Elimination Final - Guildford Owls v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
St Marys Leagues Stadium
Saturday 1 September, 1pm
The Blacktown Workers have ended Guildford's 2018 season with a commanding 36-16 victory in a brutally-absorbing affair at St Marys Leagues Stadium.
Winger Peter Scanlan starred for the eighth-placed Workers with a dynamic hat-trick on the right-wing, while Honeti Tuha also shined with two tries and a classy try-assist.
The missed conversions from Guildford proved costly as they continued to threaten with two tries on either side of the break, but some poor execution ruined their chances of a potential comeback.
A blistering start from Balcktown helped them to an early 18-0 lead with three unanswered tries in the opening 25 minutes, but Guildford ensured a hard-fought contest with two tries of their own before half-time.
The missed conversions from Guildford proved costly despite constantly threatening for an unlikely comeback, as the Workers
The Workers took an early lead after a penalty in the led-up from Guilford gifted Kamren Cryer and east two-points right in-front of the posts, before Honeti Tuha pounced on a classy grubber just moments later to cross for the maiden try of the afternoon.
They extended their lead shortly after when Peter Scanlan found some open space down the right-hand touchline before racing 40m to cross for back-to-back tries.
Brimming with confidence, the Workers crossed for their third unanswered try when Honeti Tuha placed a perfect grubber of his own into the in-goal for Leva Li.
Kamren Cryer converted from out-wide to set a handy 18-0 lead after 25 minutes.
The Workers had a spring in their step following their dominance throughout the opening stanza, but an intercept try from Guildford halfback Josh Lewis proved to be a significant momentum swinger.
They would go on with a short rampage of their own with another try to Harmony Hunt, before some brutal defensive efforts galvanised the side into some valuable field position.
But just when Guildford looked to be pushing hard in attack, a powerful run from Workers five-eighth Veiru Mapesone gave Peter Scanlon his second try of the afternoon - the winger again showing great pace to evade his counterparts on his way to the try-line.
Despite trailing 22-8 at half-time, Guildford fired out of the blocks in the second-half with some brutal defensive efforts, and they were soon rewarded with a try to Dylan Mckewon after he crashed over from close-range.
Blacktown responded with some valiant goal-line defence of their own as Guildford looked to reduce to the deficit to less than two converted tries, but their efforts were to no avail when Tuha crossed for his second try with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Guildford had a glimmer of hope when Matthew Rickard was on the receiving end of a deft grubber from Lewis, but the game was put to bed in the dying stages when a determined run from Jesse Jackson gave the Workers a 14-point buffer.
If Jackson's try wasn't enough to seal the victory for the Workers, a runaway try from Scanlon not only completed their hard-fought victory, but also the wingers impressive hat-trick of tries.
While Scanlan spoke with sheer pride following his strong individual display, the flyer was quick to selflessly pay credit to his forwards for their rather unheralded hard-work through the middle-third.
"I'm pretty happy to have that in the bag but I couldn't have done it without the forwards, they worked so hard in the middle," Scanlan told NSWRL.com.au.
The focus was run hard and tackle hard - just the basics. We knew if we did that the rest would pan out and it did."
BLACKTOWN 36 (P Scanlan 3 H Tuhi 2 L Li J Jackson tries; K Cryer 3 goals) def GUILDFORD 16 (J Lewis H Hunt D Mckeown tries).
Elimination Final - Glebe-Burwood Wolves v Asquith Magpies
St Marys Leagues Stadium
Saturday 1 September, 5pm
A ruthless second-half blitz from the Glebe-Burwood Wolves has all but ended the Asquith Magpies season with a 38-14 victory on Saturday evening.
In a dominant collective team performance, the Wolves ran in eight tries to three to progress to week two of the Ron Massey Cup finals and bounce back from their tough loss to Wentworthville last weekend.
In a tug-of-war opening half, it was the Wolves he drew first-blood through live-wire fullback Latrell Schaumakel, before taking a 10-0 lead through winger Charlton Schaafhausen in the 11 minute.
Although looking comfortable in the early exchanges, Magpies hooker Jake Attard would spark his side with a try just after the 20-minute mark, with Kurt Horton converting to reduce the deficit to four-points.
Both sides battled fiercely with some physical clashes throughout the middle-third, but it was Schaafhausen who gave his side a crucial-pointer after he finished a well-executed backline movement in the left-hand corner,
Shae Jarvis would ensure his side would go into the break with a wealth of confidence when he barged his way over from close-range, but not before a Amanaki Veamatahau break from his own goal-line gave them valuable field position.
With the Wolves holding onto a slim 14-10 lead at half-time, they would kick-start their second-half in fine style after Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga pounced on a grubber but was unable to convert his own try.
Just when another try loomed for the Wolves following a break from Jesse Marschke, they were unable to capitlise on their chance which eventually proved costly, as Magpies back-rower Matthew Place crashing over at the opposing end.
Despite the vast turnaround, Aufaga-Toomaga bagged his second try in the 55th minute to give the Wolves a 10-point lead, before a scintillating 50m try form Aaron Pene on the ensuing set gave them some breathing space.
Ryan King barged his way over for the Wolves seventh try of the evening to put the result beyond doubt, before halfback Penani Manumalealii darted through with a show-and-go for a try in the dying stages.
GLEBE-BURWOOD 38 (C Schaafhausen 2 B Aufaga-Toomaga 2 L Schaumkel A Pene R King P Manumalealii tries; B Aufaga-Toomaga 3 goals) def ASQUITH 14 (J Attard S Jarvis M Place tries; K Horton goal).
Qualifying Final - Wentworthville Magpies v St. Marys
St Marys Leagues Club
Sunday 2 September, 1pm
The Wentworthville Magpies have overcome an eight-point deficit at half-time to secure a 26-12 victory over St Marys and a spot in the preliminary final in two weeks time.
Having claimed the Minor Premiership following a largely successful regular season in 2018, the clash also marked the start of Magpies title defence after their dominant finals series last year.
In the corresponding game of 2017, the Magpies recorded a commanding 46-12 victory over Hills District, but St Marys would ensure they would be made to do it the hard way after taking a 12-4 lead at half-time.
Their courageous efforts would be to no avail, however, as the Magpies crossed for two tries in quick succession following the half-time break, with fullback Abbas Miski instrumental with two tries and a try-assist.
Both teams made their collective presence felt in the opening stages with some physical defensive efforts, with a try-saving tackle on Magpies fullback Abbas Miski just when he looked certain to score proving to be match-defining.
St Marys would take a 2-0 lead after Jake Toby slotted a penalty-goal from 10m out, but they soon found themselves on the back-foot with the Magpies peppering their goal-line.
After back-to-back sets of six, they would finally capitalise on the valuable field position when Nathan Milone finished off a well-executed backline movement to open the scoring.
St Marys would return serve, however, after Allan Fitzgibbon found space down the right-hand touchline before passing inside to a supporting Toby, only for the five-eighth to stumble but managing to offload off the ground with the ball eventually landing back into the arms of a waiting Fitzgibbon.
They found themselves on the attack just shortly after stealing their first try of the afternoon, as Veta Henry Seumanu crashed over directly under the posts to give St Marys a 12-4 lead.
The Magpies would start with a bang in the second stanza after Jack Morris poked his nose through the defensive line before offloading to Miski, with the fullback barging off a host of scrambling defenders before finding an unmarked Eli Roberts for their second try of the afternoon.
Miski then took it upon himself to inspire the Magpies to the lead for the first time of the afternoon with a remarkable chip and chase - somehow juggling the ball back into his arms despite the efforts of St Marys fullback Robert Vai to ground the ball.
Beau Henry converted to give the magpies a 14-12 lead after 52 minutes.
Miski continued to cause havoc for the St.Marys defence as he constantly threatened with the ball-in-hand, and he again proved too strong close to the line after he snuck over from dummy-half to give his side a healthy advantange.
The Magpies wrapped up their comeback victory after a towering cross-field kick was fumbled into the in-goal area, with Milone pouncing on the loose ball to record his second try of the afternoon.
Ill-discipline creeped in for St.Marys when Reece Goldsmith was sin-binned in the dying stages, as the Magpies showcased their resilience in defence to hold out some last-gasp efforts from the Saints.
WENTWORTHVILLE 26 (A Miski 2 N Milone 2 E Roberts tries B Henry 3 goals) bt ST MARYS 12 (A Fitzgibbon V Seumanu tries J Toby 2 goals)
Qualifying Final - Mounties v Cabramatta
St Marys Leagues Stadium
Sunday 2 September 5pm
Cabramatta have held-off a fast-finishing Mounties outfit to claim a gusty 24-18 victory at St Mary's Leagues Stadium on Sunday evening.
Finishing second and third on the competition ladder respectively, the last time these two sides faced was in Round 14 which saw Cabramatta claim a 16-10 win.
This game would be just as nail-biting, with Cabramatta taking a rather unassailable lead early in the second-half, before three unanswered tries from Mounties set up an intense finish.
The victory will mean Cabramatta are just one game away from the Ron Massey Cup Grand Final, while Mounties will host the Glebe-Burwood Wolves next weekend for a place in the preliminary final.
It was the perfect start for Cabramatta when Cleveland McGhie crossed in the first two minutes, before Shane Kiel burst onto a lovely short-ball from Jake Steadman to extend their lead just 10 minutes later.
They held onto their 12-point advantage for a majority of the first-half as they were unable to cn attack, but responded with some defiant goal-line defence that kept the Mounties at bay.
Although committed with their defensive efforts, the Mounties struck a crucial blow right on the half-time siren, with a right-to-left shift sending Andrew Bristow over for a vital try.
Maurice Kennedy converted as the Mounties reduced the deficit to just a converted try at the break.
Steadman got the ball rolling for Cabramatta when he supported a clean break down the right-hand touchline, taking the lead out to 12 in the early stages of the first-half.
A try to Jesse Martin gave Cabramatta some breathing space when he crossed with half-an-hour still to play, but when Mounties winger Jordan Martin strolled over in the right-hand corner it gave the Mounties a rare sight at victory.
The game certainly sparked to life when Bristow scored his second just a few moments later, before Maurice Kennedy crossed with just three minutes remaining to reduce the deficit to just a converted try.
Although having a last-gasp chance to score in the final 15 seconds, their efforts were to no avail.
CABRAMATTA 24 (C McGhie S Kiel J Steadman J Martin tries Z Mackay 4 goals) bt MOUNTIES 18 (A Bristow 2 J Martin M Kennedy tries; M Kennedy goal)