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Around the Grounds | Junior Reps Rd 1

All the best action from the opening round of the NSWRL’s junior representative competitions.

Footy returns after year-long hiatus

A year on from the 2020 season being cut short due to COVID-19, the Junior Representative competitions across NSW – SLE Andrew Johns Cup (Under 16s), SLE Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s), UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 17s), Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (Under 19s) and UNE SG Ball Cup (Under 19s) – made their long awaited returns on Saturday.

The brightest talents from the NSWRL certainly didn’t disappoint when they finally stepped back onto the field with a host of high-scoring encounters coming from the weekend’s fixtures.

Tigers overcome Titans in big first-up win

Macarthur Wests Tigers have started their 2021 SLE Andrew Johns Cup campaign in dominant style with an 18-point away win against Northern Rivers Titans in Ballina. 

Second row forward Thomas Pati opened proceedings when he muscled over from close range for a try in the fifth minute. The Tigers extended their lead 20 minutes later as lock Jeremiah Leatigaga broke through midfield to see No.1 Dario Rodriguez under the posts. 

Hooker Heith Pritchard scooted over just seconds the halftime whistle as Semi Ropeti converted for 16-0 lead at the break. Despite an early try in the second half for Jesse Soric and the Titans, Macarthur scored a fourth through Harry Delaney to round out the 22-4 win.

Click here for other results from the SLE Andrew Johns Cup.

Sea Eagles storm home against Eels

The Parramatta Eels looked to be on track for a win in Round One of the UNE Harold Matthews Cup before the Sea Eagles stole a victory in final moments of the contest.

Manly-Warringah trailed 14-6 with 10 minutes remaining after an Ethan Sanders penalty goal pushed the Eels ahead, but it came down to two moments of brilliance by Sea Eagles five-eighth Latu Fainu to see the visitors secure a 22-14 win.

Fainu made the most of an attacking set in the 50th minute when Parramatta knocked on from the kick-off, cutting back infield and beating five defenders to score. Five minutes later Fainu took on the defence from halfway and threw a late offload for centre Josh Feledy to take the lead. Lehi Hopoate scored his second try in the 59th minute to seal victory.

Click here for other results from the UNE Harold Matthews Cup.

Lloyd-Phillips stars in Roosters shutout

Sydney Roosters winger Charlize Lloyd-Phillips scored a hat-trick of tries during a dominant team performance on Saturday as the tricolours secured a 42-0 victory over Canterbury-Bankstown in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup.

The point-scoring list also included a double for back-rower Otesa Pule and tries to fullback Maddie Binding, No.14 Teisha Saunders and centres Ruby Smith and Sophie Whitton. Smith converted three four-pointers for a personal tally of 10 points.

Click here for other results from the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup.

Tigers and Thunderbolts share the spoils

Nothing could separate the Balmain Tigers and Victoria Thunderbolts after fighting out a 28-all draw in their UNE SG Ball Cup clash at Leichhardt Oval. 

As Victoria fullback Sualauvi Faalogo crossed at the 54-minute mark the Thunderbolts were all but certain to secure a Round 1 win, but the hosts weren’t finished yet when No.17 Sione Vaihu scored beneath the uprights followed by a Livai Saukuru conversion for a 28-26 lead. 

Faalogo levelled the scores with a late penalty goal before Saukuru missed an attempted field goal in the final play as both sides came away a solitary competition point.

Click here for other results from the UNE SG Ball Cup.

Rams start strong against Dragons

A fast start from the Western Rams went a long way to securing a 24-10 win over South Coast Illawarra in their SLE Laurie Daley Cup matchup on Sunday.

The home side scored three tries in the opening 30 minutes through halfback Cooper Egan, edge forward Finnley Neilsen and second-rower partner Ryan Wake to set up an 18-point lead at halftime.

The Dragons struggled to gain the ascendency after winger Liam Arnold hit back in the 44th minute before Rams lock Zac Williams put the result beyond doubt with a try of his own. Captain Braye Porter was also solid off the boot with four from four conversions.

Click here for other results from the SLE Laurie Daley Cup.