Semi-Final - Mounties v Glebe-Burwood Wolves
Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Saturday 8 September, 3.15pm
The Glebe-Burwood Wolves are now one victory away from the Ron Massey Cup Grand Final as a fast start against Mounties was enough to secure a 20-14 victory.
Mounties were first on the board with a sharp right-side raid to which Jordan Martin was the beneficiary in the corner.
The Wolves earned back-to-back sets when Tyla Tamou dribbled a neat grubber into the in-goal, and the ensuing set turned into points thanks to Eddie Faalua who pinned the ears back as he charged onto a ball and strolled over underneath the posts.
Some crafty work out of dummy half by Ben Marschke created a small amount of space in the defensive line, which was all Ryan King needed as he fought his way close to the line and stretched out to take the lead, before Matt Jurd scored moments later in a similar position.
A ridiculous effort from a desperate Mounties outfit followed when a grubber was put in towards the left corner and somehow stayed in the field of play; with very little room to work with, Roman Ioelu pounced on the ball and scored while remaining in the field of play.
The opening 25 minutes of the second half was a tight tussle with no points scored, but it was game on when Martin scored his second try of the afternoon in the right corner reduced the deficit to four.
The Wolves kicked a penalty goal to give them some breathing space in the dying stages, and despite a late surge from Mounties they were able to hold on and advance to the Preliminary Final.
GLEBE-BURWOOD 20 (E Faalua R King M Jurd tries; R King 4 goals) def MOUNTIES 14 (J Martin 2 R Ioelu tries; M Kennedy goal).
Semi-Final - St Marys Saints v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Sunday, 8 September, 3.30pm
St Marys Saints have put in a defiant defensive performance to hold-off the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 28-16 at Jubilee Oval on Sunday afternoon.
An entertaining opening stanza saw both sides cross for two tries in the opening 20 minutes, before a try to Honeti Tuha gave the Workers a 14-10 lead at half-time.
But the Saints would ensure their defensive efforts were rewarded, with a second try to Allan Fitzgibbon early in the second-half and a Jake Toby sideline conversion bolstered them to a 16-14 advantage.
But late tries to Nathan Smith and Fitzgerald would seal the victory, which now sets up a blockbuster Preliminary Final clash with Cabramatta next weekend.
St Marys got off to a blistering start when winger Fitzgibbon opened the scoring in the right-hand corner, but their lead was short lived after a Veiru Mapesone offload found James Tuitahi for the Workers first try of the afternoon.
St Marys quickly found themselves on the attack just moments after conceding their first, and they took full advantage of their chance when John Faimu dived on a deft grubber in-goal.
But once again, their lead wouldn't last long as Mapesone pounced on a loose ball against the run of play before speaking 60 metres to score, with the five-eighth converting his own try to set a 10-all scoreline.
An enthralling period followed with both sides finding open space countless times throughout the first-half, with Workers dominating field position but unable to breakthrough the stonewall defence of St Marys.
Although resilient in their efforts to hold out Blacktown, they couldn't stop a determined Honeti Tuha after he was on the receiving end of pin-point kick into the in-goal for their third try of the afternoon.
Mapesone was unable to convert as the Workers took a 14-10 lead into half-time.
Pressure quickly mounted on the Blacktown goal-line defence as St Marys threatened in the early stages of the second-half, and they couldn't withstand the attacking raids when Fitzgibbon finished off a slick left-to-right movement for his second try of the afternoon.
Toby nailed the sideline conversion as the Saints took a 16-14 lead after 50 minutes.
Blacktown had a golden chance to snatch back the lead with back-to-back sets in enemy territory, but they were gifted two points after a penalty right in-front of the uprights.
A penalty-goal from Jake Toby gave St Marys a two-point buffer with just over 10 minutes remaining, before they sealed victory after a towering bomb wasn't defused by Tuha, which allowed Nathan Smith to storm through and score right under the posts.
Tuha was sent-off after throwing the ball at the referee in the closing stages, before Fiztgerald completed his hat-trick when he strolled over with just 30 seconds to play.
ST MARYS 28 (A Fitzgibbon 3 J Faiumu N Smith tries; J Toby 4 goals) def BLACKTOWN WORKERS 16 (J Tuitahi V Mapesone H Tuha tries; V Mapesone goal).