WRAP | Sydney Shield Rd 8
East Campbelltown Keep Winning Form Intact
The East Campbelltown Eagles maintained their winning run of from in the Sydney Shield with a 42-16 win over the Guildford Owls in their match at Waminda Oval, Campbelltown last Sunday.
East Campbelltown started brilliantly when prop Jarryd Eggleton barged over for the opening try in just the second minute. Stand-in goal kicker Shannon Gallant converted for a 6-0 East Campbelltown lead.
Guildford responded after the shock start when lock Julian King scored in the 14th minute to level scores.
However, that was as close as Guildford got for the rest of the day as the home side established their authority on the match.
Second-rower Grant Lahey scored his try in the 20th minute to regain the lead, and interchange backrower Kobe Chamberlain followed suit on East Campbelltown’s next attack three minutes later.
Gallant finished off sustained East Campbelltown attack five minutes from half-time with his to give the home side a commanding 24-6 lead at the break, after landing his fourth conversion from four first-half attempts.
Guildford entertained hopes of a second-half comeback when winger Josh Delailoa swooped on a loose bouncing ball and dashed 80 metres to to pull scores back to 24-10.
The home side responded 10 minutes later, however, with the first of winger Daniel Muir’s two tries 15 minutes into the second half for a 30-10 lead with another Gallant conversion.
Masima scored for Guildford with 15 minutes left and added the extras to keep the visitors faintly in touch at 30-16. However, that was as close as the visitors got as Muir completed his double with nine minutes left to finally put the result beyond doubt at 36-16 with another Gallant conversion.
Interchange half Chris Standing then put the icing on the cake for the home side with his runaway try three minutes from time. Gallant’s seventh conversion from seven attempts gave him a personal tally of eighteen points and closed out the 42-16 win.
Rams Continue Major Improvement
The Moorebank Rams showed why they are arguably the most improved team in the competition with a convincing 44-22 disposal of the Asquith Magpies in their match at Storey Park last Sunday.
The Rams – coached by former Bulldogs NRL player Brad Morrin – meant business early when former Mounties five-eighth Jake Horton finished a right-side move for the opening try in the fourth minute.
Moorebank had the better of pay for the next 10 minutes, before Asquith fullback Jake Maizen latched on to a lost Rams ball and dashed 75 metres to score against the run of play to level scores at 6-6 after 15 minutes.
Moorebank then gave a sign of things to come when hooker Brad Nolland finished a strong counter-attack from an Asquith turnover to score three minutes later, before dominating field position for almost the rest of the first half.
This dominance was rewarded when winger Alvin Maungaati scored wide out eight minutes from half-time to give the visitors a 16-4 lead.
Asquith then finally forced a turnover for former Sydney Shield Player of the year – and current skipper – Vinny Ngaro to power over for his try in the shadows of half-time, to cut the Moorebank lead to 16-10 at the interval.
Moorebank then seized control of the match after half-time with four unanswered tries in the first 20 minutes of the second stanza against a shell-shocked Asquith defence.
Impressive winger Ky Tak Chan started the visitors’ attacking blitz in the third minute of the second half when he finished off an overlap move to score in the left corner.
Centre Malachi Morgan then cast aside token Asquith defence to score wide out on the left six minutes later, with interchange player Spike Teio finishing a right-sided raid to virtually seal the two points for the visitors.
Fellow bench player John Salatielu then made it four unanswered second-half tries, before Asquith five-eighth Ngangarra Barker snared a consolation try down the left-hand side with 10 minutes left.
Hard-working young Moorebank prop Zac Saddler burst 20 metres through the heart of the dispirited Asquith defence for his first try of the season with just over seven minutes left to bring up Moorebank’s 44 points.
Asquith had the last word when winger Alex Nicholls-O’Neill scored wide out for Popoali’i to convert with with two minutes to play – but it was only a second late consolation try to complete the emphatic 44-22 Moorebank win.
Saints Stay Top with Cabramatta Win
St Marys stayed in the leading group when they held off a late finishing Cabramatta 26-16 at St Marys Leagues Stadium.
Five-eighth Meni Luke got the defending Premiers off to a good start with the opening try in the fifth minute which he duly converted for a 6-0 lead, before Cabramatta prop Tom Grealy was sin-binned in the 16th minute after a flare-up.
St Marys made the most of their extra-man advantage – scoring two tries while Grealy was in the bin.
First, winger John Tuliatu scored his first try in the corner from the penalty set following the binning for a 10-0 lead, then fullback Marlon Richie scoring just before the sin-bin period expired for a 14-0 lead.
Cabramatta half Liam O’Brien got the visitors on the board with his try two minutes from half-time to peg the St Marys lead back to 14-4 at the break.
Centre Robbie Graham then extended the home side’s lead with his try in the opening set of the second half, before the premiers ground their way on top in the opening 20 minutes of the second stanza.
Interchange forward Alan Niulesa got his try 12 minutes into the second half, before Tuliatu completed his double to set up a match winning 26-4 lead – a lead that could have been bigger if Luke had a better day with the boot than his return of one goal from six attempts.
However, Cabramatta never gave up trying and came home with three late tries to make the final score respectable – starting with centre Emosi Alamoti’s try with 15 minutes left.
Interchange player Ryan Monaghan got the visitors into double figures with 10 minutes remaining, with winger Lachlan Hughes having the last word with his try, as the final siren sounded to close out the 26-16 scoreline.
Wentworthville Swoop Sea Eagles
The Wentworthville Magpies stayed on top of the competition ladder with a high scoring 58-30 win over Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at H.E. Laybutt Fields, Blacktown last Sunday.
In a match where defence was hard to find at times, Wentworthville winger Eparama Navale got the first of the game’s 15 tries in the fourth minute to set the tone for the contest.
Lock Rameses Tuipulotu, centre Jermaine Mati-Leifi, giant centre partner Junior Rika, half Zac Nicholls, and hooker Andy Pritchard all got first-half tries for the visitors as they took a big lead into the sheds.
Blacktown winger Tekaiatia Taia, and hard-running backrower Bone Litara got the home side’s replying first-half majors as Wentworthville led 34-12 at the break.
The visitors went on with the job in the second half with tries from interchange players Inoke Vunipola and Muli Lasalo taking care of the two competition points, before winger Troy Black scored to bring up the visitors’ half century of points late in the second half.
Former Hills District Bulls star and Lebanese international half James Boustani then capped his comeback from retirement and return to Wentworthville colours from the interchange bench with the visitors’ last try. Stand-in fullback Brendan Newton landed nine conversions from 10 attempts for Wentworthville.
Blacktown came home with three late consolation tries in the second half – Litara completed his double and five-eighth Jackson Whitby scoring in the last 20 minutes, before skipper Debraska Rikiriki got the last of the game’s 15 tries in the final minute to close out the 58-30 scoreline to Wenthworthville. Whitby landed five goals from five attempts to go with his try.
Belrose put Brothers to the Sword
Finally, Belrose got their attack into gear in no uncertain terms with a 66-6 rout of competition newcomers Penrith Brothers at Hickeys Lane, Penrith last Sunday.
The match started tightly enough when Belrose’s opening try from James Morgan in the fifth minute was matched by Brothers backrower Eddie Ene’s try in the 12th minute.
Jason Cookson’s conversion of Ene’s try gave Brothers a 6-4 lead – the only time the home side led all day.
Andy Halstead’s try from a Brothers turnover from the restart set after Ene’s try sparked the beginning of the Belrose rout in the 15th minute.
Lock Daniel Martin scored in the 23rd minute to regain the lead for the visitors, before winger Keia Maino finished off a left-sided move seven minutes later, and second-rower Marvin Slavin scored seven minutes from half-time to give Belrose a handsome 28-6 lead at the break.
The second half then became a procession as Belrose’s attack clicked for the first time this season against a disjointed and dispirited Brothers outfit.
Back-rower Isaac Kassis scored in the visitors’ first attack of the second half, with Morgan adding a long-range effort for his double from the restart to virtually decide the result at 40-6 just five minutes into the second stanza.
Belrose were then ruthless in putting Brothers to the sword for the rest of the second half.
Five-eighth Alex Zarounas bagged a second-half double in the 50th and 69th minutes, Maino completed his double midway through the second half, and centre Beau Abrahams posted two second-half tries to complete Belrose’s 12 try romp.
Hooker Andy Layton landed nine goals from 12 attempts with the boot in easily Belrose’s best performance of the season to date.
Hills District Bulls had the bye to start a three week break.
Wentworthville, East Campbelltown and St Marys set a cracking three-way tie for the ladder lead on 14 points, with a four point gap to Asquith and Moorebank on 10 points.
The Bulls’ bye and Brothers’ heavy loss sees Brothers drop back to last on percentages on four points.
The Sydney Shield takes a mandated week off this week to allow the Ron Massey Cup Reps team to play the Newcastle Rugby League Rebels in their match in Maitland this Friday Night.
Play resumes on Saturday, 9 June – with three games set down for Saturday and the other two on Sunday during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
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.