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Canterbury Cup NSW Round 8 - scores, highlights, reports

Canterbury Cup NSW - Round 8

Mounties v Penrith Panthers

HIGHLIGHTS | Mounties v Penrith – Round 8

By Andrew Jackson

The Panthers have overcome a mounting injury toll and sin bin to stun the ladder-leading Mounties 30-22 at Aubrey Keech Reserve.

Likely to be without first-grade regulars Isaah Yeo (shoulder), Viliame Kikau (knee), James Maloney (suspension) and Liam Martin (suspension) next week, the Panthers pulled a quartet of names out of Sunday’s clash with Mounties.

Kaide Ellis, Hame Sele, Jarome Luai and Tyrell Fuimaono were late scratchings with all four expected to play NRL next week.

Shawn Blore (ankle), Spencer Leniu (knee) and Daine Laurie (concussion) were also ruled out, prompting a reshuffle in the Penrith outfit.

But a Billy Burns double and composed performance from fill-in five-eighth Kurt Falls led the Panthers to a hard-fought win.

Mounties were also without a couple of strike weapons out wide in Bailey Simonsson and Michael Oldfield.

They still had plenty of experience to draw on in halves Ata Hingano and Aidan Sezer.

And back-to-back penalties saw Mounties march upfield and quickly capitalise, Emre Guler crashing over next to the posts to hand the home side an early 6-0 lead.

Both sides were guilty of ill-discipline early but it was Mounties who proved better at taking their chances. Andre Niko scored in the 15th minute as Sezer swung it left to Hingano, who put the winger over in the corner.

Niko was almost over again soon when Sezer weaved his way through the Panthers defence but a forward pass was called.

It proved a crucial turning point, a penalty seeing Penrith reduce the deficit to six after a Dylan Edwards grubber sat up for Ratu Tuisese.

The Panthers then hit the lead in the 30th minute when Burns pounced on a loose ball off a crossfield kick. Edwards kicked both conversions from the sideline.

Falls then broke through the line but couldn’t link up with an unmarked Allan Fitzgibbon, his pass hitting the ground and the ball spilling out.

And Mounties made them pay, going down the left edge on the following set as Reubenn Rennie flicked it on the inside for Niko to fly over. The successful conversion saw the score line stand at 16-12 at the break.

Mounties carried their momentum into the second half, extending their lead to 10 when Tom Starling put Reuben Porter over off a crash ball.

In the absence of starting halves Laurie and Luai, Falls stepped up and was rewarded with a try when he chased his own bomb and picked up the scraps in the 53rd minute.

In a cruel blow for the Panthers, Mattheson Johns was sin-binned with 23 minutes remaining.

Just as Johns came to return from his ten-minute spell, Mounties looked to have landed the finishing blow when Tony Satini soared over in the corner, only for the play to be ruled back for a forward pass.

Having had a similar call go against them in the first half, it was déjà vu for the home side as Penrith went on to score off the ensuing set, rewarded for their defensive effort without Johns.

Five-eighth falls added to his impressive performance with a well-weighted kick, which sat up for a determined Fitzgibbon.

Edwards nailed the conversion from the sideline to give the Panthers a 24-22 lead.

Burns then surged over for his second try of the afternoon, sealing a stunning win for Penrith.

Wentworthville Magpies v St George Illawarra Dragons

HIGHLIGHTS | Wentworthville v St George Illawarra Dragons – Round 8

Stewart Moses

Wentworthville Magpies’ Bevan French has turned in an electrifying performance to lead his team to a dominant 30-14 win over a disappointing St George Illawarra side at Bankwest Stadium this afternoon.

In a game that had its fair share of errors given the greasy conditions, French was easily the standout performer, not only scoring two tries and setting up two more, but his last-ditch efforts in defence at fullback snuffed out any chance of a St George Illawarra comeback, coming up with two try-saving plays.

St George Illawarra came into the game in fourth position but came up against a seventh-placed Wentworthville Magpies side that relished the rare opportunity to play in the ultra-impressive surroundings on offer at Bankwest Stadium, despite the slippery conditions.

Both sides were bolstered by key inclusions with the home side adding centre Josh Hoffman and Ray Stone into the run-on side while the visitors were bolstered by the inclusion of Mitch Allgood and Jai Field.

Magpies coach Rip Taylor also reacted to last week’s loss to Newcastle by reshuffling his side, most notably with five-eighth Brad Keighran being relegated to the bench.

An early try to St George Illawarra winger Jonus Pearson was cancelled out by a converted try to the Magpies fullback after 12 minutes, converted by Rhys Davies.

The Magpies went further in front with French turning providing for centre Ethan Perry, who was first to reach the fullback’s grubber kick to touch down out wide in the 17th minute.

The remainder of the half was littered with errors from both sides before the game was turned on its head just seconds from the break when from inside his own half, Field produced a memorizing show and go to slice through the Magpies’ right edge defence before putting Pearson over for his second try of the afternoon, to leave St George Illawarra trailing by just the four points at half-time.

Nicholls missed the conversion, leaving St George Illawarra to trail by just the four points at half-time.

But that was as close as they got as the Dragons never really recovered from the early second half setback of having centre Steven Marsters taken from the field with concussion.

The enforced reshuffle on the Dragons’ right edge was exposed just moments later by French’s beautiful cut-out pass, which put winger Haze Dunster over in the north-west corner to extend the Magpies lead out to ten.

St George Illawarra thought they were back in the game when winger Jason Saab took a Nicholls cross-field kick in spectacular fashion to claim a try in the 49thminute, but was denied by referee Kieren Irons, who deemed his efforts to be a double movement.

That decision proved to be crucial as the Magpies marched play down field, before some effective outside-inside ball movement resulted in a second try to that man French in the 53rdminute, which pushed the score out to 24-8 in the home team’s favour.

Dragons back-rower Jackson Ford atoned for an earlier missed scoring opportunity when he backed up a long-range break to score next to the posts to reduce the deficit back to ten with fourteen minutes remaining, but French’s third try for the day as the siren sounded, ensured the home side would run out comfortable 30-14 winners.

With Round Nine a designated bye, both teams return to action at Henson Park in a Sunday fortnight’s time with Wentworthville taking on North Sydney, while St George Illawarra play

Warriors v Newcastle Knights

HIGHLIGHTS | Warriors v Newcastle – Round 8

Jamie Wall

The Warriors have secured a welcome 28-12 win over the Knights at a sunny Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Warriors had one big change coming into this game, with 93-game NRL centre Solomone Kata in the side after dropping out of the first-grade squad. He was replaced by Patrick Herbert, who made an excellent debut on Anzac Day against the Storm, following a strong start to the season in the Canterbury Cup side.

Kata made his presence known early with some industrious touches, indeed the Warriors should’ve opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he went over in the left corner. While he was adjudged to have lost possession as he went over the goal line, the Warriors kept the heat on for the next passage of play.

Eventually, after some good work by Cole Waaka and Tane Milne in the buildup, Phillip Makatoa scored under the posts. Even though the last pass from Leivaha Pulu to Makatoa was a mile forward, the home side certainly deserved their early 6-0 lead.

The Warriors really should’ve added to their lead in the next 15 minutes, as they enjoyed a serious territorial advantage. The closest they got was a dive from the line by Karl Lawton that saw him lose the ball as well.

They were made to rue their inefficiency in the 31st minute when the Knights crosse after a couple of costly penalties and some scintillating play down the left edge. It came from a beautiful flick by former Warrior Mason Lino to winger Kiah Cooper who barged over, but Lino couldn’t add the extras, making the score 6-4.

Tempers flared soon after when Lino and the man who effectively replaced him, Adam Keighran, had a scuffle that took both men through the advertising hoardings. No further action was taken despite allegations of punches by both teams.

The Warriors looked to take their advantage into the break, but needlessly gave away an offside penalty as the hooter went. Lino landed the easy goal from in front to lock the scores at 6-0 as the teams headed to the sheds.

The Warriors again started the better side after the break, with a good Cole Waaka run setting up space for Blake Ayshford to throw a fantastic offload for Setu Tu to finish off in the corner. Keighran’s kick was wide. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the influential Pulu was injured in the build up and forced from the field.

The Knights looked to have blown a great chance close to the line when their attack collapsed and forced them back to the 20 metre line. Lino then did really well to bust forward and put a nice kick along the deck for Sam Stone to run on to and score 10 metres in from touch.

Lino’s conversion went straight over the black dot and gave the Knights their first lead with 17 minutes to go.

It didn’t last long. Ayshford then put in another piece of magic to put the Warriors back in front, bouncing off three tacklers 10 metres out and then cutting his way back through the big gap he’d created to dive over next to the posts.

Instead of going into their shell, the last 10 saw the Warriors press on to extend their lead. Tu, who had a fine game all round, got loose down his wing again, then got a miracle ball away to a flying Paul Turner to collect and score in the corner.

Keighran nailed the conversion, but the Warriors weren’t done yet. After a short kickoff, Adam Tuimavave-Gerard smashed his way through the line on halfway and got a ball away to Jackson Frei to score under the posts.

It sealed an important win for the Warriors, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

North Sydney Bears v Western Suburbs Magpies 

HIGHLIGHTS | North Sydney v Western Suburbs – Round 8

The North Sydney Bears have bounced back from a thumping loss last week with a gritty 18-6 victory over the Western Suburbs Magpies at North Sydney Oval on Sunday. 

They well and truly put their lacklustre Round 7 performance behind them as they welcomed Lachlan Lam back into the side – helping orchestrate a relentless first-half performance alongside halves partner and captain Brock Lamb. 

The Bears raced in three unanswered tries while matching their efforts with some committed goal-line performance, although the Magpies threatened at stages and were denied two tries in the opening 40 minutes.   

Western Suburbs responded with an early try in the second-half but their remaining efforts were to no avail as the victory cemented second place on the competition ladder for the foundation club. 

It was the Bears who got off to a flying start when John Tuivatai stormed onto a deft  Lamb pass in just the third minute of play to take an early 6-0 lead. 

The Magpies then had multiple chances to earn a quick reprieve but handling errors in the short burst of torrential Sydney rain proved costly.

They were made to rue their mistakes in their countless attacking raids as the Bears extended the lead off the back of some Lam magic.

The classy no.6 skipped across field and found open space down the left-hand touchline before placing a pinpoint kick back on the inside as Bernard Lewis won the race to the ball for back-to-back tries. 

Lamb was unable to convert from the sideline as the Bears held onto a handy 10-0 advantage after 12 minutes. 

Magpies captain Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu took it upon himself to spark his side when he poked his way through twice in the same set of six, although was denied a try on the second occasion due to interference in the lead-up. 

Their missed opportunity would again haunt them when Egan Butcher marked his Canterbury Cup NSW debut with a powerful try just five minutes before half-time as the Bears eventually took their 16-0 lead into the break. 

Neither side were able to break the deadlock throughout the early exchanges of the second-half although momentum shifted when the Magpies forced a goal-line drop-out after some exciting second-phase play. 

They finally found a breakthrough on the ensuing set as Soni Luke darted his way over from dummy-half for his sides maiden try of the afternoon.  

A tug-of-war battle followed as the Magpies were desperate for a crucial try as the full-time siren neared, although it was the Bears who looked to have iced the victory only for Asu Kepaoa to be denied due to a forward pass. 

A Lamb penalty goal with just four minutes remaining sealed an impressive win for the Bears ahead of the Round 9 bye weekend. 

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

HIGHLIGHTS | Blacktown Workers v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs – Round 8

By Wayne Cousins

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have defeated the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 38-10 at Lottoland. 

The Bulldogs dominated the first half to lead 22-4 at the break before running away with the match in the second half to record their fourth win of the season.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the seventh minute when winger Christian Crichton dived over in the left corner for a 4-0 lead.

The visitors went to an 8-0 lead when full-back Connelly Lemuelu crossed five minutes later. Centre Morgan Harper converted for a 10-0 lead after 14 minutes.

Canterbury five-eighth Jesse Marschke finished off a nice break by centre Marcelo Montoya to score next to the posts. Harper converted the try for a 16-0 lead after 33 minutes.

A minute later, Bulldogs hooker Michael Lichaa scored behind the posts. Harper converted for a 22-0 lead after 36 minutes.

The Sea Eagles opened their account with a try a minute later to winger Alfred Smalley after he finished off a nice play to score in the right corner from a scrum win. The try was not converted for a 22-4 scoreline after 38 minutes.

Chrichton grabbed his second try when he used his strength to dive over in the left corner for a 26-4 scoreline after 44 minutes. Harper failed to convert the try.

The Bulldogs went further ahead when Montoya crossed for his second try in the corner after running onto a nice offload. Harper converted from the sideline for a 32-4 lead after 58 minutes.

Marschke grabbed his second try when he finished off an attacking raid down the right flank to score behind the posts. Harper converted the try for a 38-4 lead after 64 minutes. 

The Sea Eagles scored a late consolation try in the 77th minute through Denzal Tonise. Zach Dockar-Clay converted the try for a 38-10 scoreline.

The loss leaves Blacktown Workers with just one win from eight matches played this season.

Newtown Jets v South Sydney Rabbitohs

HIGHLIGHTS | Newtown v South Sydney – Round 8

By Blake Edwards

The Newtown Jets have held on to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 26-24 in a thrilling encounter in front of a healthy crowd at Henson Park.

With both Newtown and Souths coming off last start losses to Wests and Penrith respectively, both camps were eager to right their wrongs, which was evident early with great intensity shown in the first few minutes. 

It was the visitors who struck first through flanker Mawene Hiroti, who weaved through Jets defenders as if they were agility posts, racing away to score a neat opening four-pointer. The Rabbits continued to mount pressure on the Newtown side close to their line, though the bluebags held strong, dismissing all opportunities the red and green created.

The Jets grit showed it’s worth when they forced their way up the field, reversing the pressure now to Souths. Forcing repeat sets, it was only a matter of time before the visitors were exposed and this came in the form of a burrowing effort from close range by experienced rake James Segeyaro who planted it over the stripe. The momentum was with the homeside who produced a blind side play which was finished off comfortably by Matt Evans to take the lead 12-6.

Moments later it appeared the bluebags had secured their third try before it was denied by Referee Damien Briscoe, ruling the chasers were in front of the downfield punt. Souths again exposed the right hand defenders of the Jets, when Leigh Higgins roared through a large gap from close range courtesy of a brilliant cut-out pass, leveling the scores at 12 all. A late half penalty to the Rabbitohs on the stroke of halftime, saw them kick for goal, with Hiroti adding the two to give them a narrow 14-12 lead at the break.

Newtown opted to level the scores shortly after the resumption courtesy of a penalty right in front of the sticks, before they forced their way over the line in the following set with a try to Ronald Mulitalo, extending their lead to 20-14 heading into the final half hour of the contest.

Souths were granted ample opportunities through a string of penalties, but fell at the final hurdle on two occasions. The Jets made full use of their opportunity a short while later, with Mulitalo finishing off a swift backline movement to cross for his second of the afternoon, giving his side a two converted try lead.

Ill discipline from Greg Matheson’s men again gifted the red and green a scoring opportunity, which they grabbed, when after a poor last tackle kick was fielded short of the line by a Jets player, before Dean Hawkins stripped the ball from his possession, then fought his way over the stripe to keep the bunnies in the game.

Hawkins heroics proved vital in sparking another try moments later, this time out wide to their first try scorer Hitari. Hitari failed to converted his own try, leaving Souths two points behind heading into the final fifteen minutes of the tussle.

An error to Jets’ Luke Poselli off a downfield kick from the set after Souths points nearly proved costly, when the visitors again found their way over the line, with the Jets scrambling to hold them out. The Jets looked certain to score when Jackson Ferris burst through defenders in his own half, before toeing it ahead for Rusiate Lumelume who fumbled it over the try-line, deflating the whole crowd in attendance at Henson Park. The Jets were able to hang on in the final stages to secure a well-fought 26-24 victory.

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