The Ron Massey Cup Reps have maintained their competition’s strong reputation with a hard-fought 20-14 win over the Newcastle Rugby League Rebels in their inaugural representative match played at Maitland Sports Ground last night.
Western Suburbs hooker Kurt Aldridge made the most of his opportunity with a Man-of-the-Match performance – despite not having played in the No. 9 position since his recent return from Queensland. The Ron Massey Cup team took a 12-10 lead at half time after tries from Lebanese international Abbas Miski and Aldridge in the first stanza.
Aldridge also slotted a penalty goal right on half-time, after Magpies teammate Inno Inesesio made a long break. The Ron Massey Cup team also dropped the ball with the line wide open in the first half.
Former Samoan international and Newcastle/Cronulla/Manly five-eighth Terrence Seu Seu and perennial Koori knockout star Ryan Walker got Newcastle’s first-half tries.
Surprise selection Shane Keil got the Ron Massey Cup Reps’ try in the second half, while Aldridge landed another penalty goal to give him four goals from five attempts with the boot.
The visitors were threatened in the closing stages by the home side after Matt Hay got the Rebels’ second half try.
Wentworthville half Rhys Davies was sin-binned inside the final five minutes for a professional foul on Seu Seu after the Newcastle five-eighth followed up on a grubber kick in goal.
From the resultant penalty, Rebels winger Josh Charles was ruled to have knocked on in the field of play when reaching out to score what would have been a try to give the home side a shot at a draw against the 12-man Massey Cup outfit.
Brett Cook’s men held on from the ensuing scrum to record their win – an against-the-odds result considering the number of withdrawals from other clubs and the side’s total of just two pre-match training sessions.
A NSW Selection from last night’s match will be named next week, with a combined side to take on the Queensland Rangers at the Sunshine Coast’s Pizzey Park on June 17.
Ron Massey Cup Reps 20 (A Miski, K Aldridge, S Keil tries; K Aldridge 4 goals) def Newcastle Rebels 14 (T Seu Seu, R Walker, M Hay tries; B Murray goal)