Round 15 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup will kick off on Saturday with top four action between the competition leading Penrith Panthers and the North Sydney Bears for the first time this season - live streamed on NSWRL TV from 1pm. The round finishes at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday as the Parramatta Eels host Mounties from 11.30am.
Match: Panthers v Bears
Round 15 -
Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
Panthers power past resilient Bears for third straight win
The Panthers have completed a near perfect second-half display, clawing themselves to a 26-16 victory over a tough Bears outfit at BlueBet Stadium.
It was a disastrous start for the Panthers as they booted the kick-off out on the full. The Bears wasted no time looking to get on the front foot. North Sydney claiming a try down the left edge, but a Bill Smith flick pass was deemed forward.
It was a real let off for Penrith, who settled nicely and later found the first points of the afternoon. Half Jamon Salmon dribbled a grubber into the in-goal as Robert Jennings received a kind bounce to slide in.
The Bears left edge continued to threaten with a hard and fast passage allowing Tom Carr time and space in the backfield before linking back up with his centre Billy Smith who crossed for his first try since returning from injury. A conversion from Ronald Volkman saw the Bears steal a two-point lead after 20 minutes.
Despite the slippery conditions, both sides weren’t afraid to toss the ball around. Errors crept into the game before the Panthers made the most of their chances to regain the lead. Arthur Crichton’s quick hands allowing winger Taylan May to stroll over down the left. A second conversion from the sideline for Kurt Falls was waved away.
With little time remaining in the first half, the Panthers were again on the prowl for more points. An attack down the left didn’t pan out this time for the home side as Brad Abbey reeled in a Jamon Salmon pass, intercepting and racing 80 metres to restore the Bears' lead.
The sides headed for the sheds as North Sydney held a slight advantage over the Panthers, leading 12-8 after a seesawing half.
Looking to regain the momentum in the second half, the Panthers flew out to a perfect start. Fast passing from Brent Naden saw centre turned winger Sunia Turuva able to cross for a try. Falls landed his first conversion of the afternoon to give Penrith a two-point lead.
Both sides continued to wrestle for field position, with a moment of brilliance separating the contest. Salmon sliced through into the backfield, finding Naden on his inside who would race away, handing Penrith consecutive tries. With 20 minutes on the clock, it was the Panthers holding an eight-point advantage.
Hard to stop when they get going, the home side continued to cause problems for the Bears as they began to streak away. This time Naden turned provider for Salmon who was able to score close to the line.
Needing to score next, a passage of brilliance handed North Sydney a glimmer of hope. Attacking from 50 metres out, the Bears tiptoed down the right-hand side with fullback Josh Bergamin finishing off the move, planting the ball in the in-goal. The try reduced the Panthers' lead to 10 with 14 minutes remaining.
Despite the Bears' best efforts, they were unable to score with the Panther defence holding strong. Penrith now maintains top spot while notching up a third straight win after defeating a gutsy Bears side 26-16.
Match: Magpies v Knights
Round 15 -
Venue: Lidcombe Oval, Sydney
Magpies v Knights NSW Cup Highlights Round 15
Magpies and Knights draw in defensive masterclass
It was an eventful 2nd versus 6th-placed showdown on Saturday afternoon as the Western Suburbs Magpies hosted the Newcastle Knights in a strong defensive showcase from both sides, playing out a 14-all draw at Lidcombe Oval.
Both teams began the game relatively slowly, feeling each other out before the deadlock was finally broken in the 18th minute, with Magpies winger Allan Fitzgibbon powering his way over near the corner to score the first try of the game. A successful conversion from the sideline by halfback Jock Madden extended the home side’s lead to a converted try.
It only took five minutes for Newcastle to answer back with a try of their own through McKenzie Baker who was able to plant the ball down over the line to get his side within two points, before converting his own try to level the game.
The Magpies were again able to shift momentum back their way, with Madden seizing an opportunity at the line, showcasing his strength and ability to get his name on the scoresheet and reclaim his side’s lead. Converting his own try, Madden extended the Magpies’ lead once again to six.
With six minutes until halftime, Billy Walters found himself in the sin bin for a professional foul and the Knights were quick to take advantage of the extra man through some silky hands, finished off by Gehamat Shibasaki. Baker converted once again to level the score for second time.
The Knights continued to pile on pressure for the remainder of the half but the Magpies were able to hold on right to the last second, keeping the score at 12 apiece at halftime.
Both teams saw their fair share of opportunities in the second half, however errors began to plague the Newcastle team, giving the Magpies a multitude of chances within the opposition 20. Some solid defence kept Newcastle in the game, but a penalty next to the posts gave the home side the perfect opportunity to get their noses in front for a third time. Jock Madden successfully converted his penalty goal attempt to take his side to a two-point lead.
The second half saw both teams struggling to break their opponent’s defensive line, with the only way to score points looking to be through penalty goals. This proved to be the case as Baker levelled the game for the Knights yet again with a penalty goal of their own.
Field goal efforts from both sides late in the game were not struck sweetly enough to take home the two points, leaving the final score level at 14-all after 80 minutes.
Match: Jets v Sea Eagles
Round 15 -
Venue: Henson Park, Sydney
Jets v Sea Eagles NSW Cup Highlights Round 15
Jets secure victory with 26 unanswered points
The Newtown Jets have secured a 26-12 victory against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Henson Park after a powerful second half performance.
A dominant second half for the home side, including double to fullback Luke Metcalf, saw them come back and secure the win.
Jets halfback Chad Townsend converted three from five tries and mentioned how challenging the conditions were.
“This is probably the hardest conditions I’ve played in, in a long time. I thought it was a 20-point breeze and it was definitely a tale of two halves,” Townsend said.
“Our message in the second half was just to be more direct and try get to the kick. It helped we made less errors in the second half. Momentum swings of the game, when you’re running a bit harder, you can break through a few more tackles.
“Bronson Garlick was outstanding, and Luke Metcalf was also solid and he’s got a very bright future.”
The Jets did not have an ideal start off kick off making an unforced error. In the opening ten minutes Blacktown Workers showed positive signs in attack with winger Tolutau Koula going for a great run.
The visitors were awarded with the first penalty of the match with five eighth Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu breaking through the defensive line and going for a solid run before a good passage of passing down the right hand side saw Blacktown’s winger Koula open up the scoring. The conversion from Brad Keighran was waved away.
Newtown received multiple sets back-to-back but were unable to capitalise on the opportunity in the first half.
Blacktown continued to dominate in defence as the Jets were left scoreless in the first half.
In the 33rd minute, Keighran successfully kicked a penalty goal to extend lead to 6-nil.
Following the restart, Newtown attempted a short kick-off but the Sea Eagles were able to gather it and forced a goal-line dropout in the same set after good chase. The Sea Eagles were in again after a great put down from winger Christian Tuipulotu. The conversion attempt was waved away. In the final minute of the half, Keighran took another penalty goal from 40 metres out to head into the sheds with a 12-point lead.
A powerful breeze behind the home side in the second half assisted the Jets as centre Mawene Hiroti scored. The conversion attempt was waved away.
Fullback Luke Metcalf also impressed and went in to score back-to-back tries.
The Jets continued to dominate in attack with the home crowd getting involved as Nene Macdonald and Bronson Garlick also went over in the final ten minutes to extend their lead to 26-12.
Match: Dragons v Raiders
Round 15 -
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Dragons v Raiders NSW Cup Highlights Round 15
Dragons defeat Raiders in closely fought contest
The St George Illawarra Dragons have claimed a 14-10 win over the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Two tries to Dragons winger Tony Pellow helped the Dragons claim the victory in windy conditions in Wollongong.
With the Raiders running into the wind in the first half, the Dragons opened the scoring with a try in the right corner courtesy of Sam McCann.
Raiders winger Manase Kaho, who returned to side for the first time since Round 11, levelled the score for the Raiders with a try out wide. The young winger took advantage after Caleb Aekins and Adam Cook combined on the left edge.
The Raiders and Dragons continued to trade blows but both sides were unable to add points to the scoreboard. Ryan James went closest to scoring but the Raiders prop - in his return from suspension - was unable to ground the ball as he crossed over the try-line.
The second half started with the game in the balance at 4-4 but the Dragons were the first to score when winger Tony Pellow intercepted a Brad Schneider pass and ran 80 metres to score.
After threatening the line earlier in the match, Ryan James barged over the try line to level the scores once again.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes, the Dragons looked likely to scores as Treigh Stewart made a break down the western touchline but desperate defence from Kaho saw Stewart drop the ball while trying to make a quick play the ball.
In his return from bicep injury, Harley Smith-Shields made a break and put in a grubber for himself but was narrowly beaten to the ball in the in-goal.
Tony Pellow scored his second try of the afternoon to put the Dragons back in front with five minutes to go.
Match: Eels v Mounties
Round 15 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
NRL talent helps Eels to dominant win
The Parramatta Eels have climbed into second spot on the NSW Cup ladder following a hard fought 22-6 win over a determined Mounties side in what was a highly physical clash, played in slippery conditions at Bankwest Stadium.
Both teams came into the game choc full of quality NRL inclusions with the home side featuring the likes of Blake Ferguson and Bryce Cartwright, while the visitors were bolstered by the late inclusion of Corey Allan to compliment the classy halves pairing of Lachlan Lewis and Kyle Flanagan.
Having absorbed plenty of early pressure from the Eels, Mounties could have easily opened the scoring midway through the first half, only for the referee to prematurely blow the whistle whilst on the attack deep inside Parramatta’s 20.
But that early pressure applied by the home team eventually proved telling as the Eels eventually broke the deadlock with a converted try to backrower Elie El-Zakhem in the 26th minute, after Mounties spilled a cross-field bomb from half Jakob Arthur.
One would have thought that the Eels may have taken the game by the scruff of the neck, but a loose carry by El-Zakhem saw Mounties centre Reuben Rennie race away downfield.
The visitors then converted a rare attacking opportunity into points when a Lachlan Lewis short pass at the line put back-rower Jackson Topine over. With the successful conversion from Kyle Flanagan, scores were locked at 6-all after 32 minutes.
Just as it seemed the score would remain level heading into the break, Parramatta regained the lead with the last play of the half, with a barnstorming try from close range to interchange forward Wiremu Greig, giving the Eels a 12-6 lead.
The opening 25 minutes of the second half was a carbon copy of the first with the home side enjoying much of the possession and territorial advantage, but without the points to go with it. due to another solid defensive effort from Mounties.
However, the Eels finally established the biggest lead of the game, soon after Mounties winger Watson Helata was placed on report. From the ensuing penalty, a quick shift left enabled Parramatta centre Will Penisini to put Solomone Naiduki into some space and he did the rest to score out wide.
The successful conversion from near touch by Jordan Rankin, gave the Eels a commanding 18-6 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Parramatta finally put the game beyond doubt when winger Blake Ferguson went over after latching onto a loose ball 10m out from his own line, enabling the home side to lead 22-6 after 74 minutes.