Live coverage of Round 22 in the Canterbury Cup NSW.
Match: Rabbitohs v Bulldogs
Round 22 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have bounced back from a 12-point loss over the Mounties last week to defeat the South Sydney Rabbitohs who sit on top of the ladder.
The Buldlogs had a strong start to the game, scoring in the opening four minutes of the match through Connelly Leumelu.
The sideline conversion was successful from five-eighth Brandon Wakeham. The Bulldogs were on the scoreboard again following a penalty, with Wakeham adding the two points to extend their lead to 8-0.
Souths were next to respond though Leigh Higgins following a great kick from halfback Dean Hawkins in the 16th minute. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Rabbitohs centre Jacob Gagan then came from the field after a hamstring injury and did not return to the field.
Souths’ Corey Allan was through a gap and passed to Dylan O’Connor who scored under the posts to level the scores. The conversion from Hawkins was successful to put his side in the lead for the first time 10-8.
An unstoppable Rabbitohs outfit were in again after Connor Tracey came very close, with captain Billy Brittain going over to score their third in a row. The conversion was good from Hawkins to extend their lead 16-8.
The Bulldogs came fighting back with Morgan Harper going through the Rabbitohs defensive line to score. Wakeham’s kick attempt swung to the left to leave the Rabbitohs in front 16-12.
The Bulldogs fighting spirit was on display as they were over again through Matt Doorey, with an unsuccessful conversion the scores were locked at 16-all.
The Rabbitohs received back-to-back penalties and with good field position opted to take the two points. Hawkins successfully kicked the penalty goal with the half time siren sounding in the background to put his team in the lead 18-16.
Following back-to-back penalties, the Bulldogs opted to take a penalty goal, with Wakeham successfully adding the two points to level up the scores early in the second half.
After a brilliant break through the Bulldogs defensive Rabbitohs fullback Allan opened up space for five-eighth Tracey to score the first try of the second half. A successful conversion put them back in the lead 24-18.
A huge kick from Bulldogs halfback Fa’amanu Brown sent a flying Jayden Okunbor over to score under the posts and a successful conversion locked the scores again at 24-all.
Okunbor was in again six minutes later after winning the foot-chase down the right-hand side to score. Wakeham’s kick attempt was unsuccessful however the Bulldogs were back in the lead 28-24 with 20 minutes remaining.
The Bulldogs secured victory in the 70th minute with Jake Averillo running 60 metres to score. The conversion was successful and in the 79th minute Wakeham successfully finished off the game with a penalty goal.
The Rabbitohs will play Newcastle Knights next Sunday at Maitland Sports Ground and the Bulldogs will face Wentworthville Magpies on Saturday.
Match: Knights v Mounties
Round 22 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Mounties have moved within striking distance of the top four after accounting for Newcastle 36-14 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Moving up to fifth on the ladder with a six tries to three victory, playmakers Brendan O’Hagan and Tom Starling both scored against their former club, as Newcastle centre Brayden Musgrove bagged a double for the home side.
Coming into the match after breaking a six match-losing streak last week, Mounties started in fine form with Tony Satini (11th minute) crossing in the corner after a superb cut-out pass from Dean Matterson.
Hitting back moments later to level the scores at 6-all, Newcastle props James Gavet and Jirah Momoisea showed tremendous offloading skills to instigate a 50-metre run finished off by Jacob Gagai (15th minute).
Regaining the ascendancy through former Knights junior Brendan O’Hagan (20th minute), the visitors took a narrow 12-10 lead to the change of ends after Brayden Musgrove (34th minute) posted his first try of the season in the closing moments of the first half.
Starting the second half in dynamic fashion, Tongan international Siliva Havili (43rd minute) showed his class to expose the Knights’ goal line defence with a massive dummy to score in his first Canterbury Cup NSW appearance this season.
Asserting their dominance with two tries in quick succession, Royce Hunt (52nd minute) produced a powerhouse effort to charge over from close range, before former Newcastle hooker Tom Starling (55th minute) finished off a left-side attacking raid to establish a 30-10 lead.
Threatening to launch a comeback after Musgrove (63rd minute) finished off a great burst from Tex Hoy to bag his second of the afternoon, Jack Murchie (74th minute) secured the win with a late four pointer before Andre Niko posted a penalty goal on full-time to see Mounties run out 36-14 winners.
Next week Newcastle host South Sydney at Maitland, while Mounties face Blacktown in Canberra with both matches taking place on Sunday afternoon.
Match: Warriors v Bears
Round 22 -
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
They may have left it late but two tries in the closing stages have given the North Sydney Bears a well-earned 22-6 victory over the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
Both sides had to contend with awful conditions, but it was a commanding second half that got the North Sydney side home.
It only took two minutes for the home side to get on the board though, with makeshift fullback Setu Tu taking advantage of a piggyback penalty and then some slack ruck defence to bust over near the posts. With Chanel Harris-Tavita called up for the Warriors’ NRL fixture, captain Hayze Perham took over the kicking duties and converted. That would, however, be the last time the Warriors would trouble the scorers.
From there, the game became an absolute slog as both sides committed error after error. While the conditions weren’t helping, there was no excuse for the shoddy discipline both with ball in hand and keeping a decent 10 metres on defence.
While the Warriors didn’t threaten the line again in the first half, Fred Lussick went close 25th minute. The hooker darted from dummy half to get over the line, only to be held up.
A penalty on the last play of the half for offside gave Billy Smith a chance to finally get the Bears on the board. He struck the ball from 30 metres out straight in front but shanked it wide, which was a fitting end to a painful half to watch.
Whatever Jason Taylor said at halftime certainly had the desired effect for the Bears, though. They started the second half strongly by forcing two consecutive line drop outs, which eventually opened up space for Smith to bust into the line and get a pass away for Kieran Moss to dive over in the corner. While it appeared that Moss had pulled off a miraculous finish, replays confirmed that the fullback had benefitted from the linesman missing his foot grazing the touchline before the ball was planted.
This time Smith’s kick was on target, and not long after a dumb late shot by Preston Riki on Brad Dietz gave him a chance to give the Bears the lead. Smith knocked over the penalty goal from close to the posts and just like that, the Bears were in front by 8-6.
The Bears were now firmly in control of proceedings, and it wasn’t long before another penalty goal by Smith extended their lead. Their safety-first approach was clearly the best way option, and the accurate kicking of Deitz and Brad Hutchinson kept the Warriors pinned in their own half until well after the hour mark.
The home side finally got themselves a bit of field position after a couple of Bears handling mistakes, and a kick from Sean Mullany forced a line drop out.
However, they couldn’t crack a resilient Bears defensive line, who had the finish line firmly in their sights and weren’t about to let their slender lead slip heading into the last 10 minutes. Deitz almost sealed the deal in the 70th minute when he crossed the line from dummy half, but lost the ball forward.
With six minutes to go, though, the dagger came from the Bears. Hutchinson popped a very dubious short ball to Egan Butcher, and the big second rower smashed his way through on an angle to score. Smith once again was on target with the kick, and in the dying stages Jerry Key dived on a kick through to push the final score out to a comfortable margin for the Bears.
Match: Panthers v Magpies
Round 22 -
Venue: Panthers Stadium, Penrith
Penrith have put indifferent recent form behind them with a much needed 24-18 win over a determined Western Suburbs Magpies outfit that was equally fighting for their spot in the top eight, at Panthers Stadium.
Panthers playmaker Matt Burton, fresh from the highs of making a match-winning NRL debut last Friday week against the Cronulla Sharks, again had a major influence on the outcome, scoring a brilliant solo try and setting up another as well as keeping the Magpies on high alert with his astute kicking game.
But the win could come at a cost with Burton’s halves partner taken from the field late in the game with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.
The Magpies’ second consecutive loss could be crucial given they were looking to maintain their spot inside the top eight but instead find themselves outside the top eight with just two rounds remaining.
Both sides came into this game with a key exclusion each. Dean Whare’s call up to the NRL side meant Shannon Harris came into the centres for the home side, while the Magpies were dealt a major blow with playmaker Josh Reynolds withdrawn, replaced by Max Burey.
The opening penalty of the game to Penrith proved pivotal when in the ensuing set, recent NRL debutant Matt Burton opened the home side’s account, stepping inside prop Alexander Seyfarth close to the line to score next to the posts to give the Panthers a dream 6-0 start after seven minutes.
But the Magpies wouldn’t be perturbed in conceding early points, levelling the scores five minutes later through Jack Miller, who scored from close range after the replacement playmaker Burey, took on the line to create the gap for his backrower to run through.
However those two tries would be all that would result in a first half otherwise littered with promising opportunities for both sides that would break down at critical moments either through poor options or acts of desperation shown by the defensive line, as both sides would head into the main break 6-6 in very warm conditions at Panthers Stadium.
Having weathered an early second half storm from the Panthers, a late tackle penalty conceded off the kick deep inside Penrith’s own 20m zone to the visitors allowed the Magpies to take the lead for the first time with a try to Watson Heleta, who was first on hand to ground a kick ahead from close range and Maarbani’s simple conversion put Western Suburbs in front 12-6 after 47 minutes.
The Magpies appeared to be slowly but surely getting on top of the Panthers but an error 5m out from their own line was duly punished with Dean Blore and Tyrell Fuimaono combining for winger Malakai Watene-Zelezniak to step his way to and crash over the try line in heavy traffic to reduce the gap to two midway through the second half.
The Magpies’ inability to convert a Robert Jennings line-break into points proved to be the game-defining moment as the Panthers scored back-to-back tries to not only retake the lead but hold the biggest lead of the game, 22-12 with ten minutes remaining.
The first try was kick-started from a long-range kick return from the fullback, Charlie Staines, before hooker Brendan Hands took on the line from dummy half to put Kaide Ellis over from close range.
From the next set, Penrith would score again through Staines after that man Burton broke the line from 35m out to put his fullback away for the try he could have scored just minutes before to give the Panthers some breathing space or so it seemed.
A regather from the restart from the Magpies and a subsequent penalty allowed the Magpies to hit back through Robbie Rochow courtesy of Soni Luke’s kick behind the line to reduce the gap to four with seven minutes remaining.
But a penalty conceded by the Magpies in front of the posts allowed the Panthers to take a 24-18 lead, which they would hold on to until the final siren.
Next Sunday the Panthers travel to North Sydney Oval where they will take on the Bears in a game that could determine the final makeup of the top four, while the Magpies will look to regroup when they travel to Henson Park a day earlier to play the Newtown Jets.
Match: Sea Eagles v Magpies
Round 22 -
Venue: HE Laybutt Field, Sydney
The Wentworthville Magpies have produced a blistering attacking display to record a 46-28 victory over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at HE Laybutt Field on Sunday.
An Ethan Parry double was the catalyst of a relentless second-half performance from the Magpies – crossing for five tries in the latter half, including two in the dying stages, to keep their finals hopes alive.
Both sides showed some impressive attacking efforts with Wentworthville holding onto a slender 18-16 at half-time but the Sea Eagles were unable to withstand the pressure and it resulted in a comfortable win for Rip Taylor's men.
More to come.