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AROUND THE GROUNDS | Junior Reps Rd 2

All you need to know from the first round across five of the NSWRL junior representative competitions. 

Regional footy returns

NSWRL’s Junior Representative regional competitions kicked off on Saturday with the Laurie Daley and Andrew Johns Cups, featuring some of the best talent across the men’s under-18 and under-16 age groups.

The opening day fixtures of the Andrew Johns Cup saw Penrith secure a 40-12 victory over South Coast Illawarra at Panthers Stadium, the Western Rams defeating Riverina and the North Coast Bulldogs’ 20-point win over Central Coast with Connor Latham and Braith Powick scoring two tries each.

In Saturday’s results from the Laurie Daley Cup, South Coast Illawarra began their title defence with a 20-12 victory at Penrith and the Western Rams showed their attacking prowess in a 42-16 win against Riverina at Spooner Oval, while Nicholas Smith produced a hat-trick of tries as the North Coast Bulldogs defeated Central Coast 36-16.

Late try stops Sea Eagles

The Balmain Tigers have survived a second-half surge from Manly Warringah in the UNE SG Ball Cup with the help of Darcy Hoy’s match-leveller in the final minutes of play.

Balmain started strongly with the opening three tries in front of the Leichardt Oval crowd. The Sea Eagles responded after the break with tries to winger Sunia Siasau and captain Kaeo Weekes along with a double for speedster Tolu Koula.

At the 66th minute with the match on the line, the Tigers’ prop pounced on a short ball from a metre out and muscled his way over before Zane Camroux’s conversion snatched the win for the home side.

Berry stars for Steelers

After finishing last season with a 70-metre effort to seal a grand final win, fullback Teagan Berry kicked off Illawarra’s 2020 try-scoring account in a successful start to their Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup title defence.

It took just under 10 minutes for Berry to make her mark on the contest after backing up a late offload and slicing through two defenders to score under the posts. Berry’s second try came in the 20th minute from a 50-metre kick return, followed by a third try at the 48-minute mark.

Rounding out the Steelers’ 44-6 win over the Wests Tigers were two tries apiece for Viena Tinao and Teagan Williams, a four-pointer for Amy Tietjens and six goals from Olivia Vale. Tigers’ prop Tiamo Williams scored the sole try for the home side which was successfully converted by Jessica Whelan.

Raiders on winner’s list

After their Round 1 defeat to Parramatta at Belconnen, the Canberra Raiders UNE Harold Matthews Cup side have made a strong turnaround with a 12-point win over the St George Dragons.

The men in in green were under pressure early as St George winger Issac Petrus crossed over in the 16th minute, but a brace of tries for Siamani Leuluai gave the Raiders a 10-point buffer just after halftime.

Petrus gave Canberra a scare after his second try in the 45th minute, before the Raiders put the result beyond doubt with two more four-pointers through Josh Petrovic and Taulauniuotagoloa Mariota.