Round 13 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup gets underway on Saturday afternoon with three matches, including a huge top of the table clash as the Western Suburbs Magpies host Penrith Panthers at Lidcombe Oval - streamed live on NSWRL TV. The round will finish with two games on Sunday, pitting the North Sydney Bears against Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights against Parramatta Eels.
Match: Magpies v Panthers
Round 13 -
Venue: Lidcombe Oval, Sydney
Panther cubs upset Magpies in top of the table clash
It was billed as the one versus two game everyone had been waiting for - the in-form Wests Magpies looking for a win by nine or more points to steal the competition lead away from a vastly understrength Penrith side feeling the ripple effects of its record Origin representation from the Panthers' NRL side.
With a side built mostly on upcoming Jersey Flegg and Ron Massey Cup players, the Panthers have continued to dominate The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup after ending the Magpies' nine-game unbeaten run with an impressive 34-14 win at Lidcombe Oval, despite the home side being bolstered by the late inclusion of experienced NRL duo BJ Leilua and Michael Chee Kam.
After being camped inside the Magpies’ 20 for what seemed an eternity, Penrith centre Sunia Turuva finally scored in the 13th minute, finishing off a slick right side movement, which was converted from out wide by half Kurt Falls to give the visitors a shock 6-0 lead.
Penrith soon extended its lead to 12-0 after a lovely weighted kick behind the line from promoted five-eighth Niwhai Peru, allowing centre Thomas Jenkins to score out wide untouched.
A wonderful offload from prop Eddie Blacker close to the line found Peru backing up in support to dive over next to the posts and after 24 minutes Penrith were 18-0 to the good, leaving the parochial Magpies home crowd in silence.
Wests were finally on the board on the half-hour mark with BJ Leilua storming his way over in the south east corner after the home side finally got some consecutive sets of their own inside Penrith’s 20, reducing the gap to 18-4.
A forward pass in the lead up prevented Wests from reducing the gap even closer on the stroke of half time and under-manned visitors Penrith held a very handy 18-4 lead at the main break.
A missed opportunity by the Magpies early in the second half was duly punished in the following set by the Panthers when hooker Brendan Hands scooted 30 metres from dummy half to score next to the posts, and the visitors were up 24-4 after 47 minutes.
The home side looked like they had quickly responded with a try in the corner to Allan Fitzgibbon only for the final pass to be once again ruled forward.
Penrith, as they did with their previous try, capitalised on the Magpies’ inability to convert pressure into points, pushing their lead out to 30-4 with a barnstorming try to interchange forward Vito Tevaga in the 55th minute.
Penrith put the game to bed with another try from the resumption of play, a quick shift right putting winger Ratu Luke Nadurutalo down the sideline for a try out wide. Despite Falls missing his first goal of the day, the Panthers led 34-4 midway through the second half.
Wests finally opened their second half account with a try to Fitzgibbon after some enterprising play from the Magpies prised open the Panthers defence, but the missed conversion attempt still left the home side 26 points adrift with 17 minutes remaining.
The home side had back-to-back tries for the first time in the game with a determined try to back-rower Kelma Tuilagi and, with nine minutes remaining, trailed 34-14.
But the enthusiastic Panthers weren’t done with yet and their kick chase pressure into the Magpies' in-goal forced the error that saw Brendan Hands score his second try of the day to give Penrith a 40-14 win.
Next up for the top of the table Panthers - who now lead The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup by four competition points - is a trip to Henson Park on Saturday to take on the Newtown Jets whilst on the same day, the Wests Magpies will be looking for redemption when they take on the Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium.
Match: Rabbitohs v Dragons
Round 13 -
Venue: Ironmark High Performance Centre, Sydney
Dragons halves star in dominant victory
The St George Illawarra Dragons have dominated with try-scoring doubles to Adam Clune and Jayden Sullivan in front of a teeming South Sydney home crowd, securing their position ahead of last place on The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder.
An energised Rabbitohs squad were first to score in front of their home fans. Motoring up the field, Dean Hawkins directed his team to angle towards the short side. Slotting an unpredictable grubber behind the Dragons' goal line defence, Hawkins found second-rower Jed Cartwright to score in the in-goal area.
The Dragons soon responded with their first try of the game by demonstrating excellent support running. Halfback Adam Clune sent his left edge second-rower Billy Burns through the Rabbitohs' defence with a well-timed short pass. Burns found fullback Treigh Stewart running in support. Drawing in his opposing defender, Stewart passed back to Clune who followed the attacking play he initiated, scoring his first of the game.
The home team held onto most of the possession throughout the first half, forcing the Dragons to defend tough forward runs from Patrick Mago and James Hasson. The Rabbitohs backed up their attack with grinding defence, limiting the Dragons who rarely broke the 50-metre line.
Exploiting their well-earned field position, South Sydney spread the ball to their left edge for winger Jacob Gagai to score, securing the lead for his team.
Despite continuing to find themselves in perfect attacking position, the Rabbitohs were unable to capitalise on their hard work, fumbling the ball on multiple occasions within reach of the try line.
The Dragons finally found momentum as they exploited a depleted Souths defensive line after James Hasson was sent to the sin bin after repeated efforts to slow down the play-the-ball. Highlighting an exciting halfback-second row partnership, Adam Clune and Billy Burns linked up once again to score St George Illawarra’s second try of the game to keep the scores even before the halftime break.
The visitors continued their momentum, scoring two tries within the first ten minutes of the second half. Exploiting the remaining time against an undermanned defence, Jayden Sullivan dived onto the ball after it was dribbled into the in-goal area, ricocheting off multiple Rabbitohs defenders to secure his first for the afternoon.
St George Illawarra quickly returned to attacking position through several line breaks and quick play-the-balls. Noticing a disjointed Rabbitohs defensive line, Sullivan involved himself again, sending a rocket pass across the face of multiple edge players to find Sam McCann in open space to solidify the Dragons' lead.
Even though they were playing in front of a packed home crowd, the Rabbitohs were unable to find any consistency on either end of the field. The Dragons ran away with the game with three more unanswered tries to Stewart, Sullivan and Clune through line breaks off the back of undisciplined Rabbitohs defence.
With the game all but over the Rabbitohs resorted to unsuccessful Hail Mary plays throughout the last 15 minutes of the game. Finding the line with minutes left in the contest, centre Tautau Moga dodged the sideline and squeezed through the Dragons' defence to lessen the blow of South Sydney's deflating loss.
Match: Jets v Raiders
Round 13 -
Venue: Henson Park, Sydney
Raiders secure scrappy win against Jets
The travelling Canberra Raiders have left almost 9, 000 Jets fans disappointed on Saturday afternoon, defeating Newtown 20-10 at Henson Park.
It took just over 15 minutes for the first try to be scored and it was the away side who drew first blood, scoring through second-rower Kai O’Donnell who found his way over the line for his third try of the season. The try was converted by Brad Schneider, giving the Raiders a six-point lead after the first quarter of the match.
The second quarter of the game saw a shift in momentum with the Jets finally seizing their opportunity, answering back with a lovely spread of the ball finished by Edward Aiono in the corner. Luke Metcalf successfully converted to level the game at six apiece.
With halftime looming, both sides looked desperate to head into the sheds in front. Again it was the away side who took the lead with Kai O’Donnell grabbing himself a double between the posts, before a second Schneider conversion increased the Raiders’ lead to 12-6 at the break.
The second half began fairly tediously as both sides struggled to control the ball with errors stopping any opportunities. The second-half deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of 60 minutes, with Siosifa Talakai powering his way over the line to get his side back in the game. Metcalf was unable to convert the try, which left his side behind by two.
It did not take long for momentum to swing back the way of the Raiders as Brad Schneider extended his side’s lead to six, barging his way over to score a crucial try. The halfback could not convert his own four-pointer, however, leaving the margin at one converted try.
The missed conversion could have proven costly for the Green Machine, but a strong run by Iosia Soliola proved too much for the Jets' defence, with the veteran scoring a try to secure his side’s victory. Another missed conversion from Schneider kept the final score at 20 points to 10.
Match: Bears v Sea Eagles
Round 13 -
Venue: North Sydney Oval, Sydney
Bears make it three in a row with a win at North Sydney Oval
The North Sydney Bears have defeated a fast finishing Blacktown outfit 30-18 at North Sydney Oval to record their third consecutive win. Bears winger Tom Carr impressed after scoring his second consecutive hat-trick to help his side to victory.
Bears centre Brad Abbey was happy with his sides defensive efforts as they head into a bye week.
“We had confidence as Blacktown were coming back strong at the end, but we did well to hang on and take away the two points,” Brad Abbey told NSWRL.com following the match.
“Defence was our main focus after this team put 40 points on us and we weren’t going to let that happen today.”
After missed opportunities from both sides, the Bears were first on the board through fullback Josh Bergamin who found open space to score the first points of the match. Halfback Ronald Volkman successfully converted to bring his side out to 6-0 after 11 minutes.
Following the restart, the Bears were gifted another set after receiving a penalty from high contact. Volkman capitalised on the penalty after putting through a deft kick which saw winger Moala Graham-Taufa score, with the conversion unsuccessful as the Bears jumped out to 10-0.
Moses Suli got his side on the front foot with some hard running, although it was Jorge Tafua who broke through the defensive line soon after and passed to Kaeo Weekes who scored Blacktown’s first try. Brad Keighran successfully converted to make the score 10-6.
The home side were able to capitalise on having most of the possession as Jesse Marschke combined with Moala Graham-Taufa who crashed over. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful, as the Bears went into the sheds with a 14-6 lead.
The Bears came out of the sheds firing, as they scored in quick succession through Tom Carr and Tony Satini. Volkman converted one of the two as the Bears shot out to a 24-6 lead after 47 minutes.
After being sent to the bin for a professional foul, Phillip Makatoa redeemed himself as he crashed over for Blacktown in the 63rd minute. The conversion was successful and the Sea Eagles were still in the match down 24-12.
Some strong ball running from the Sea Eagles saw them generate some ruck speed and march upfield. Always a threat from dummy half, Brad Keighran went short to Dane Aukafolau who crashed over to score. Keighran maintained his 100% conversion rate, successfully converting to close the gap to 24-18 and bring the crowd right into the contest.
With under four minutes remaining, Blacktown continued to apply pressure as the Bears kicked the ball out on the full. However, the Bears turned the Sea Eagles away and sent Tom Carr over for his third try of the afternoon and put the result beyond doubt, securing a hard fought 30-18 victory.
Match: Knights v Eels
Round 13 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Second half blitz ensures Eels stay put in third place
The nib Newcastle Knights have recorded a spirited loss in Round 13 of the NSW Cup, with Parramatta running out 30-22 winners over the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Played as the official curtain raiser for Old Boys Day, the Knights were looking to bounce back from a last-start loss to Blacktown against the side currently sitting in the competition's top four.
Early Eels tries to Charbel Tasipale and Will Penisini ensured the Knights would need to do it the hard way, however tries to Ben Talty and Dom Young put the Knights 12-10 ahead at the break.
It was after the half-time break that the damage began to be done, with the Eels piling on three tries back to back after the break to race to a 28-10 lead heading into the game's final quarter.
The Knights did manage to wrestle back some control of the contest and even threatened a late comeback against the blue and gold.
Chris Vaeila scored a stunning try off a clever kick from Zane Camroux to bride the gap back to two converted tries, however an Eels penalty goal sealed the deal soon after.
The Knights will now need to re-group while on a collision course with South Sydney next week.