Round 11 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW was fuelled with some hotly-contested battles heading into the first bye period, kicking off with a remarkable 30-all draw between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Wyong Roos. The close battles didn't stop there as Mounties hosted the Wests Tigers, eventually claiming a much-needed 20-18 victory at home to maintain their position in the top four. The Newtown Jets fell short in a high-scoring affair with Illawarra, going down 34-38 in an exciting contest that saw 13 tries scored between to the two sides. The biggest win of the weekend was earned by the Penrith Panthers, who travelled to Newcastle to battle the Knights, and came away with a valuable 44-18 victory to maintain their position in the top eight. The Warriors also came away with a gutsy 20-18 victory over the Wentworthville Magpies at Ringrose Park, while the upset of the round went to the Blacktown Workers, who recorded a 22-6 win and hand the North Sydney Bears their second consecutive defeat in as many weeks.
In the opening game of the round, the Bulldogs and Roos battled out a physical game of Rugby League with the scoreboard reflecting an evenly-fought contest. Despite sharing the competition points at full-time, the Bulldogs maintained a majority of possession with 57 per cent, but didn’t make the most of their opportunities after completing at just 67 per cent.
North Sydney Bears back-rower Cameron Murray put in a starring performance defensively in a losing side, working hard in defence with 42 tackles, followed closely by Magpies front-rower Alex Twal with 40. Illawarra proved to be most dominant with the ball-in-hand with seven tries scored on the weekend, but can thank their barnstorming forward-pack for their momentum swings as they ran for a round-high 1,644 metres - led by Tyrone McCarthy and Blake Lawrie who ran for 151 and 147 metres respectively.
Despite running away with a two-point victory over the Wests Tigers, Mounties will be looking for a much-improved defensive performance over the next few weeks after they recorded the most missed tackles with a whopping 42. Despite worrying signs for last year’s grand finalists, who also completed at just 67 per cent, they able to were able to record their seventh win of the season.
The upset of the round was certainly at North Sydney Oval, with the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles bouncing back from a big defeat to Wyong to trounce the North Sydney Bears 22-6. Although an improved performance, the Bears will be kicking their heels after completing at just 49% and rarely threatening the defensive line.
Despite a poor performance from Ben Gardiner’s men, Blacktown can take significant confidence from their defensive efforts and hefty work from their forwards, with Lloyd Perrett leading the way with 182 running metres and 29 tackles.
View the full stats reports from each of the games below and stay tuned for the Round 10 Team of the Week, to be released on NSWRL.com.au later in the week.