Defending dual Ron Massey Cup Premiers Mounties showed that they were on track for an historic ‘three-peat’ when they demolished the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 52-4 in the ‘match of the round’ at Laybutt Fields, Blacktown last Sunday.
Blacktown got off to a great start when promoted winger Jayden Wharerau got the first try in the sixth minute to give the home side the lead.
After a tight first 20 minutes, Mounties then moved into their stride when centre Jake Steadman scored the visitors’ first try in the 22nd minute.
Opposite centre Josh Toole then scored four minutes later, before Mounties got two critical tries in the last five minutes of the first half through interchange half Dylan Izzard and winger Alofi Mataele to take a handy 22-4 lead into the half time break.
The brilliant Mounties backline then cut loose in the second half with devastating effect.
Interchange player Alec Susino opened the second half with his try just three minutes into the second stanza before Mataele completed his double five minutes later to kill the game off as a contest at 32-4.
The ruthless Mulga then went on with the job with further tries in the last 20 minutes to winger Shannon Chapman, and fullback John Kennedy while Steadmanm completed his double.
Mounties prop Rodney Coates then crashed over near the posts in the final minute to bring up the half century of points in another emphatic statement to the rest of the competition.
Hills District Bulls maintained their Top Two place with a solid 30-16 win over a disappointing Western Suburbs Magpies at Crestwood Reserve last Sunday.
With star recruit Feleti Mateo playing in the centres and Lebanese international Abbas Miski at five eighth in a reshuffled backline, the Bulls won the match with a powerful first half in attack.
Miski opened the scoring down the left in the sixth minute, before half Chad O’Donnell scored a good solo try from close range in the 15th minute to double the lead to 12-nil after Jayden Horo’s conversion.
Wide running back rower David Baumann scored from a Wests turnover 10 minutes before half time, then opposite centre Sean Walpole finished off a movement from a scrum in the last minute of the first half to give the Bulls a commanding 22-nil lead at the break.
A superb Mateo chip kick found winger Troy Black in the first set of six tackles to start the second half to virtually secure the win for the Bulls at 26-nil.
Wests finally got on the board six minutes into the second half when winger Joe Kaufusitua pounced on a Horo mistake from a ‘bomb’ to score the Magpies’ first try.
Wests winger Josh Davis then gave the Magpies hope of a miracle when he finished a backline movement to score in the corner for 26-10 with 15 minutes left.
That hope was finished when a Horo break sent Mateo away to score the sealer at 30-10 with six minutes to play. Former Blacktown Workers and Manly Intrust Super Premiership player Jerry Key got a consolation try for Wests from a penalty tap in the last minute to make the final score more respectable.
The much maligned Auburn Warriors returned to near their best form – and the Cup’s Top Eight – with an upset 34-26 win over the Guildford Owls at McCredie Park last Sunday.
It appeared ‘business as usual’ for the Owls in the first 20 minutes after the home side got the opening try through fullback Shane Hunt in the 13th minute.
After the tight first 20 minutes, new Warriors recruit in former Blacktown Workers and Manly ISP half Manaia Rudolph made an impact in his second game for his new club as he fired the Warriors’ attack – which included veteran ex-Canterbury NRL winger Matt Utai in yet another comeback – into gear.
Warriors lock Sia Tagaloa bagged a double in the space of six minutes to give Auburn the lead at 12-6, before Lebanese international prop Mitch Mamary barged over from close range seven minutes from half time to extend the visitors’ lead.
Enigmatic backrower Willis Meehan then finished off another Rudolph inspired play in the shadows of half time to give the Warriors a shock 24-6 lead at the break.
Guildford – fired up by coach Paul Fletcher at half time – started their comeback when Hunt completed his double five minutes into the second half before backrower Jarred Farlow got his first try five minutes later to get the Owls back to 24-14.
The match then became scrappy with more than it’s share of niggle in the middle stages of the second half – the Warriors taking advantage of the Owls’ ill discipline with Rudolph landing penalty goals in the 61st and 66th minutes to extend the Auburn lead to 28-14.
Warriors’ five eighth Tom Carr then scored the critical try with 12 minutes left to give the visitors their match winning 34-14 lead.
Guildford scored two late converted tries when Farlow completed his double and half Lazarus Brown scored with seven minutes left to get the Owls back to 34-26, but Auburn held on in the closing stages for their second win of the season – moving past Wests into eight spot.
Finally, the Wentworthville Magpies were too strong for the Concord-Burwood-Glebe Wolves 24-10 in their match at Leichhardt Oval last Saturday night.
In a tight and tough first half which included a scoreless first 20 minutes, Wenty winger James Gammidge got the first try for the Magpies in the 22nd minute and a 6-nil lead.
The Wolves – playing the second of their four home heritage matches in the Glebe ‘Dirty Reds’ jumpers – then struck back with a try to backrower Jacob McCudden before taking the lead with winger Harry O’Toole’s sixth try of the season five minutes from half time at 10-6 with Rhys’ Davies’ conversion.
The Magpies responded when NRL Rookie runner up Jordan Martin – playing fullback in a re-shaped backline – scored his try in the shadows of half time to give the vistors a 12-10 lead at the break thanks to Jake Walsh’s conversion.
In a grinding and at times scrappy second half, Wenty took their chances when they presented themselves.
First, five-eighth Zac Nicholls finished an attack to score 15 minutes into the second half for an 18-10 lead after Walsh converted.
After the Wolves had chances in the last 20 minutes, Wenty centre Ethan Tangira scored the match winner with four minutes left to keep Wenty’s place secure inside the Cup’s Top Four with Walsh’s last conversion of the night.
St Marys and Cabramatta had byes – with the Saints’ bye and superior percenatage keeping them on top of the table ahead of the Bulls on 20 points each. Wentworthville are third on 18, with Mounties dangerously moving into fourth place on 16 points ahead of Blacktown (also 16) on percentage. Cabramatta are still at the bottom of the ladder with eight points despite their bye.
This weekend in a reduced round, Mounties take on Cabramatta at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday at 1pm as the main curtain raiser to the ISP blockbuster between Mounties and Wyong, before the Auburn Warriors put their new found form to the test against St Marys at St Marys Leagues Stadium on Sunday at 4pm.