Round 21 opens up on Saturday with Canberra Raiders taking on South Sydney Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium. The round will close out on Sunday with two games kicking-off at 3pm, Mounties v Newcastle Knights and Sea Eagles v Parramatta Eels.
Match: Raiders v Rabbitohs
Round 21 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
NSW Cup Highlights | Raiders v Rabbitohs Round 21
Rabbitohs beat Raiders to snatch away win
Raiders.com.au & NSWRL
The Canberra Raiders have gone down to the South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-12 in Round 21 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup at GIO Stadium.
A penalty goal from the Rabbitohs in the 70th minute gave the visitors a narrow lead, before a try three minutes later put the result beyond doubt.
Mitchel Souter opened the scoring in the 11th minute off the back of repeat sets for the Raiders. Souter’s support play saw him charge over to score after offloads from Peter Hola and Corey Horsburgh.
The Raiders defence proved too strong soon after, holding out three consecutive sets on their own line to keep their lead intact. Outside back Semi Valemei was at his hard-hitting best in the 34th minute, sending South Sydney winger Josh Mansour into touch close to the try-line to keep the Rabbitohs scoreless.
Yet some strong defence from Souths led to a turnover in the following set, and they were able to take advantage with Tallis Duncan scoring just before halftime. Jack Campagnolo added the two points, with nothing separating the two teams at six-all going into the break.
Souths took the lead for the first time in the match soon after halftime, with Romano Cook bursting through the middle to score under the sticks in the 46th minute. Campagnolo added another two points to give Souths a 12-6 lead.
Then a brilliant length-of-the-field try to the Raiders saw them hit back in the 52nd minute, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Brad Morkos, Steve Numambo and Manase Kaho all combining for Kaho to score. Schneider added the two points to lock the game up again.
Rabbitohs centre Richard Kennar later took an intercept with 12 minutes remaining, turning defence into attack to take South Sydney downfield before earning his side a penalty and sin-bin for a professional. The Rabbitohs opted for a penalty goal in front of the posts to take a 14-12 lead.
Souths then put the game beyond doubt in the 73rd minute when Jake Tago scored to further extend their lead. Campagnolo continued his perfect afternoon with the boot to give them an eight-point lead at 20-12.
The Raiders were boosted by the returns of Corey Horsburgh and Trey Mooney, who had both spent time on the sideline in recent weeks with illness and injury respectively. Despite the loss, the pair are certainly big inclusions for the Raiders in the fight for fifth position.
In what is always a tough road trip to Canberra, the victory for South Sydney could go a long way to securing a top five spot with two match remaining and a bye in hand.
While the game was in the balance late on in the contest, Richard Kennar's intercept marked a key turning point in the match. With the Raiders on the attack, they soon found themselves on the wrong end of a professional foul and were unable to regain the lead following the Rabbitohs' penalty goal.
The Raiders will meet the Western Suburbs Magpies next Sunday at Leichhardt Oval, while the Rabbitohs take on the Parramatta Eels in Friday night footy at CommBank Stadium.
Match: Panthers v Magpies
Round 21 -
Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
Panthers put Magpies to the sword in Round 21
The Penrith Panthers have moved into top spot on The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder with a commanding 56-6 win over the Western Suburbs Magpies.
Penrith, despite having to replace Sunia Turuva, Chris Smith and Eddie Blacker, are a chance to finish the round in first position after a strong performance featuring a man-of-the-match effort from half Kurt Falls.
The Magpies opened the scoring through a brilliant try to lock forward Jacob Liddle following some terrific leadup play from centre James Roberts. Roberts turned inside to go through a yawning gap before kicking ahead for Liddle, who grounded ahead of the dead-ball line. With the conversion the visitors led 6-0.
But once the Panthers opened their account midway through the first half they raced away to a 24-6 lead at the main break, going on with job in the second 40.
From there it was all Penrith as they clicked into gear, scoring at almost a point per minute from the 18th minute onwards when Preston Riki crashed over from close range.
Kiwi winger Daeon Amituanai scored his first of his three tries soon after when he was the recipient of a long, cut-out pass from makeshift five-eighth Isaiah Iongi, to finally put the Panthers ahead 12-6 after 25 minutes.
From the next set a Charlie Staines break allowed Thomas Jenkins to score out wide on the following play to extend the lead, before several repeat sets inside the Magpies’ 20 enabled Geyer to stroll over untouched from a Soni Luke crash ball. The Panthers led 24-6 at halftime.
Penrith continued their momentum early in the second half when Hopgood and Falls combined to put Iongi into a saloon passage to the line, extending the lead to 24 points.
When Amituanai scored his second in the southwest corner six minutes later – on the end of a slick, sweeping movement for a 36-6 lead – the writing was on the wall for the Magpies who couldn’t mount a fightback by this stage.
Amituanai soon had his hattrick by the 58-minute mark to push the Panthers’ score to 40 after some brilliant work from Falls. He found space with a short grubber before again kicking ahead for Jenkins to regather and offload for his winger to score once more.
Iongi, not to be outdone, notched a double himself after going down the blindside off a quick the play-the-ball, strolling through to score from 25 metres out to help the Panthers to a 46-6 lead.
Penrith made the half-century with eight minutes to spare when Jenkins trailed through a Falls grubber at the line to score out wide. The Panthers followed it up on stroke of full time when Jack Cole – playing in the unaccustomed centre position – found his way over the line from close range after a quick shift right and final pass from Staines.
It was a different looking Magpies side to the team that defeated Penrith just three weeks ago, with a number of key players missing including Tyrone Peachey and Jock Madden.
Kurt Falls’ return from injury was timely following last week’s potentially season-ending injury to Trent Toelau, who kicked the match-winning field goal against Parramatta with a broken jaw.
Thomas Jenkins and Liam Henry celebrated their elevation into Penrith’s top 30 and development squad respectively, with strong performances this afternoon.
Kurt Falls was in the thick of the action on his return from injury by having a hand in several of Penrith’s 10 tries, but none better than the four-pointer Daeon Amituanai scored in the 56th minute. The half – sighting the Magpies were defending deep on the last tackle – chipped ahead, but realising he was unable to regather, put boot to ball for Jenkins to regather and offload for the Kiwi winger to complete his hattrick.
Next up the Panthers host Mounties at home next Saturday, while the Magpies will be looking to regroup when they host the Raiders at Leichhardt Oval the following day.
Match: Jets v Dragons
Round 21 -
Venue: Henson Park, Sydney
Jets stave off valiant Dragons for victory
The Newtown Jets have retained their spot atop The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder with a 32-10 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons at Henson Park.
The Jets were off to a flyer when hooker Jayden Berrell scored a superb solo try after just five minutes.
It took until the 22nd minute for the Jets to cross again when Addison Demetriou finished off a quick shift from the Newtown backline.
Then the highlight of the game came a few minutes later when Luke Metcalf created something out of nothing, scoring a scintillating, long-range try.
A try to Dragons outside back Max Feagai late in the first half, reduced the deficit to 16-4. The Dragons gained more momentum in the second half when Berrell was sent to the sin-bin, which led to a Shalam O’Ofou try and brought the margin back the six points.
St George Illawarra, however, failed to capitalise on any further chances from that point.
The Jets then ran away with the contest after rampaging tries to forwards Charbel Tasipale and Franklin Pele, and one more four-pointer to winger Matt Ikuvalu.
The score may have been commanding in the end, but the Dragons put up an admirable fight for majority of the match.
The visitors dominated field position and possession early on but were turned away several times by the desperate defence of the Jets, reiterating why the ladder-leaders remain such a tough opposition.
Ultimately it was Luke Metcalf’s sensational try that set the game alight, establishing a 16-0 lead for the Jets and only making it harder for the Dragons to chase down. The five-eighth burst through the Dragons' line and showed serious pace to beat the opposition fullback for a thrilling long-range finish.
The Jets and Dragons both have the bye next weekend with the Dragons set to refocus on the task at hand of keeping themselves inside the top eight.
Match: Bears v Bulldogs
Round 21 -
Venue: North Sydney Oval, Sydney
Errors plague Dogs as Bears solidify top four spot
North Sydney Bears have handed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs their seventh loss of the season with a 30-20 win at North Sydney oval, keeping their spot at fourth on the ladder intact with just three games remaining in the regular season.
The Bulldogs opened scoring within the first two minutes of play when Paul Alamoti capitalised on a fumbled Brandon Wakeham kick.
The Bears started to gain momentum thanks to some strong carries out of their own end and it was winger Tom Carr who was able to put the finishing touches on a brilliant short side play down the southern touchline. Carr then converted his own try to give his side a two point lead.
The Bears would take a 10-4 lead a few minutes later when back-rower Jacob Preston pounced on a wayward Bulldogs pass to race 90 metres downfield to score.
The Bulldogs were immediately put on the back foot by penalties and handing errors and it came at a price when the Bears right edge combined to send Josh Wong over for a four-pointer, extending the lead to 14-4.
With just over four minutes to play in the first half, five-eighth Sandon Smith crashed over just meters out from the Bulldogs line to take the lead out 20-4 heading into the halftime break. Smith’s try came off the back of another Bulldogs error courtesy of a ruck infringement.
Despite getting through a mountain of defence, the Bulldogs clawed their way back into the contest when they scored the first try of the second half when Ava Seumanufagai muscled his way over under the posts. Wakeham's conversion was successful and the Bulldogs trailed 20-10.
The momentary change in momentum would be short lived for the Dogs who once again, gifted North Sydney field position inside their red zone off the back of yet another penalty.
The Bears helped themselves to another try with Tom Carr producing a brilliant aerial effort to bag his second four-pointer of the afternoon.
After Carr was bundled into touch when attempting to score a try in similar fashion, the try-scoring machine would not be denied soon after when he picked up his third try of the match after backing up on the inside from an incredible linebreak from Keiran Hayman.
Trailing 30-10, the Bulldogs managed to stem the flow of points with a try to Jayden Okunbor who crossed over off the back of a set play down the right edge. Eli Clark also managed to score one in the dying stages although it was too little, too late for the visitors who suffered as a result of unforced errors and poor discipline.
With Bailey Biondi-Odo called into the Bulldogs NRL squad, Wakeham steered the team around at halfback but with three games remaining in the regular season; including games against the Eels and Jets, attacking combinations in key positions will be crucial to finish the regular season on a strong note.
Fullback Credence Toai left the field clutching his face midway through the second half after he appeared to take a knock to the head in an attempt to field a cross-field kick from Wakeham. He did return to finish the game but was taped up heavily around the forehead.
Trailing 20-4 with just minutes remaining in the first half, the Bulldogs found themselves in attacking field position off the back of a penalty and six again, although they failed to convert the opportunity into points and capitalise on the momentum before heading into the sheds.
The Bulldogs will be back at home to take on Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Belmore Sports ground next Sunday afternoon while the Bears will take on Newcastle Knights at North Sydney Oval.
Match: Mounties v Knights
Round 21 -
Venue: Aubrey Keech Reserve, Sydney
Match: Sea Eagles v Eels
Round 21 -
Venue: HE Laybutt Field, Sydney
Eels overcome Sea Eagles in fiery affair
Parramatta Eels have defeated Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 30-12 in Round 21 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup.
A chain of uncharacteristic errors from the Eels gifted Blacktown some early field position and this was taken advantage of by Sea Eagles halfback Ben Stevanovic, who stepped inside some sliding defence and dived over in the 10th minute for the first points of the match. The Eels quickly cancelled out this early lead with centre Sam Loizou crossing over just four minutes later.
The remainder of the half was played in a stop-start manner, with both sides struggling to gain the upper hand. Towards the back end of the half, ill-disciplined play crept into the game and a string of penalties conceded by the Eels eventually resulted in their backrower, Elie El-Zakhem being sent to the bin.
Despite having a one-man advantage for the last eight minutes of the half, Blacktown were unable to capitalise, with the scores remaining at 6-all as the teams ran into the sheds at halftime.
Just as thirteen a side play resumed, with El-Zakhem returning from the bin, Blacktown’s Jacob Sykes was sent for 10 minutes due to a careless high shot. With the one-man advantage, the Eels eventually built up enough pressure to cross in the 49th minute through fullback Hayze Perham, giving them the lead for the first time of the match.
As the Sea Eagles began to fatigue, the Eels crossed over for two more four-pointers, with Samuel Loizou scoring his second and Mitch Rein ducking over just four minutes later.
The last 20 minutes of the match was marred by a large melee erupting between the two sides. Sea Eagles winger Raymond Vaega was marched from the field for the remainder of the game, and this was immediately followed up by a try to Eels winger Solomone Naiduki.
Despite playing a man down, the Blacktown side were able to cross for a consolation try in the 76th minute, with Stevanovic crossing for his second four-pointer. To close out the victory in style, winger Sean Russell finished off a lovely team-try to hand the Eels a 30-12 victory over the Blacktown side.
There was plenty of poor discipline from both sides with multiple penalties being given away for foul play and ruck infringements. This will be an area that both teams will need to address, especially the Eels as they fight for their spot in the top five heading into finals.
While being ruthless in attack, the Eels defence won them the game. Their aggressive tackling, particularly in the middle third of the field, made it difficult for the Sea Eagles to get any attacking momentum throughout the course of the match.
With the scores locked at 6-all and the Eels playing with an extra man, Hayze Perham’s try in the 49th minute marked a key turning point in the match. Following this try, the Eels dominated field position for the remainder of the game, strangling the Sea Eagles and keeping them in their own half.
The Eels will open Round 22 in the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup against South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night, while the Blacktown Workers have another tough task ahead, facing Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground next Sunday afternoon.