Mounties Move Into Top Four
Perennial second-tier powerhouse Mounties moved back into the Ron Massey Cup top four with a hard-fought 24-19 win over the Asquith Magpies in their match at Storey Park last Sunday.
In one of the better matches played so far this season, the visitors dominated early field position and possession, before Asquith flyer Amanaki Veamatahau snaffled an intercept and dashed 75 metres to score the opening try in the 15th minute. The winger duly converted for a 6-0 Magpies lead.
On Mounties’ next visit into Asquith territory four minutes later, a slick backline movement was finished off by evergreen winger Shannon Chapman in the left corner. Maurice Kennedy converted from touch to level scores.
Veamatahau brilliantly won the race to a Jon Grimes stab-kick in-goal to score his second try in the 23rd minute, before classy centre Omar Slaimankhel burst through token Magpies defence on the end of another Mounties raid 10 minutes from the break to draw scores level again.
Veamatahau slotted an easy penalty goal on the stroke of half-time to give Asquith a 14-12 lead.
Mounties came out with increased intensity to start the second half, and were rewarded when experienced hooker-turned-backrower Sam Duggan finished off a long Matt Whitehouse break to score behind the posts.
Mounties threw everything at Asquith for the next 15 minutes to no avail, before the Magpies then responded on their next attack midway through the second half when Veamatahau took a long cut-out pass from Jake Attard to completed his hat-trick midway through the second half.
Asquith got to within sight of victory with Grimes calmly landed a 25-metre field goal with nine minutes to play, before Mounties launched one last attack for prop Mitch Kennedy to barge over from close range with five minutes left. Maurice Kennedy converted, and the visitors held on in the closing stages to secure their 24-19 win.
Two Blues Too Strong for Saints
Cabramatta – minus star recruit Frank Pritchard – were too strong for St Marys in their match at St Marys Leagues Stadium last Sunday.
St Marys struck first blood with winger Chris Aunese-Scanlan’s early try, before Cabramatta got into stride to overcome Pritchard’s late withdrawal with quick tries to winger Jamon Wormleaton and fullback Don Thompson to take a 12-4 lead after five-eighth Isaiah Tass converted both tries.
St Marys five-eighth Aiden Glanville scored wide out to cut the visitors’ lead back to four points in the 24th minute, before Cabramatta winger Tala Mapesone fnished off a left-sided movement to score in the corner eight minutes from half-time – giving the visitors a 16-8 lead at the break.
Wormleaton completed his double five minutes into the second half to extend the Cabramatta lead to 12 – a lead that proved to be a match-winning one.
Giant interchange prop Tevita Mapapalangi crashed over midway through the second half to pull St Marys back to within six points, before Mapesone completed his double to keep Cabramatta at arms’ length.
That was consolidated when Tass kicked a penalty goal in the 66th minute for a 26-14 lead. It was a lead that was too great for St Marys to reel in, despite winger Ethan McPherson scoring with five minutes left to set up a final 26-20 score.
Cabramatta held on against St Marys’ last-ditch attacks in the final minutes to clinch their win and move up to fifth on the competition ladder.
Demetriou Inspires Wolves Win
A second hat-trick in the Ron Massey Cup this season from enigmatic centre Addison Demetriou ensured the Glebe-Burwood Wolves scored a 32-16 win against a gallant Penrith Brothers at Hickeys Lane, Penrith last Sunday.
Backing up 24 hours after playing a starring short cameo role for Newtown against Western Suburbs in the Intrust Super Premiership, the former Manly NYC star – playing in the centres – made an immediate impact with his first try in just the third minute.
Against a hard-working Brothers defence in the first half, the Wolves needed Demetriou to again have a hand in the first try, scored by fellow Jets squad member Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga in the 24th minute. Demetriou converted both tries to give Glebe-Burwood a 12-0 half-time lead.
Brothers came out on fire after half-time to take the match to the visitors - with winger Josh Norton scoring in the opening set of the second half, and back-rower Quinn Ma’aelopa crashing over on Brothers next attacking set from the restart to level scores.
Greece international George Tsikriaks regained the lead for Glebe-Burwood with his try 10 minutes into the second half, before Brothers came back again when skipper Gray Viane burst over from a turnover four minutes later.
The visitors steadied with Aufaga-Toomaga’s second try for a 22-16 lead with 18 minutes to play.
Then Demetriou stamped his class with two brilliant individual tries against a tiring Brothers defence in the final five minutes to complete his hat-trick – making sure of the 32-16 win and the two competition points for Glebe-Burwood.
Owls Put Away Magpies
Competition leaders Guildford maintained their good form with a comfortable 44-22 win over Western Suburbs at Lidcombe Oval last Saturday.
Any Western Suburbs fans that stayed around in hope of an upset after the earlier Intrust Super Premiership game against Newtown earlier in the day were to be disappointed, as the visitors came out of the blocks hard with the first three tries of the match.
Stand-in half Aaron Grech helped himself to an early double in the eighth and 19th minutes for a 12-0 Guildford lead, before prop Joe Gardiner crashed over wide out in the 24th minute for a 16-0 lead.
Western Suburbs five-eighth Kurt Aldridge scored a neat try to get the home side on the board after he duly converted six minutes from half-time, before Guildford winger Yahia Masri scored the critical try for the visitors on the stroke of half-time. Reardon converted for a 20-6 Guildford lead at the break.
Any hope of a Western Suburbs miracle was shut out by Grech completing his hat-trick four minutes into the second half, with centre Shane Hunt virtually wrapping up the Guildford win with his first try three minutes later for a 32-6 lead as Reardon continued his good day with the boot.
Guildford threatened to turn the score into a rout when lock Dylan McKeown scored midway through the second half for a 38-6 lead. However, Western Suburbs saved some face with a double from interchange player Elijah Sautu and a try from veteran half Brendan Waters to pull the home side back to 38-22 after 65 minutes.
Guildford closed out their 44-22 win when Hunt completed his double with 10 minutes to play.
Wentworthville Overcome Blacktown
Finally, the Wentworthville Magpies overcame a slow start to blitz the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in the second half on their way to a 40-18 win at H.E. Laybutt Fields, Blacktown last Sunday.
Blacktown took the game up to the visitors after Wentworthville winger Eli Roberts scored his first try in the eighth minute.
Five-eighth Veiru Mapesone got Blacktown’s reply in the 12th minute, before centre James Tuitahi gave the home side the lead midway through the first half, and Mapesone completed his double in the 26th minute to give the home side a handy 16-6 lead.
Wentworthville winger Atini Gafa scored in the corner eight minutes from half-time to cut the Blacktown lead back to six, before halfback Kamren Cryer slotted a penalty goal to go with his two earlier conversions to give the home side an 18-10 half-time lead.
The second half, however, saw the defending Ron Massey Cup Premiers come to life with five unanswered tries in the second stanza to take the game away from the home side.
Jordan Latham scored in the 47th minute, then Dylan Izzard regained the lead for Wentworthville with his try six minutes later. Former North Sydney Bear Abbas Miski then scored the match-breaking try in the 60th minute, before Josh Tangitau posted his try in the 66th minute to virtually put the game beyond doubt at 34-18 as Beau Henry had a field day as he converted all of the visitors’ second-half tries.
The shell-shocked Sea Eagles allowed frustration to get the better of them when Tuitahi was sin-binned in the aftermath of Tangitau’s try – allowing Roberts to bookend the match with his second four-pointer whilst Blacktown were down to 12 men.
The Hills District Bulls started a three-week break with a bye.
Guildford lead the competition on 14 points at the mid-season break, two clear of Glebe-Burwood and Wentworthville, with Mounties’ win moving them into fourth spot on 11. Brothers remain anchored to the foot of the table on four points.
The Ron Massey Cup takes a break this weekend for the mandated spare week off, with play resuming on the Queen’s Birthday weekend on Friday, 8 June when Mounties play Blacktown Workers at Aubrey Keech Reserve at 7pm.
Tony and HHH FM regularly cover the Ron Massey Cup and the Sydney Shield, which enter bye rounds this weekend. HHH will this week return to the game’s grass roots: the Northern Conference A Grade competition, with coverage of Valley United Spartans v Berowra Wallabies this Sunday from 3pm.
Sunday’s game can be heard on 100.1FM and via web streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au.