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Around the Grounds | Country Champs kick-off, Junior Reps Rd 4

The latest from the opening weekend of the Men’s and Women’s Country Championships and all the best action from Round 4 of the NSWRL’s junior representative competitions.

Country Champs begin

The Men’s and Women’s Open Age Country Championships returned on Saturday as the NMR Knights faced the Northern Tigers at Cessnock to open the respective tournaments for 2021. 

In the women’s division the Knights were dominant winners, scoring five unanswered tries including a brace to fullback Taylah Gray on the way to a 26-0 victory. 

The men’s division saw the Tigers run away with a 34-12 win to kick off their campaign. Among the try-scorers were captain Scott Blanch, centre Reece Jaeger (2), back-rower Brett Jarrett and lock Daniel Hoogerwerf while halfback Scott Briggs converted five from six off the boot. 

Click here for other results from the Women’s Country Championships. 

Click here for other results from the Men’s Country Championships.

Manning hat-trick keeps Rabbitohs unbeaten

Another three-try performance by South Sydney winger Evan Manning was enough for the Rabbitohs to remain undefeated in the UNE SG Ball Cup with a 26-20 win over Newcastle at Metricon High Performance Centre. 

Manning opened the scoring two minutes into the contest and crossed for his second before halftime to give South Sydney an 18-4 lead at the break. 

Midway through the second half the No.5 grabbed hold of a loose ball and ran for the corner to score his third, securing the win for the Rabbitohs despite a late fightback from the visitors. 

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

Sea Eagles hand Magpies first defeat

Round 4 of the UNE Harold Matthews Cup featured a battle between two of this season’s genuine premiership contenders as the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles hosted Western Suburbs Magpies at Brookvale Oval on Saturday. 

The home side were quick to gain the advantage in the early exchanges with two tries inside 10 minutes through No.15 Rene Bagon and winger Revelation Sio. Captain Josh Feledy scored the Sea Eagles’ third try in the 26th minute to increase their lead to 14-2 at halftime. 

Hooker Ollie Cummins scored a fourth unanswered try at the 44-minute mark as Manly-Warringah held the Magpies scoreless until the final 10 minutes, coming away with a 20-14 victory. 

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

Knights off the mark in Johns Cup

NMR Knights have produced their first win of the 2021 SLE Andrew Johns Cup season with a 26-16 victory against Northern Tigers at Cessnock Sports Ground. 

With both teams desperate to secure a victory to open their respective campaigns, the halftime break saw the two sides at three tries each – second row forward Tyrese Gordon’s 17th-minute conversion keeping the Knights ahead 14-12. 

Tigers halfback Callum Dowell regained the lead for the visiting team just seven minutes after the break but the Knights eventually sealed the win with two late tries courtesy of No.15 Jacob Marshall and prop Chase Morris. 

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

Tarsha Gale Raiders into winner’s circle

A strong start helped the Canberra Raiders to their first victory of 2021 in what was a must-win clash against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to keep their Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup finals hopes alive. 

Canberra made their intentions clear from the outset with a try to winger Klaudia Osztrenkovics followed by a Madyson Tooth double in the opening 20 minutes. An additional two conversions from halfback Makayla Morris gave the visitors a 16-0 halftime lead. 

The Bulldogs looked to build momentum with two tries early in the second half yet that was all they could muster as the Raiders produced two more four-pointers for a 24-12 win. 

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

Scores level in 44-point thriller

The Monaro Colts and Western Rams fought out a 22-all draw on Sunday at Belconnen in Round 4 of the SLE Laurie Daley Cup. 

Following that result the two teams are only separated by points differential at the top of the Southern Conference with one week remaining before the finals. 

The Rams had a six-point lead with less than five minutes until the final whistle but couldn’t hold out the hosts as No.14 Jayde Howard crossed in the 67th minute. Colts captain Mitchell Evans then stepped up to the tee and nailed the conversion to tie the match. 

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