Last-Minute Field Goal Seals Saints Win
A 42-metre field goal from Ron Massey Cup representative five-eighth Chad O'Donnell with two minutes left sealed a heart-stopping 21-20 win for the St Marys Saints over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at St Marys Leagues Stadium last Saturday evening.
In an exciting match, the Saints got off to a dream start when the visitors dropped the kick-off and back-rower Joe Vaegaau scored in the first set of the match for a 6-0 lead after 90 seconds.
Blacktown responded quickly when Shaun Fitzgerald scored in the ninth minute, before a double from Maliko Filino later in the first half gave the visitors a 14-6 lead. Saints winger Blake McDermott scored in the corner in the shadows of half-time to cut the Blacktown lead back to 14-10 at the break.
When mercurial fullback Jake Pickering scored off a Veiru Mapesone break in the 52nd minute, the Sea Eagles were in control leading 20-10. Then came St Marys' winning comeback in the last 20 minutes – feeding off critical Blacktown errors.
Halfback Lazarus Brown picked up a loose ball from a Fitzgerald mistake running the ball out from his own goal line with 20 minutes left to cut the Blacktown lead to four.
In a tense final five minutes, a turnover from Blacktown winger Peter Schuster saw Saints interchange hooker/half Peter Nay score in the corner to level the scores in the 76th minute.
The Saints then worked play from the restart set close enough for O'Donnell to nail the long-range winning field goal in the closing stages.
Cabramatta, Mounties can't be Split
The Cabramatta Two Blues and Mounties fought out an 16-all draw in their match at New Era Stadium last Saturday – the second draw in the first three rounds of this year's Ron Massey Cup.
The Mulga started the game strongly with an early converted try to evergreen centre Shannon Chapman, before Mitch Kennedy had a try disallowed when the last pass from Maurice Kennedy was ruled forward.
The Two Blues made the most of the let-off by dominating the middle period of the first half with converted tries from Michael Morgan and Shane Kiel, before a Jake Butfield penalty goal gave Cabra a 14-6 lead eight minutes from half-time.
The key moment of the match then came three minutes later when Two Blues fullback Don Thompson was sin-binned. Mounties made the most of Thompson's absence when Jordan Martin scored from the penalty set.
Then, an audacious Mounties kick from an optional 20-metre restart as the half-time siren sounded saw Alofi Mataele regather the ball against the nonplussed cover defence to race away and score in the corner – locking the game up at 14-all at the break.
The second half was a tighter arm wrestle, with neither side able to break through their opposing defensive line. After Mounties turned down a kickable penalty with 20 minutes left only to drop the ball from the tap kick, Butfield put Cabramatta in front with his second penalty goal with eight minutes later.
Maurice Kennedy then replied with a penalty goal for Mounties with five minutes left to force the draw.
Guildford maintained their unbeaten record when they held off a late charge from defending premiers Wentworthville to win 24-20 in the match at Ringrose Park last Sunday.
In a tight first half, the Owls started well with an early try to former Parramatta NRL prop Taniela Lasalo for a 6-0 lead with Josh Lewis' conversion, before the Magpies came back after sustained attack with a try from winger Nick Walker five minutes from half-time to cut the Guildford lead to 6-4 at the break.
The Owls then ground their way on top in the early to middle stages of the second half as Lewis again used his NRL experience at the Roosters and Titans to full advantage.
Interchange player Aaron Grech crossed in the 47th minute, before back-rower Jake Ferguson and centre Josh Camroux scored to have the Owls in control with a 22-4 lead. Camroux then landed a penalty goal with 13 minutes left to extend the Guildford lead to 24-4.
Wentworthville started their late comeback when Blake Cook scored wide out with seven minutes left, before perennial Magpies try-scorer Jack Miller got his first major of the year three minutes later. Josh Minhinnick got the last try in the final minute without time for a restart after Beau Henry's conversion – giving Guildford the final 24-20 scoreline.
Big First Half Sets up Asquith win
An unanswered five-try, first-half blitz paved the way for the Asquith Magpies to defeat the Hills District Bulls 36-12 in their match at Storey Park last Sunday.
As they did the previous week against St Marys, the Magpies started strongly – leading 12-0 after just 10 minutes thanks to early converted tries from Josh Fraser and Braeden Batiste.
Further brilliant tries from the Veamatahau brothers – Asher from a long Alex Nicholls-O'Neill break and Amanaki from a similar Fraser break – extended the lead, before Alipate Tani scored untouched under the posts in the shadows of half-time to give Asquith a match winning 30-0 lead at the break.
The Bulls showed fight to come back in the second half with two converted tries of their own from Rhys Walpole and Tom Young – pulling the score back to 30-12 with 15 minutes left to raise hopes of a miracle.
However, Asher Veamatahau scored his second long-range try with 12 minutes left to shut down any late revival whilst making sure of Asquith's unbeaten start to the season.
He also landed six goals from six attempts to go with his two tries – giving him a personal tally of 20 points.
Wolves Maul Magpies in Campbelltown
Finally, the Glebe-Burwood Wolves went to the top of the Massey Cup table in maintaining their unbeaten start to the year with a 58-10 demolition of the Western Suburbs Magpies at Campbelltown Sports Stadium last Saturday.
The Wolves signalled their intentions when hooker Ban Marschke opened the scoring in the fourth minute, before Wests winger Pulonga Kavaefiafi replied for the Magpies three minutes later.
That was as close as the Magpies got as the Wolves stepped up a gear with tries from George Tsikrikas, Royce Tout, dropped Newtown forward Malakai Houma and fullback Latrell Schaumkel to lead 30-10 at half-time. Inno Inosesio got a late try before half-time to get Wests into double figures with Kurt Aldridge's conversion.
Glebe-Burwood – with the class of former Cronulla half Penani Manumalealii and enigmatic former Manly centre Addison Demetriou leading the way – then tuned the second half into a rout.
Tsikrikas completed a double, powerful winger Charlton Schaafhausen bagged his double, before late tries to Lebanese World Cup international Ahmad Ellaz and Tyla Tamou completed the 58-10 thrashing.
Newcomer Penrith Brothers had the bye for their first Massey Cup competition points.
Glebe-Burwood and Guildford remain on top on six points after two rounds, with Asquith still the only other unbeaten team one point behind in third spot. Wests drop back to the bottom of the ladder with just one point.
This weekend's play sees all one match on Saturday and four games on Sunday – with Saturday's Glebe-Burwood clash with St Marys at Goddard Park, Guildford's meeting with Mounties at McCredie Park on Sunday, and Asquith's showdown with Cabramatta at Storey Park on Sunday being the pick of the action.
Tony and HHH FM cover the Ron Massey Cup and the Sydney Shield each weekend – this week they expand their coverage to include the Intrust Super Premiership match between the North Sydney Bears and the Newcastle Knights. It kicks off at 7.30pm on Friday night from North Sydney Oval on 100.1FM or at www.triplehfm.com.au.
Then on Sunday, the team are back at Storey Park for the Asquith v Cabramatta games from 1pm (Sydney Shield) and 3pm (Ron Massey Cup) live, followed by the Belrose v St Marys Sydney Shield replay from Lionel Watts Reserve at 5pm.