Last-Minute Try Seals Asquith Win
A last-minute try from Asquith Magpies fullback Braeden Batiste sealed a heart-stopping 29-23 win over the St Marys Saints at Storey Park last Sunday.
In a see-sawing contest, the Magpies led 10-0 after just 10 minutes thanks to early tries from Josh Fraser and Jesse Martin, before being reeled in by the Saints with brilliant tries to Robert Vai and Blake McDermott.
Amanaki Veamatahau (formerly Amanaki Manu) scored three minutes from the break to give Asquith a 16-10 lead, before Saints winger Sam Smith miraculously scored in the corner from a Chad O’Donnell cross kick on the stroke of half-time to cut the lead back to 16-14.
Saints back-rower Sarafu Fatiaki finished off good work from O’Donnell, Vai and half Lazarus Brown to give the Saints the lead for the first time 10 minutes into the second half, before a barging try from prop Will Solway regained the lead for the Magpies at 22-20 with 20 minutes left.
An O’Donnell penalty goal with 10 minutes to play levelled the scores. Then both teams traded field goals in the closing stages to again lock the game up before Batiste’s last-gasp winning try.
Pickering Brilliance Seals Sea Eagles Victory
A devastating 15 minutes of brilliance from Jake Pickering lifted the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles back from the dead to beat Western Suburbs 38-28 in the match played at Campbelltown Sports Stadium last Saturday.
After Peter Schuster and Leva Li got early tries to give Blacktown an 8-0 lead, the Magpies then took control. Quick tries late in the first half from Luke Williams, Kilifi Tia-Kilifi and Pulonga Kavaefiafi gave Wests a 16-8 lead at half-time.
Despite Veiru Mapesone getting his first try for the visitors early in the second half, Western Suburbs looked to be cruising to victory when Inno Inosesio and David Minute scored to give the Magpies a commanding 28-14 lead.
Pickering then cut loose in remarkable fashion to show why he has been one of the standout players at Sydney Shield level for the Asquith Magpies and the now-defunct Peninsula Seagulls in recent years.
In the closing 15 minutes, Pickering – playing a roving commission between half and fullback – completed a hat-trick of tries himself and laid on Mapesone’s second try to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against a shell-shocked Magpies defence. Pickering’s third try with four minutes left completed the stunning 38-28 win.
Wentworthville Hold on Against Cabramatta
Defending Premiers Wentworthville opened their account for the year when they held on to defeat a fast-finishing Cabramatta side 32-22 at New Era Stadium.
The Magpies dominated the first 50 minutes, with an early Atini Gafa double and tries to Josh Tangitau and Zac Nicholls giving Wentworthville a 22-0 half-time lead.
It appeared to be a case of ‘how far Wenty’ when Lebanese World Cup international Nick Kassis crashed over to give the Magpies a 28-0 lead five minutes into the second half.
Then came the Cabramatta comeback. As the Magpies again repeated the second half staggers that saw them go down to Hills District Bulls in Round 1, the Two Blues stormed back four tries in 14 minutes.
A double to Falakiko Manu along with tries to Paul Simona and veteran Don Thompson dragged the deficit back to 28-22 with 15 minutes to complete the miracle comeback.
The Magpies then steadied with two Beau Henry penalty goals in the last 10 minutes enough to secure their first win of the season – denying new Cabramatta coach Chris Yates a first win against the club he took to the Ron Massey Cup title last year.
Mounties Cruise to Crestwood Win
Last Sunday’s other two Massey Cup games saw convincing scorelines.
Mounties pocketed their first win of the season when they overpowered the Hills District Bulls in the second half to win 32-12 at Crestwood Reserve last Sunday.
The opening 40 minutes were tight as both forward packs battled for the advantage – with an early try by Mounties’ Josh Saunders-Jones cancelled out Tim Christie’s try for the Bulls to have half-time scores locked at 6-all.
Mounties then asserted their authority in the second half from the time Maile Li got the opening try three minutes into the second stanza.
A double from Jordan Martin blew the game open in Mounties’ favour midway through the second half before tries from Roman Ioelu and Mitch Calahane made sure of the win. Rhys Walpole got a late consolation try to add some respectability to the final score for the Bulls.
Brothers Remain Winless after Owls Swoop
Finally, newcomers Penrith Brothers suffered their second heavy defeat in two starts when the Guildford Owls easily disposed them 54-12 at Hickeys Lane, Penrith last Sunday.
The Owls then flexed their muscle on the back of strong performances from ex-NRL recruits Taniela Lasalo and Josh Lewis to take control of the match.
With former Roosters/Gold Coast/Toulouse half Lewis pulling the strings, the Owls got first-half tires to Daniel Lotu, ex-Parramatta forward Matt Ryan, Alec Bush, Jayden Wheelhouse and Lewis himself for a 28-0 lead at the break.
The Owls then went on with the job in the second half with Wheelhouse and Latu completing doubles, with further tries to new recruit Dominic Reardon, Brandon Sly and the evergreen Harmony Hunt bringing up the half century of points for the visitors.
Brothers centre Troy Bendell got an historic first-ever Ron Massey Cup try for the home side, before skipper Gray Viane got a late consolation try for the Brethren to at least get the final score to double figures.
Glebe-Burwood made the most of their bye with a 40-10 thrashing of Newcastle Premiers Macquarie Scorpions in their NSWRL Challenge Cup match at Dora Creek last Saturday.
Guildford and Glebe-Burwood are the only sides on four points after two rounds, with Asquith the only other unbeaten team one point behind in third spot. Penrith Brothers are the only team with no points after two rounds.
This weekend’s Round 3 play sees three games on Saturday and two matches on Sunday – with Saturday’s games between Cabramatta against Mounties and St Marys against Blacktown Workers, along with Sunday’s clash between Wentworthville and Guildford being the pick of the action.
Tony and HHH FM cover the Ron Massey Cup and the Sydney Shield each weekend – this weekend they are at Storey Park on Sunday for the Asquith v Hills District Bulls games from 1pm (Sydney Shield) and 3pm (Ron Massey Cup). They will be followed by the Belrose v East Campbelltown Sydney Shield replay at 7pm on Sunday night – on 100.1FM or at www.triplehfm.com.au.