Glebe-Burwood Sensationally Lose Unbeaten Record
In the most dramatic match of the Ron Massey Cup season to date, the Cabramatta Two Blues ended the Glebe-Burwood Wolves' unbeaten run with an incident-packed 20-18 win at New Era Stadium last Saturday.
The Wolves were forced to play the entire second half with 11 men after having both former Cronulla five-eighth Penani Manumalealii and former Sydney Roosters firebrand Wills Meehan sent off in separate incidents before half-time.
Manumalealii was the first to be permanently dismissed by referee Martin Jones in just the eighth minute; it came for further dissent after being originally sin-binned.
Remarkably, Meehan opened the scoring for the 12-man Wolves five minutes later, with a typically barnstorming try for a 6-0 lead.
Two Blues second-rower D'rhys Miller got the reply for Cabramatta in the 18th minute to level scores after Jake Butfield added the extras, before the 12 men of Glebe-Burwood played their best attacking football of the match.
Lebanese international Ahmad Ellaz scored a well-worked try in the 25th minute, and winger Zac Chong-Nee scored in the corner nine minutes later to give the Wolves a 16-6 lead.
The second and critical flash point of the match then took place three minutes from half-time, when Meehan was involved in a punching incident with Cabramatta interchange player James Ryan.
Referee Jones had no hesitation in dismissing the giant forward, while Ryan went to the head bin and took no further part in the match after failing his concussion test in the half-time break.
Marschke landed a penalty goal five minutes into the second half to extend the lead for the now 11-man Wolves outfit to 18-6, before the inevitable Cabramatta comeback with their two-man advantage materialised.
Second-rower Jarred Anderson and winger Tala Mapesone scored quick tries to cut the Wolves' lead back to 18-16 after 52 minutes. The 11-man Glebe defence then showed great heart to hold the Two Blues at bay for the next 15 minutes to raise hopes of an against-the-odds win – especially as Butfield was replaced by Two Blues coach Chris Yates to spark some extra attack.
However, Cabramatta's classy fullback Don Thompson broke the 11-man defensive line with 12 minutes left, scoring a solo try to give the Two Blues the lead for the first time. The home side maintained the a 20-18 advantage until the final whistle to controversially end the Wolves' unbeaten start to the season.
In a bitter postscript, Wolves fullback Latrell Schaumkel was also reported after the full-time siren by referee Jones for further alleged abuse in frustration at the earlier Glebe dismissals.
Ryan-inspired Owls Soar to top Spot
The Guildford Owls joined the Wolves at the top of the Massey Cup table when a Matt Ryan masterclass led the way to a 26-12 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at H.E. Laybutt Fields last Sunday.
Former Parramatta prop Taniela Lasalo barged over for the opening try from close range in the eighth minute to give the Owls a 6-0 lead, before both sides got into the arm wrestle for the next 15 minutes.
Former Mounties fullback Dominic Reardon then finished off good lead-up work from Ryan to score in the 25th minute and double the Guildford lead to 12-0 when Errington added the extras – a lead the Owls held running into a gale-force breeze to the half-time break.
Guildford extended the lead five minutes into the second half when Ryan sent evergreen centre Harmony Hunt away down the left, before winger Yahia Masri scored in the corner for a 16-0 lead.
Blacktown winger Shaun Fitzgerald then snaffled an intercept on his own goal line to send flying fullback Jake Pickering away for a length-of-the-field try to get Blacktown on the board, before another neat pass from former Parramatta Eel Ryan sent Owls winger Daniel Lotu away for his sixth try of the season.
Fitzgerald finished off a Blacktown left-side movement to score and pull the Guildford lead back to 22-12 into the last 10 minutes, before Guildford prop Joe Gardiner finished off another Ryan-led attack through the hands of Lopeti Wolfgramm and hooker Jack Wheelhouse to score the match-sealing try at 26-12 with five minutes left.
Bulls Charge home Against Ill-Disciplined Magpies
The drama from New Era on Saturday transferred across to Crestwood Reserve 24 hours later, when the Hills District Bulls came from behind to down an 11-man Western Suburbs outfit 30-18 last Sunday.
Running with the gale force breeze in the first half, Wests took early control when second-rower David Minute began what would become a mixed afternoon personally, scoring the first two tries for an 8-0 Magpies lead.
The Bulls replied with tries from fullback Tom Perrin and winger Rory Brownlie to take a 12-8 lead as half Mitch Hyde landed two conversions into the teeth of the gale.
Wests then took further advantage of the gale when lock Inno Inosesio powered over to level scores, and Minute completed a remarkable first-half hat-trick seven minutes from half-time.
Experienced half Brendan Waters converted Minute's third try to give Wests an 18-12 lead at the break.
After an arm wrestle that absorbed the first 20 minutes of the second half, the Bulls struck back when Perrin completed his double after sustained attack. Hyde converted to level scores at 18-all.
The high drama point came with 15 minutes to play when Wests centre Josh Davis was sensationally sent off by referee Damian Brady for a dangerous tackle.
From the resultant penalty, the Bulls worked play forward against the 12-man Wests defence for Hyde to complete a man-of-the-match performance with his try – which he duly converted for a 24-18 Hills lead.
Any chance of a Wests comeback disappeared with seven minutes left, when Minute was sin-binned by Brady for another dangerous tackle.
Against a tiring 11-man Wests defence, the Bulls wrapped up their win when centre Sean Walpole scored in the final 60 seconds of play. Hyde completed the 30-18 win with his fifth goal from five attempts.
Wentworthville get one over the old Enemy
Defending Premiers Wentworthville produced their best performance of the season so far in toppling arch rivals Mounties 28-4 at Aubrey Keech Reserve last Saturday.
Mounties took an early lead when former Auburn Warriors centre Omar Slaimankhel scored his first try for his new club in the seventh minute.
Wentworthville then replied with quick tries to winger James Gammidge and back-rower Jack Morris for a 12-4 lead, after Beau Henry converted both early tries. The Magpies then extended their lead when Henry scored himself 10 minutes from half-time.
The visitors then ground Mounties down in the second half – keeping Mounties scoreless in the final 40 minutes as their forwards worked their way on top.
Winger Eli Roberts extended the Wentworthville lead with his try 10 minutes into the second half for a 22-4 lead, before centre Atini Gafa sealed the two competition points with his try 15 minutes from full-time to close out the 28-4 win with Henry's fourth conversion from five attempts.
Asquith Beat Brothers to go Third
Finally, the Asquith Magpies moved into third place on the Ron Massey Cup ladder with a 28-12 win over a gallant Penrith Brothers at Storey Park last Saturday.
The Brethren absorbed early Asquith pressure and used the gale force breeze at their backs to set up field position for centre Matt Sandstrom to score the opening try in the 13th minute.
Asquith replied when winger-turned-second-rower Jale Seninawanana – called up in a late reshuffle after 55 minutes of play in the earlier Sydney Shield match – scored 10 minutes later.
However, Brothers consolidated their first-half dominance when halfback Arthur Crichton scored a superb solo try from close range two minutes from half-time. Falls converted from touch to allow the Brethren to again dream of a first ever Ron Massey Cup win with a 12-4 lead at the break.
Asquith then upped the ante with the gale at their backs in the second stanza and came back with tries to Josh Hall and centre Mick Pearsall to take a 16-12 lead.
Brothers had their chances over the next 10 minutes before Asquith steadied with a 35-metre penalty goal from Place.
The Magpies then overcame the tiring Brethren defence with tries to hooker Jake Attard, and pint-sized fullback Kyle Tukapua to close out the 28-12 win four minutes later.
St Marys had the bye in Round 6.
Glebe-Burwood and Guildford are both on 10 points with the Wolves on top on better percentage, with Asquith one point behind. Brothers are still at the foot of the table on two competition points.
Round 7 action this weekend sees one match on Saturday and four matches on Sunday – including a top-of-the-table showdown between joint leaders Glebe-Burwood and Guildford at Goddard Park, Concord.
Tony and HHH FM cover the Ron Massey Cup and the Sydney Shield each weekend – and will create more historic coverage as part of a 'Super Sunday' of 8 hours of NSWRL coverage this weekend.
For the first time, the HHH team will join forces with Steele Sports to simulcast the final two matches of the Intrust Super Premiership Magic Weekend at North Sydney Oval: Canterbury-Bankstown v Newcastle and North Sydney v Blacktown. This will be followed by a replay of the Sydney Shield match between the Belrose Eagles and Guildford Owls at 5.15pm, and a replay of the Intrust Super Premiership clash between Western Suburbs and Penrith.
Tune in to triplehfm.com.au on Sunday for the historic coverage.