Round 9 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup gets underway with a blockbuster clash between Parramatta Eels and North Sydney Bears. Saturday features three more games and the Dragons and Mounties wrap up the action on Sunday afternoon.
Match: Eels v Bears
Round 9 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Eels keep clean sheet in rout of depleted Bears
It was the Jakob Arthur and Jordan Rankin show at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.
The Parramatta Eels playmakers put a disrupted North Sydney team to the sword, running out 39-0 winners in The Knock-on Effect NSW Cup.
Being the feeder club for the injury-ravaged Sydney Roosters in the NRL, meant that the latest COVID restrictions threw the Bears preparations into total disarray, with several players forced to enter the Roosters NRL bubble.
Despite all these problems in the lead up, it was actually North Sydney who created a few opening try-scoring opportunities and were it not for handling errors at crucial times, could well have gone ahead.
Instead, Parramatta scored the first points, as Michael Oldfield ran on to a pinpoint Jakob Arthur cut out pass down the left edge, to score in the 22nd minute. Jordan Rankin added the extras, as the Eels led 6-0 after 22 minutes.
Rankin would be back in the action seven minutes later, in what was almost a mirror image of the first try, sending a well-timed ball to fullback and recent recruit Hayze Perham for the home side’s second try. Rankin again added the extras to make it 12-0, which would remain the scoreline at halftime.
Whatever Parramatta coach Ryan Carr said to his side at the break clearly worked, as the Eels shot out of the gate to start the second stanza. Good pressure inside the Bears 20, eventually sent the ball wide again to Oldfield who this time managed an off-load for winger Sean Russell to dive over.
The Eels were camped on the Bears tryline just a few minutes later, as sustained pressure eventually paid off as right wing Lalotoa Mata’afa ran in a try, which was clinical in the end.
Parramatta threatened to run away with the match, as Rankin converted to make the score 22-0, then laid on another try with a nicely weighted chip kick from 20 metres out. The bounce eventually sat up for second rower Elie El-Zakhem to score.
Despite this turning into a very tough night at the office, Norths wouldn’t give up the fight, as they came close to scoring on a few more occasions, but just failed to add the finishing touches.
The Eels had no such struggles, as a Jordan Rankin break from a turnover led to left wing Russell bagging himself a double, while dummy half Nathaniel Roache offered plenty off the bench and laid on a nice short ball for back rower Ky Rodwell to crash over beside the sticks.
Rankin would eventually finish with 10 points, two try assists and a line break in the seven tries to nil thumping, while Jakob Arthur finished off a very tidy game of his own, with a drop goal right on fulltime.
The loss snaps North Sydney’s two game winning streak, who will look to bounce back next week against Wests, while the Eels remain unbeaten at home this season heading into the bye.
Match: Raiders v Knights
Round 9 -
Venue: McDonalds Park, Wagga Wagga
Knights edge past Raiders in thriller
Canberra Raiders went down 22-20 to Newcastle Knights in a nail-biting finish on Saturday afternoon at McDonald’s Park in Wagga Wagga.
Canberra were first to strike through winger Manase Kaho who caught a beautiful cut-out from playmaker Brad Schneider off an attacking scrum and the Raiders led 4-0 in the opening 10 minutes.
The Knights continued to build pressure with repeat sets and finally got the breakthrough when lock-forward Mat Croker crashed over the line. Zane Camroux converted to give the visitors a 6-4 lead.
The Knights scored again through hooker Luke Huth who caught the Raiders defence napping from dummy-half. Camroux again converted to extend the Knights lead to 12-4 at halftime.
The Raiders hit straight back after halftime when front-rower Ryan James crashed over to score adjacent to the uprights. Schneider converted to bring his side within two.
Knights winger Chris Veaila finished a great team try in the corner to further extend the Knights lead to six and the Knights led 16-10 with a little over 20 minutes remaining.
Some brilliant team play from the Raiders saw them score an amazing try to bring scores level. Dunamis Lui got a miraculous offload away to dummy-half Kai O’Donnell who linked up with his halfback Brad Schneider to beat the Knights defence for a four-pointer. Schneider converted his own try to level the scores 16-all with 12 minutes remaining.
Knights five-eighth Zane Camroux attempted a field goal to give the visitors a lead but it waved away to the left with some great defensive pressure from the Raiders.
The Raiders launched an attacking raid but after a risky pass was intercepted by Jacob Kiraz, he was eventually dragged down 30 metres away from the try line. Matthew Soper-Lawler went to dummy-half and broke away to score under the posts to regain the lead for the Knights. Camroux converted to take a 22-16 lead with under 5 minutes of play remaining.
With time running out, Raiders centre Toby Marks ran a great line to score untouched out-wide for the Raiders right on fulltime. The conversion was unsuccessful and the Knights held for a much needed 22-20 victory.
Match: Panthers v Jets
Round 9 -
Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
Makeshift Panthers keep undefeated season alive against the Jets
A makeshift Panthers The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup side have kept their unbeaten run alive with a remarkable 46-18 victory over Newtown Jets at BlueBet Stadium on Saturday.
As a result of the upgraded NRL COVID-19 protocols, the Panthers were forced to field a team consisting of nine St Marys Ron Massey Cup players and eight members of the Panthers Jersey Flegg squad.
Despite having 24 hours notice of their promotion to the NSW Cup, and no opportunity to train with their new teammates, the Panthers showed undeniable spirit to overcome an early 14-0 deficit and shoot down the Jets.
Newtown raced out of the blocks, scoring three tries in the opening 22 minutes of play.
Zac Woolford set up the opening four-pointer of the game with a nice bit of work out of dummy half and Bronson Garlick barged his way over from close range. Honeti Tuha’s conversion attempt was waved away.
Former Panther Eddie Aiono collected a cross-field bomb and planted the ball down for the second try of the game before D’Rhys Miller charged onto the ball and stretched out to score the Jets' third.
The Panthers needed something to go their way and it came in the form of centre Tom Jenkins, who thwarted a Newtown raid with an intercept and 90m run to get Penrith on the board. Five-eighth Niwhai Puru slotted the extras to make it 14-6.
The home side went into the break with the momentum courtesy of an Adam Fearnley four-pointer in the 38th minute. Puru added the extras from out wide to bring his side within two as the Jets led 14-12 heading into halftime.
The Panthers hit the lead early in the second half thanks to some brilliant work on the left edge. Jenkins broke free before some quick hands saw halfback Soni Luke dive over. Puru nailed the conversion from 10 metres in from touch to give Penrith a four-point lead.
The Panthers suddenly took control of the game with quickfire four-pointers to prop Liam Henry and winger Ethan Clark-Wood, who crossed the line in the 47th minute and 52nd minute respectively. Puru remained on target with the boot and Penrith held a 16-point lead with 25 minutes remaining.
Garlick ended the Panthers' point-scoring run with a solo effort three minutes later. The backrower used his strength to beat Puru’s attempted tackle and cross for his second four-pointer of the afternoon.
The points continued to flow and in the 62nd minute Panthers hooker Luke Sommerton dived over from dummy half, before Jenkins again showed impressive speed to grab his second try four minutes later.
Adam Fearnley capped off the memorable victory with his second try in the 77th minute and the Panthers celebrated a victory that keeps them atop the NSW Cup ladder for another week.
Match: Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles
Round 9 -
Venue: Ironmark High Performance Centre, Sydney
Sea Eagles secure a much needed win against the Rabbitohs
A fast finishing Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles have ended their losing streak after securing their second win of the season, defeating South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-18 at Ironmark High Performance Centre in Sydney.
It was a tough battle as both sides were missing key players. The Rabbitohs were heavily affected by the NRL COVID bubble after losing regulars including Braiden Burns, Dean Hawkins, Hame Sele, Steven Marsters and Taane Milne.
Blacktown coach Matt Ballin also missed the game due to the NRL bubble, however, he was on the phone for the entire match to work closely with assistant coach Nathan Hogan.
Defensive pressure was added by South Sydney early, after forcing a goal line drop out. Winger Lathan Hutchison-Walters came close to scoring before obstruction was called and Blacktown received possession back.
Blacktown had three sets back-to-back to defend before Trent Peoples went over for the Rabbitohs' first points of the match. The conversion was successful from Hutchison-Walters as Souths took the 6-0 lead.
Blacktown managed to break through a strong defensive line before Alex Seve made an unforced error and was unable to find his teammate who was in support. Souths were able to captilise on the error as Yileen Gordon barged his way over under the posts. The conversion was successful as Rabbitohs took a 12-nil lead.
A turnover 20 metres from Blacktown’s line saw Tim Simona crash over and Brad Keighran successfully added the extras.
Momentum started to swing in the Sea Eagles favour after Souths Jacob Gagai found himself in the sin bin for interfering with Blacktown’s attack. Keighran kicked the penalty goal to bring the score to 12-8 at halftime.
Errors started to creep in for both sides, although it was Souths who were able to open the scoring in the second half through James Hasson and Hutchison-Walters continued his good form with the boot by successfully adding the two points.
Blacktown slowly started to dominate possession and as a result, they were unable to run in four unanswered tries and squash any chance of a South Sydney victory.
Terrell May proved hard to stop all day and was rewarded with a four pointer in the 58th minute, and Brad Keighran successfully added the two points.
With all the momentum, the Sea Eagles launched an attacking raid down their left edge and it was Dane Aukafolau who found space and forced his way over to level the score.
Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu was next in to score in the 75th minute and Dylan Smith put the result beyond doubt with another try three minutes later.
High completion rates were the key to victory according to Phillip Makatoa.
“As soon as we had the ball in our hands, the ball started rolling" said the Sea Eagles lock.
"We spoke about a good start and playing fast in the second half. After defending 8 sets on our line, fatigue crept in quickly, but we pushed to finish the game well.
"We knew what we needed to do and just needed to execute it once we had the ball.”
Match: Dragons v Mounties
Round 9 -
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Dragons secure victory in high scoring contest
The St George Illawarra Dragons secured their second win of the season as they defeated Mounties 36-22 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
The Dragons started the game strong by marching up the field after back-to-back undisciplined Mounties penalties. The ball was quickly sent through multiple pairs of hands to winger James Schiller who crossed the line for the first try, minutes into the game.
Mounties responded immediately with second-rower Jack Miller breaking the home team’s line in their second set after the restart of play. A quick play-the-ball provided the energy for winger Watson Heleta to show off his speed and score the visitors' first try.
Mounties found their momentum, showcasing an aggressive style of first-receiver runs through the middle of the field and forcing Dragons errors through high-pressure line speed. Unfortunately they were unable to convert field position into points with multiple wayward cut-out passes to their left edge, landing over the boundary just metres from the try line.
Despite absorbing pressure on both ends of the field, the Dragons were able to find themselves in perfect try-scoring position through creative fifth-tackle kick placement, resulting in a Mounties knock-on just in front of the try line. A quick scrum caught out the defence as the ball was sent to the short side with the fast-footed Tyrell Sloan scoring to keep the home team in front.
The Dragons crossed again just before the halftime siren as interchange Joshua Coric barrelled over a disjointed Mounties try line defence, unravelling from a potential try-saving tackle to get the ball onto the grass.
Mounties were first to score after the break for a much needed try to keep themselves in the game. Running in support of his fellow forward pack, hooker Josh Daley charged through the Dragons' defence to score left of the posts. A conversion by Kamren Cryer reduced the Dragons' lead to only a converted try.
The lead was pushed further ahead after two unanswered Dragons tries as Tony Pellow dived onto a grubber behind Mounties' try-line defence and Josh Carr muscled through, fully extending his arm to place the ball onto the line and help the home team to an 18-point lead after successful Moceidreke conversions.
Mounties secured their third try of the game as centre Reubenn Rennie tapped the ball metres from the line to his edge partner Jordan Remfrey after a Jack Miller offload.
Clearly under pressure to make up a 12-point deficit, Mounties Fullback Declan Casey was sent to the sin bin for the final ten minutes of the game after he interfered in a Jaiyden Hunt play-the-ball when the prop streamed down the middle of the field.
Despite the absence of Casey, Mounties managed to cross for one final try as Reubenn Rennie broke through the middle of the Dragons' defence. A quick play-the-ball kept the Dragons' defence on the back foot throughout the set as Falakiko Manu crossed with less than four minutes to go.
Playing against an undermanned defensive line, the Dragons managed to score another converted try on the siren as Shaun Sauni-Esau exploited an overlap on Mounties' right edge to secure his team’s second win of the season.