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Rolling coverage of the second week of finals in the Sydney Shield.

St Marys vs Moorebank Rams

Hannah McGrory

St Marys have made an astonishing comeback in the final minute to defeat Moorebank Rams 34-32 at Leichhardt Oval.

A try from Thomas Lofts in the 79th minute and successful conversion from Dylan White was the difference to secure victory.

The Rams led for 79 minutes before the fast-finishing Saints took the win.

An error from the Rams led to the first try of the game, with winger Blake Mcdermott going over for St Marys. The conversion was successful from halfback Dylan White.

Things went from bad to worse after the Rams lost fullback Shayden Stevens following a head clash with Saints winger Joseph Romeo. Both players had to go off for HIA’s with Romeo later returning to the field while Stevens was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured cheek bone.

The Rams recovered with Mark Griffiths bursting his way over the line and Jake Horton successfully converting to level the scores.

Good defensive pressure from the Rams forced a goal line drop out and a huge 60-metre drop out from St Marys didn’t stop the Rams from scoring another four-pointer. Second rower Billy Mozer was next over for the Rams, however the conversion from Horton was unsuccessful.

Mozer was in the thick of the action again breaking through the defensive line to set up halfback Paul Karaitiana for the Rams third try of the game. Horton successfully converted again to extend the lead to 16-6.

St Marys five-eighth Immanuel Tagalomatua broke through the line to add another try for St Marys with the conversion successful from the sideline.

Another high kick from Dylan White applied pressure on the Rams to force a goal line drop out, however St Marys made an unforced error from the kick off, handing the Rams possession.

Horton made the most of good field position for the Rams to score in the corner, after a great pass from Karaitiana. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Rams still had some breathing space at 20-12.   

The Rams received back-to-back penalties before Aiden Aue went over to score for their fifth try of the match and take a 24-12 lead into halftime.

Saints started the second half in determined fashion and opened the scoring through Daniel Brown.

Rams winger Sebastian Winters-Chang barged his way over to score with the conversion unsuccessful. He was in again for his second of the day after a terrific set play down the left-edge to put the Rams in control at 32-18.

Saints weren't finished as Mcdermott went for a strong run down the right edge to score, with the conversion successful to close the gap to ten points, 32-22.

There was more drama for the Rams after St Marys were awarded back-to-back penalties and Rams hooker Aiden was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul. Saints capitalised on the opportunity and scored through Daniel Peneseto reduce the margin to 32-28 and set up a thrilling finish.

In the 72nd minute an unsuccessful penalty goal attempt from the Rams, proved costly as St Marys finished the job after scoring in the final minute of play through Thomas Lofts. White successfully kicked the conversion to add the two-points for victory and put them through to a Preliminary Final.

Cabramatta v Asquith

Jarrod Ryan

A heated finals game that saw Isiah Tuari and Jason Jana each score doubles finished in an extra time thriller as Cabramatta continued their finals campaign.

Asquith started strong with a try in the right-hand corner within the first five minutes of the game. Joshua Fraser dove over as the Magpies forced the overlap.

A quick short side switch left the Cabramatta defence watching as Asquith Winger Justin Burt barreled over the try line. A successful Kore-Lee Perenara conversion separated the teams by twelve points.

Justin Burt went back-to-back, scooping the ball from dumby half, charging through three Cabramatta goal line defenders.

Cabramatta retaliated minutes later, with Tavena Koroisau receiving a short pass meters from the line. A successful conversion kept them within ten points of the Magpies.

Ten minutes later, Cabramatta closed the gap in the score line, exploiting a miscommunication in the Asquith defencive pack, spreading the ball through the back line leading to an Isiah Tuari try.

Tensions seemed to boil over late in the first half as Cabramatta’s Tevita Masima and Asquith’s Caleb Campbell were both sent for ten minutes in the Sin Bin.

Cabramatta seemed to prefer the free-flowing style of twelve a side football, as Halfback Solomon Tomokino slotted a grubber behind the Asquith defence, gifting his Winger Isiah Tuari a perfect bounce to score his second of the game. An unsuccessful conversion left Cabramatta behind by two points going into the half time break.

Asquith regained some attacking pressure making easy metres through the middle of the Cabramatta defence and forcing a repeat set.  Winger Thomas Menzies dodged defenders to score the first try of the half as Cabramatta couldn’t capitalise off an attempted short drop out.

Cabramatta retaliated when Ayden Carling forced his way through the Asquith try line defence to keep his team in the game.

The game was tied up at twenty-two all when Christian Papa slotted a penalty goal off the back of a repeat set. But minutes later Asquith crashed over for their fifth try of the evening, as Joseph Mau received a short ball to slot him through a gap in the Cabramatta defence next to the goal posts.

Cabramatta were left with twelve players on the field with fifteen minutes to go when Anzacsemi Aviata was sent to the sin bin, the team’s second player to leave the field in the game.

A professional foul againt Magpies’ Jake Pickering once again saw the game reduced to twelve-a-side. Once again, this style of football suits the Cabramatta side as a simple grubber evened the score line through a converted Jason Jana try.

Minutes later Cabramatta’s Christian Papa broke the fatiguing Asquith defence, dropping the ball on his boot to set Jana up for his second. An unsuccessful conversion saw Cabramatta leading by four points for the first time in the game.

Asquith restarted the game with a smart dribble across the forty metre line leading the team to once again equalize the game with a try in the left corner by Hayden McWilliam. Perenara’s unsuccessful conversion attempt sent the game to extra time.

A miscommunication during the first minutes of extra time saw Asquith spoil their own chance of scoring a field goal as Hooker Daniel Vasek chose to attack the line rather than dish the ball to waiting Five-Eighth who was in prime position to slot the point.

The pressure of the game showed in the Cabramatta defence as a lack of discipline gave the Magpie’s the opportunity to regain the lead. A forty-five metre penalty goal by Perenara seemed as though it would be the difference but an aggressive run by Cabramatta’s Aviata saw Cabramatta scrape over the line with a four point win.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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