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Around the Grounds | The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Round 5

Round 5 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup kicks off on Friday night with a top of the table clash between the high flying Panthers and Raiders with four other games to follow on Sunday afternoon.


Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights

Bears v Jets

Magpies v Mounties

Parramatta Eels v St George Illawarra Dragons

Penrith Panthers v Canberra Raiders


Penrith Panthers v Canberra Raiders

NSW Cup Highlights | Panthers v Raiders Round 5

Stewart Moses

Panthers come from behind to remain undefeated

A strong second half performance enabled the Penrith Panthers to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2021 season, overcoming an early 10 point deficit against a star-studded Canberra Raiders outfit to win 24-10 at BlueBet Stadium.

Brent Naden and Robert Jennings, both returning from suspension, were instrumental in the win, while the match also marked the club debut for prop Eddie Blacker who made the mid-week switch from the Dragons.

After an error-riddled start by both teams, it was Canberra who finally broke the stalemate in the 19th minute with a barging try to lock forward Corey Horsburgh. Sam Williams converted to give the visitors a handy 6-0 lead.

Kai O’Donnell had the opportunity to score from dummy half soon after but was held up over the line by some desperate Penrith defence.

Constant pressure from the Raiders soon took its toll on the home side when ex-Panther fullback Caleb Aekins finished off a sweeping play to score out wide to give Canberra a 10 point advantage.

A long break by Taylan May was halted by a high tackle which enabled the Panthers to open their account from the ensuing penalty. A well-weighted kick from Izack Tago was pounced upon by winger Thomas Jenkins in the left corner and with the conversion from Falls, the hosts only trailed by the four at the main break.

Both teams squandered early opportunities to score first in the second half before the Panthers went over through Jaemon Salmon to suddenly put the hosts in front 12-10 after 53 minutes.

A sublime flick pass from fullback Brent Naden put Robert Jennings over in spectacular fashion and with another successful sideline conversion from Falls, the Panthers led 18-10 midway through the second half.

Interchange hooker Trent Toelau went close to scoring before the home side sealed the deal with a try to Tago off a Falls cross-field kick that saw the Panthers keep their unbeaten start to 2021 with the 24-10 win.


Parramatta Eels v St George Illawarra Dragons

Anthony Eltarraf

Young Arthur Stars as Eels dominate Dragons

After a disappointing loss to the Magpies last week, the Parramatta Eels dominated the St George Illawarra Dragons 40-8 at Bankwest Stadium.

The Eels started fast and strong, scoring early on through a scrappy Haze Dunster try. A grubber that couldn't be gathered by the Dragons’ left side allowed for the Parramatta winger to collect the loose ball and score the first try of the game, which was converted by five-eighth Jordan Rankin.

The Dragons, in similar fashion to last week, showed their fight in trying to turn the momentum of the game around, and they did just that through a lovely spread to winger Jordan Pereira, who finished brilliantly in the corner. Dragons’ five-eighth Siti Moceidreke missed the conversion however, keeping the Eels’ lead at two points.

The home side then answered with back-to-back tries from young halfback Jakob Arthur, who showed his running ability to get over the line, and Solomone Naiduki, who touched down in the corner. Both tries were converted again by Rankin.

The Dragons wouldn’t give up, however, and a try to Max Feagai in the Dragons’ right corner this time put the away side back in the game, but another missed conversion made the potential comeback even tougher.

Parramatta refused to let their lead slip, with young star Arthur scoring his second try of the game to take his side to a 24-8 lead at halftime.

It was all the Eels in the second half with deserved tries to Sean Russel and Jordan Rankin extending the home side’s lead to 36-8. The final try saw second-rower Elie El-Zakhem course through a gaping hole in the Dragons’ defence, securing a dominant 40-8 victory for the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium.


Western Suburbs Magpies v Mounties

Mitchell Farrugia

Magpies honour legend Tommy Raudonikis with spirited win over Mounties

The Western Suburbs Magpies have notched up three wins on the trot, comprehensively defeating Mounties in an enthralling 34-14 win at Leichhardt Oval.

Before the match kicked off, there was a moment's silence for Wests Magpies legend Tommy Raudonikis, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

Dominating early field possession, the Magpies with their first venture into Mounties territory capitalised. A shallow attacking kick was battered backwards by fullback Zac Cini and scooped up by halfback Jock Madden who strolled over.

Inside the first ten minutes, utilising pacey winger Allan Fitzgibbon, a smart chip kick was placed by the Magpies behind Mounties' line. Fitzgibbon gathered and rounded in to score under the posts.

On a roll, the Magpies broke through the left edge to race 70 metres down the ground. Being pulled down close to the line, they shifted out to centre Reece Hoffman who barged his way over for a try, extending the Magpies lead out to 16 after only 18 minutes.

It took some smart passing from Mounties to get back on the board as half Brandon Wakeham pulled the strings, allowing winger Falakiko Manu to stroll over in the corner.

Mounties’ fast passing was again able to strip the Magpies for numbers. On this occasion, they headed down the right-hand flank as Aaron Schoupp scored and converted his try, bringing the deficit back to six points.

A late try to the Magpies extended their lead as playmaker Zach Dockar-Clay darted over off a short pass for his first try of the year.

Despite Mounties fighting back into the game, it was the Magpies who would run into the sheds leading 22-10 at halftime.

The Magpies were able to strike first in the second half, with crafty hooker Jake Simpkin’s quick feet and hands close to the line allowing enforcer Edenn Rogers-Smith to pick up a try underneath the sticks.

Off the back of a melee in the middle of the field which saw Mounties hooker Bradley Deitz sent for ten in the bin, the Magpies capitalised. Jake Simpkin’s scoot from dummy half saw him grab a try of his own, bringing his try-scoring tally up to six in five matches.

With the lead pushed out to 24 points, Mounties tried their best to stage a comeback. Winger Falakiko Manu spectacularly dived over in the corner, picking up his second try of the match with less than ten minutes remaining.

Comfortably in control of the scoreboard, Western Suburbs saw out the final few sets of the match to round out a 20-point win in Round 5 of the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, defeating Mounties 34-14.


North Sydney Bears v Newtown Jets

Hannah McGrory

Hard-fought battle ends in draw

The North Sydney Bears and Newtown Jets have finished on 20-all as the Bears came from behind to level the scores in the final minutes.

A double to Jets fullback Luke Metcalf was not enough as the Jets finished on 20 points for their third consecutive game.

The Bears were first on the board after a solid run from Tuku Hau Tapuha to provide good field position for the side. A flying Joseph Suaalii was able to scoop up a dropped ball and score just before the line. The conversion was successful from five-eighth Ronald Volkman.

Both teams received penalties, however Andrew Fifita was put on report after a push in the back of the head. The Bears believed they went over for a try before a penalty was awarded to the Jets due to obstruction in play.

Ill-discipline continued to be on display from the Bears, as the Jets were on the receiving end of three consecutive penalties. The Bears impressed in defence and effectively defended their line. The Bears’ Jesse Marschke went close however was held up by a determined Newtown side.

The Jets received two sets of six after their kicker was taken out following a kick. The Bears continued to impress and defended their line. The Jets were able to go over in the 26th minute through Jonaiah Lualua after the bounce of the ball went his way. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful from Braydon Trindall.

Newtown were in again through Bronson Garlick who pushed his way through the Bears' defence from dummy-half to give his side the lead for the first time in the game.

Luke Metcalf scored again for the Jets minutes later after finding a gap. The conversion was successful to put the Jets in front 14-6 at the halftime break.

The Jets had a strong start in the second half with fullback Luke Metcalf going over for his second try of the match. His conversion was successful to add the extras.

The Bears responded shortly after following a penalty with a four-pointer through Sione Hopoate. The Jets remained in the lead 20-10.

The Jets then lost Franklin Pele who came from the field needing a HIA.

Max Bailey was next in for the Bears to close the gap, and the conversion was successful. The Bears continued to defend their line as they forced a goal line dropout, however the Jets were successful with a short dropout.

The home team were close again to scoring in the 68th minute and again in the 74th, but the Jets impressed and were able to defend their lead.

Newtown suffered another injury with winger Nene Macdonald coming from the field with a left shoulder injury.

In the third time lucky for the Bears, a sensational effort saw winger Matt Ikuvalu ground the ball and level the scores. The conversion attempt from the sideline was unsuccessful.

A field goal attempt came from the North Sydney Bears but swerved to the right of the posts before halfback Josh Ralph attempted a kick and chase, however the Jets were able to gain possession and held on for the draw.


Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights

Jarrod Ryan

The Newcastle Knights have continued their momentum off the back of a convincing Round 4 win to beat the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 30-16 at HE Laybutt Stadium.

The Blacktown Workers started the game with high energy in attack. A fantastic kick chase gifted the home team a repeat set to help secure the first points of game. Burrowing through the defensive line from the play-the-ball, hooker Denzel Tonise put the Sea Eagles on the score board within five minutes of kick-off.

Ten minutes later the Sea Eagles moved the ball up the length of the field where five-eighth Brad Keighran split the Knights’ defensive line. A quick play-the-ball gave his team the momentum to spread the ball to the right edge where winger Sione Fonua barrelled through multiple defenders to score his first try of the game. A missed conversion held the Sea Eagles to a ten-point lead.

Fonua squandered a chance to score a double within the first 20 minutes of the game when he spilled the ball metres from the line as he ran through an open edge.

After a slow start in attack, the Knights finally crossed the line when Liam Wilkinson ran out from dummy-half, sending an arching ball to his right edge. Experienced Sea Eagles centre Jorge Taufua ran out of the defensive line to knock the wind out of Nicholas O’Meley, leaving his edge exposed for the Knights’ Harry Van Dartel to cross the try-line.

Clearly spurred on by their attacking success and the fresh legs of interchange players John Toleafoa and Jaron Purcell, the Knights stormed up the field with Liam Wilkinson forcing a dropout.

The Sea Eagles were unable to hold off the Knights’ attacking pressure as fullback McKenzie Baker burned through the defensive line to cross for Newcastle’s second try of the game. A successful conversion by Simi Sasagi gave the visitors a two-point lead.

Some inspired defensive efforts after consistent attack in their own half kept Newcastle ahead at halftime.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Knights played a much higher energy style of football with strong runs from their forward pack. Sending a grubber behind the Blacktown Workers’ try-line defence, Wilkinson set up his halves partner Simi Sasagi who dived onto the ball for the first try of the half.

Looking for more attacking opportunities, Sea Eagles captain Brad Keighran found the touch line for the only 40/20 of the game. Exploiting a stripping penalty five metres from the line, Keighran set up Jordin Leiu who was rewarded for his consistently powerful runs to score a try. 

However, the Sea Eagles were unable to back up success in attack with effective defence. The Knights, who were once again able to make constant metres off each play, feigned a fifth-tackle kick which opened a gap in the defensive line for prop Garrett Smith to score between the posts from first-receiver.

The Knights secured their win with another explosive first-receiver run when Matt Croker crossed the try-line in the middle of the field with less than five minutes left in the game.

Despite multiple attempts at Hail Mary passes by the Sea Eagles halves, it was too little too late for the home team who will be looking forward to a much-needed bye round next week.

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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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