The Wentworthville Magpies moved three points clear at the top of the Ron Massey Cup table with a 58-14 demolition of an injury beset St Marys Saints in their Ron Massey Cup match at Ringrose Park.
After a scoreless opening period, Wentworthville hooker Blake Cook marked his return from NSW Pioneers representative duty with the opening try in the 10th minute. Beau Henry converted for a 6-0 lead.
The home side extended their lead when former Wests Tigers centre Nathan Milone scored a quick double in the space of three minutes to have the Magpies up with the clock at 14-0 after 15 minutes.
St Marys’ horror afternoon in the first aid room began as Milone crossed for his second try when prop Tevita Mapapalangi became the first of four Saints’ players to go to the head bin.
The visitors did strike back with Joe Vaegaau’s try in the 17th minute for 14-6 with Aiden Glanville’s conversion, before former North Sydney Bear Abbas Miski scored in the 25th minute to extend the lead to 20-6 with Henry’s conversion.
While Mapapalangi returned from the head bin, Saints back rower Dylan Fuad suffered a head knock late in the first half and did not return in a sign of things to come in the second half for the visitors.
Glanville slotted a penalty goal as the half-time siren sounded to cut the Wentworthville lead to 20-8 at the break.
Winger Josh Minhinnick then started what became a Wentworthville second half procession when he scored his first try two minutes into the second stanza.
Milone completed his hat trick seven minutes later, before Minhinnick bagged his double 12 minutes into the second half to virtually wrap up the two competition points at 36-8 after Henry again converted.
Ron Massey Cup representative half Rhys Davies then came off the interchange bench to score midway through the second half to bring up the home side’s 40 points as St Marys hooker Peter Nay became the third visiting player that went to the head bin.
Nay did not return after failing his HIA test.
Star St Marys half Lazarus Brown then copped a head knock with 10 minutes to play and had to leave the field – leaving the visitors down to 12 men for the closing stages after having used all of their interchanges thanks to Nay and Fuad not returning from the head bin.
Wentworthville ruthlessly took full toll of their one-man advantage with Henry scoring with nine minutes left, before centre Atini Gafa scored a late double in the last five minutes to complete the 11 try to two thrashing. Henry converted Gafa’s last try to close out the 58-14 hiding and complete a personal tally of 18 points with seven goals to go with his late try.
The Asquith Magpies moved back to within striking distance of the Massey Cup Top Four with a 30-10 win over a 12-man Glebe-Burwood Wolves at Storey Park.
After a tight opening quarter to the match where both sides got into the grind through the middle, a superb Will Solway pass sent fellow prop Brock Ilett away near the posts for the opening try in the 20th minute. Asher Veamatahau converted for a 6-0 Asquith lead.
Glebe-Burwood then were working their way on top when the flash point of the match came eight minutes from half-time.
Glebe-Burwood centre Lachlan Stein was sensationally sent off by referee Josh McGowan on a touch judge’s report for an alleged headbutt on opposite number Josh Fraser after a minor play the ball flare up. The visitors then held their own to only trail 6-0 at half-time.
Asquith started the second half perfectly when, after Glebe-Burwood dropped the ball in the opening set from the kickoff, a quick left side shift directly where Stein would normally have been saw winger Jake Maizen score unmarked in the left corner for a 10-0 lead.
The 12-man Glebe-Burwood outfit then raised a comeback effort which saw replacement hooker Jackson Garlick burrow over from close range eight minutes later to get the visitors back in the contest at 10-6 with Jesse Marschke’s conversion.
Another turnover shortly afterwards then opened the door for Asquith to strike. The home side did that when Riley Travers ran the ball on the last down a short blind to send Veamatahau over for his first try 12 minutes into the second half. Interchange hooker Treymaine Brown converted from touch for a 16-6 lead.
A carbon-copy play by Travers down the same flank four minutes later sent Veamatahau speeding past the nonplussed Glebe-Burwood cover defence for his second try and a 20-6 Asquith lead.
Fraser then virtually put the match beyond doubt when he finished off a left side switch to score Asquith’s third try in seven minutes midway through the second half for a 24-6 lead.
Glebe-Burwood’s 12 men did not give up and had a faint hope of a miracle win against the odds when winger Jordan Topai-Aveai scored in the corner from an Asquith turnover from the restart for 24-10.
However, Asquith controlled the match well enough in the closing stages for backrower Max Bailey to power over with five minutes left to make sure of Asquith’s win. Kurt Horton converted to close out the 30-10 scoreline.
Mounties moved to equal second on the Massey Cup ladder with a solid 36-18 win over a feisty Western Suburbs Magpies at Aubrey Keech Reserve.
Wests got off to a dream start when Massey Cup representative hooker Kurt Aldridge marked his return to halfback with the opening try in the fifth minute, which his he duly converted for a 6-0 lead to the visitors.
After sustained attack, evergreen winger Shannon Chapman got the reply for Mounties in the 18th minute to level scores at 6-all with Maurice Kennedy’s conversion.
The arm wrestle – laced with an undercurrent of niggle in the tackle to keep referee Damien Briscoe busy – continued over the next 15 minutes until NSW Pioneers representative fullback Omar Slaimankhel finished a right-side shift to give Mounties the lead for the first time.
More sustained pressure forced a Wests goal line drop out in the shadows of half-time. After Wests knocked on trying to regather the short line drop out, Mounties centre Rusty Bristow burst over to wcore on the second tackle from the scrum wide out on the left.
Wests came out fired up to start the second half and scored almost immediately from the kickoff when winger Peter Pakoti brilliantly finished a left side spread to score wide out. Aldridge added the extras to cut the Mounties lead to 16-12.
A dropped ball from a loose Mounties pass five minutes later was then picked up by interchange forward Zane Elsey who galloped 35 metres to score untouched under the posts. Aldridge’s simple conversion gave Wests a real chance of the upset with an 18-16 lead.
Mounties then steadied as they worked their way back into field position, and midway through the second half on the back of a repeat set from a chargedown and an ensuing penalty, backrower Sonny Bristow crashed over to score wide out on the left and regain the lead for Mounties at 20-18 after Kennedy again hit the upright with his conversion attempt.
Mounties then gained the upper hand in the final 15 minutes.
First, a long John Kennedy break in the 68th minute saw Maurice Kennedy send backrower Jarrett Boland away with a sweetly timed inside pass against the grain to score two tackles later. Maurice Kennedy converted to send Mounties out to a 26-18 lead.
Desperately chasing the game with six minutes left, a Nathan Waters grubber kick was turned over by Wests, leading to a Maurice Kennedy face ball sending hooker Joel Luani over from the turnover set to decide the match at 32-18 after Kennedy converted.
After Sonny Bristow burst clear from the restart set in the final two minutes, Slaimankhel placed a superb cross kick for Pioneers team mate Jordan Martin to pounce and score the last try to close out the 36-18 win. Kennedy hit the left upright for the third time with his last conversion attempt as the final siren sounded.
The Cabramatta Two Blues moved up to equal second on the Massey Cup ladder with a hard fought 24-14 win over a depleted Guildford at McCredie Park.
The home side – missing star recruit Josh Lewis from the halves after he broke down in the pre-match warm-up – took the early lead in a tight contest when winger Daniel Lotu scored his first try.
Returning Pioneers second rower Hayden Ashcroft then responded for the visitors with his try which was converted by Jake Butfield to level scores, before winger Jamon Wormleaton scored in the corner to give Cabramatta a 10-6 lead.
Guildford fullback Dominic Reardon scored close to half-time to level scores at 10-all at the break after replacement half Rob Longbottom – called in late to replace the injured Lewis at half – added the conversion.
Butfield slotted a penalty goal 11 minutes into the second half to regain the lead for Cabramatta at 12-10 as the arm wrestle the match had become in the first half continued in the same vein in the final 20 minutes.
Lotu scored a second try to regain the lead for Guildford at 14-12 with under 15 minutes left, before Cabramatta regained a decisive lead with under 10 minutes left after Butfield added the extras.
Pioneers representative centre Shane Keil clinched a vital two points for Cabramatta with his try in the last two minutes, which Butfield converted to close out Cabramatta’s 24-14 win.
Finally, the Hills District Bulls made it back to back wins for the first time this season with a 34-24 win over a game Penrith Brothers at Hickeys Lane, Penrith.
In an entertaining match, both sides went try for try for most of the day – starting with Bulls winger Dermott McKeever-King’s try cancelled out by Brothers centre Michael Tuavao crossing for his try shortly afterwards.
Brothers five-eighth Kurt Falls gave the home side the lead with his try, before opposite number Tom Perrin replied with his try for the visitors.
Former North Sydney Bear Ben Falcone’s try late in the first half regained the lead for the Bulls at the half-time break.
Promising young half Brock Pelligra scored early in the second half to extend the Bulls lead, before a quickfire double in the middle of the second half from Brothers lock Harrison Coskerie wrenched the lead back for Brothers at 24-22 with 20 minutes left after Falls completed his fourth conversion from as many attempts.
However, the Bulls – inspired by winger Sean Walpole’s milestone 250th game for the club – knuckled down in the closing stages. After a period of attack, hooker Jaz Flavell pushed over from close range out of dummy half to score to regain the lead with 10 minutes left at 28-24 after Hayden McWilliam converted.
Lock Pat Eni then clinched victory for the Bulls with his try inside the last five minutes. Nick Holliday converted to complete the Bulls’ 34-24 win.
Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles enjoyed the bye.
Wentworthville’s big win sees the defending Premiers on 18 points – enjoying a three point lead at the top of the Massey Cup table from Cabramatta and Mounties on 15 points each. Guildford and Glebe-Burwood drop back to equal fourth on 14, with Asquith (13) and St Marys (12) close at hand in a congested Top Eight.
Blacktown and Hills District Bulls are on 10, with Penrith Brothers anchoring the ladder on their four points.
Round 12 starts with the Glebe-Burwood clashagainst Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Henson Park on Saturday, and concludes with four games on Sunday – with the St Marys showdown with Mounties on St Marys the best of the Sunday action.
Guildford will also be busy despite being on their bye as they take on Dubbo CYMS in the NSWRL Challenge Cup Final – and a shot at $15,000 first prizemoney – at Apex Park, Dubbo this Saturday at 2:00pm.
Tony and HHH FM cover the Ron Massey Cup and the Sydney Shield each weekend – with another massive program of coverage this Sunday.
First, the team are at Storey Park for the matchups between the Asquith Magpies and East Campbelltown Eagles in Sydney Shield at 1pm, then the Asquith Magpies and Western Suburbs Magpies in the Ron Massey Cup ‘battle of the birds’ at 3pm.
The team then back up on Sunday Night for the replay of the critical Sydney Shield match from Lionel Watts Reserve, Belrose between the Belrose Eagles and the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at 7pm.
All games – live and replayed – on Sunday and Sunday Night can be heard on 100.1FM or via streaming at www.triplehfm.com.au