Round 15 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW saw a host of teams enjoy a lengthy layoff over the bye period, but it wasn’t short of Rugby League action with three high-quality games taking place over the weekend. The Wests Tigers' poor season continued as they were dominated by a well-drilled Wentworthville Magpies outfit 40-14, while defending premiers Illawarra let slip an early lead to go down 32-16 to the Wyong Roos. Newtown and Blacktown finished Round 15 on Saturday afternoon at Henson Park, with the Sea Eagles too strong for the Jets as they ran away with a strong 42-18 victory.
The Wests Tigers put in a valiant performance in the opening 40 minutes of their own but were unable to hold on in the second half as Wentworthville showcased their attacking prowess. While the Magpies maintained their fair share of possession with 53 per cent, they completed at just 64 per cent but were able to capitalise on their limited chances. In comparison, the Tigers completed at a remarkable 87 per cent, however crossed for just three tries in a disappointing performance.
The most eye-catching statistic that highlights the Magpies' dominance was the significant difference in running metres. Wentworthville clocked 1,750 metres, lead by Honeti Tuha (204) and Atini Gafa (170), compared to the Wests Tigers' 1,226 metres that saw just one forward run more than 100 metres (Junior Tatola, 118).
Illawarra got out to an early 12-0 with tries to Matt Dufty and Reuben Garrick, however the Roos got into the grind of the contest and hit back with two quick tries of their own. The Roos enjoyed a majority of possession with 55% and took advantage of their chances as they crossed for five tries, but will be most satisfied with their starting forward pack who all ran for more than 100 metres each.
Illawarra will be disappointed with the result considering they completed at just 74 per cent and will look to be more threatening the ball in hand as they broke the line on just three occasions. Defensively, Illawarra made 80 more tackles than their opposition, with the defensive efforts largely thanks to Luciano Leilua and Will Matthews who made 45 and 37 tackles respectively.
The Newtown Jets hosted the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in the hope of cementing eighth position on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder, however were unable to put in a complete 80-minute performance. Despite completing at 77 per cent and holding 51% per cent of possession, they were unable to take advantage of their opportunities and broke the line just four times in comparison to the Sea Eagles' 10 line-breaks.
Kurt Dillon put in an outstanding performance in a losing side, crossing for an early try before having a hand in another, and also running for over 150 metres and making 24 tackles.
The Sea Eagles completely dominated the contest with their forwards contributing significantly to their 1,642 running metres, but will be looking for a more disciplined performance in the coming weeks as they conceded seven penalties.
Jamil Hopoate put in a starring 80-minute performance once again, amassing 174 running metres and recording a round-high 45 tackles to go with a four-pointer of his own.
View the full stats reports from each of the games below - and check out the Round 15 Team of the Week.