Roos Avoid Upset With Late Surge
The Wyong Roos have have put together a clinical second-half performance, claiming a 42-22 victory over a valiant Wests Tigers outfit at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After posting back-to-back tries in the opening five minutes, the Roos let slip an early lead with the Tigers fighting back to earn an 18-all scoreline at the break, but the ladder leaders showed their class in the second 40 to continue their undefeated winning streak.
Roos fullback Luke Sharpe was instrumental in the victory with a two-try performance, while Justin Toomey-White proved threatening with the ball in hand while scoring a try of his own.
Halfback Jordan Rankin put in a classy performance for the Tigers with his crafty kicking game, and worked well with back-rower Joel Edwards who crossed for two first-half tries.
The Roos opened their account with some strong carries from Nat Butcher and Eloni Vunakece laying a strong platform, and a spiralling bomb was unable to be defused and eventually landed in the arms of Matt Ikuvalu who crossed for their first try of the afternoon.
Their momentum couldn’t be halted from the following kick-off with an early offload allowing for some open space for Justin Toomey-White, with the front-rower steaming down the left hand side and evading the fullback to score back-to-back tries.
Jeremy Marshall-King was proving to be a significant threat for the Tigers with some evasive runs from dummy-half, and it wasn't long before they reaped the rewards with Watson Heleta scoring their first try following a well-executed backline movement.
An array of ill-discipline from the Roos, including the kick-off going out on the full, invited the Tigers straight back into the contest with Joel Edwards taking full advantage and barging his way over for their second unanswered try.
Despite some defensive lapses following their strong start, the Roos hit back in style with dynamic fullback Luke Sharpe bursting through the Tigers defence before streaking away from his counterpart to score in the left hand corner.
Josh Mantellato kept hold of his perfect kicking record with a brilliant sideline conversion to take a 18-12 advantage with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Tigers continued to fight hard with Jordan Rankin as he controlled the game with some classy kicking that earned valuable field position, and they soon found themselves level again as Joel Edwards crossed for his second try.
The closing exchanges of the opening half were hotly contested as both sides look to find a vital half-time lead, but their respective defensive efforts were enough to keep an 18-all scoreline.
The Tigers started the second half in perfect style with Malakai Waltene-Zelezniak scoring off another classy backline movement to claim an early lead, before their committed goal-line defence also proved too strong for the Roos.
Another spiralling bomb from Cornish continued to cause havoc for the Tigers back three, with the Roos pouncing on the loose ball and sending it wide to Mantellato to score a much-needed try.
Mantellato converted his own try right from the sideline, recapturing the lead for the first time since the opening 10 minutes of the contest.
The Tigers showed their resilience with some barnstorming runs up the middle third, but the Roos found their groove in defence and managed to hold out a host of attacking raids.
Brimming with confidence, the Roos found some eventual momentum and responded with some brilliant runs of their own, and a brilliant offload found Grant Garvey who brushed off a host of would-be defenders to score a crucial try to the left of the uprights.
The Tigers were shades of the team that started the match with consistent handling errors ruining their chances of a potential comeback, and the Roos wasted little time in sealing the game as Luke Sharpe capped off a brilliant individual performance when he burst onto an inside ball to score his second try of the game.
The Roos put the icing on the cake with Jake Lewis crashing over in the final two minutes, running away with a strong 42-22 victory to hold their lead on top of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder.
Wyong Roos 42 (L Sharpe 2, M Ikuvalu, J Toomey-White, J Mantellato, G Garvey, J Lewis tries; J Mantellato 7 goals) def Wests Tigers 22 (J Edwards 2, W Heleta, M Watene-Zelezniak tries; J Rankin 3 goals)