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AROUND THE GROUNDS | Junior Reps Wk 5

All you need to know from week five of the 2020 Junior Representative season.

Bulldogs’ streak continues

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs remain unbeaten at the halfway mark of the UNE Harold Matthews Cup, beating the Roosters 40-nil in their Round 5 clash at Belmore Oval on Saturday.

After 20 minutes without a point scored, the Bulldogs eventually opened proceedings through Harrison Valevatu, which was soon followed by a try to winger Andrew Sulkowski for a 12-0 lead at the break.

Despite a slow start for the home side in the first half, Canterbury-Bankstown immediately hit their straps in the second when Paul Almoti crossed in the 31st minute.

The Bulldogs went on to score a further 24 unanswered points in a dominant display, continuing their undefeated start to the 2020 season.

Grit gets Eels to opening win

The Parramatta Eels’ UNE Tarsha Gale Cup side have shown their defensive steel to secure their first win of 2020, edging out the Newcastle Knights in an 8-4 arm-wrestle.

With first points being crucial in a battle of two teams desperate for their opening victory of the year, it was the Eels’ Shondell Akhabube who broke the deadlock after 9 minutes of play. Winger Chelsea Austin extended Parramatta’s lead in the 18th minute to secure an 8-0 buffer at halftime.

Parramatta’s defence continued repel their opposition for the majority of the second half until the Knights finally crossed through Terri-Lee Van Wyk. With just under two minutes remaining, however, the Eels held on to emerge victorious after a resolute defensive effort.

Victoria upset reigning premiers

Having yet to register a win in the UNE SG Ball Cup, the Victoria Thunderbolts have produced a miraculous comeback from 14-points behind with 20 minutes remaining to defeat reigning premiers Illawarra 32-28.

Playing in front of a home crowd at Melbourne’s Casey Fields, an upset victory looked to be on the cards as Victoria scored twice in six minutes through captain Sione Finau and winger Lene Feterika.

The Steelers recovered soon after with four tries courtesy of Jackson Shereb, Benjamin Lavendar (two) and Talatau Amone for a 22-8 halftime lead.

With 20 minutes left to play, it was one try apiece in the second half and the Steelers 14 points ahead. It was then when the Thunderbolts clawed back with tries to Fonua Pole and Gabriel Bartlett as the score reached 28-all.

The matchwinner was left to Feterika, beating two defenders out wide for his second try and sealing an unforgettable win by the Victorians to open their account for 2020.

Russell’s boot keeps Roosters at bay

Parramatta halfback Joshua Russell recorded 3/3 conversions, one successful penalty goal and a 65th-minute field goal on the way to securing a 21-10 win over the Central Coast Roosters in Round 4 of the Laurie Daley Cup.

Points were at a premium throughout the contest despite the Eels crossing twice in the early minutes via David Langi and Lachlan Vale, and the Roosters’ only first half points coming through Bailey Frost in the 17th minute.

The 12-4 score remained for the next 35 minutes until the Roosters scored their second through winger Ethan Mantellato, but it was Russell’s extra conversion that still separated both sides.

Ultimately it was the Eels who kept their lead for the last half-hour as David Langi completed his brace in the 51st minute, followed by Russell’s drop goal with five minutes left to put the result beyond doubt.

GN Tigers on winner’s list

The Greater Northern Tigers have turned around three consecutive defeats in the Andrew Johns Cup to earn themselves a narrow 22-16 victory over the Northern Rivers Titans.

The Tigers may have started the match against the odds when Northern Rivers’ Jamal Laurie scored twice in the first 18 minutes, but with six minutes until the break it was the Tigers worked their way back to 12-all through try-scorers Malik Hunt and Kurt Fisher.

The Tigers’ momentum continued to build just three minutes into the second half as Matt Jones crossed to put the visitors in the lead for the first time in the contest. Malik Hunt then scored his second in the 41st minute to extend the lead to 10 points.

The Titans scored again in with eight minutes remaining through No. 3 Damon Coldwell, but a comeback became too great an obstacle as the Tigers survived for a well fought win.