minute.
Guildford and Mounties had weekend byes.
St Marys and the Bulls lead the Cup table on 18 points ahead of Blacktown and Wentworthville on 16 and Mounites looming large on 14 points.
Cabramatta are still at the bottom of the table on six points despite their win last Saturday.
This weekend sees another full round of four matches – starting with the Wolves playing the second of their heritage games in the Glebe ‘Dirty Reds’ jumpers against Wentworthville at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday Night at 6:30pm.
The pick of Sunday’s three games sees the Blacktown Workers face their stiffest test of the season against Mounties at Laybutt Fields, Blacktown at 3pm.