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NSW Cup 2022 Season Review | Mounties

Mounties slipped from sixth spot in 2021 to ninth in 2022, but that can’t all be blamed on head coach Mick Potter being called up mid-season to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL side to replace Trent Barrett.

Potter had only one win from his first eight NSW Cup games in 2022 before making the move to the NRL.

After his departure, and with Brock Shepperd in charge, Mounties picked up seven wins from their remaining 14 games. 

Still the backend of the season run – three wins from their last five games – wasn’t enough to overcome 14 losses in a 24-round competition. Mounties also only scored 412 points from 22 games which was the second worst attack in the NSW Cup this year.

They started confidently with a Round One win over the Magpies, but their next one didn’t come until Round 12 against the Sea Eagles. Then followed wins in Round 15 over the Dragons, Round 16 over the Sea Eagles again, Round 18 over the Raiders, Round 20 over the Magpies, Round 21 over the Knights, and Round 23 over the Dragons.

Top Five Tries | Mounties

Season Highlight

St George Illawarra gave Mounties a reason to sing the team song with extra vigour after they beat the Dragons twice by just one point. It was five-eighth Brad Abbey’s boot – two 78th field goals in both games – that provided the joyous moments in the 41-40 Round 15 and the 35-34 Round 23 victories.

The Round 15 win was Mounties highest score for the year, although they also enjoyed a 40-10 win over the Sea Eagles three weeks earlier.

NSWRL TV Highlights | NSW Cup Dragons v Mounties - Round 23

Simply the best

Dane Aukafolau, whose nickname is ‘Danger’, finished on top of the try scorers list for the club with nine tries. The second-rower played every game in 2022 and also boasted 10 line-break assists and 33 off-loads.

Centre Tim Simona wasn’t far behind in contributions with eight tries in 17 games, five try assists, 27 tackle-busts and 12 line breaks.

Captain Josh Daley at hooker was also a menace after helping Mounties into the top-five for dummy half runs.

Read more season reviews: Sea Eagles, Magpies, Knights

By the numbers

Conceding an average of 29 points a game, while scoring 18, will give the coaching staff impetus to work on defensive structures even more for the 2023 season.

Mounties has a pack of forwards dedicated to keeping the ball alive. Behind the two grand finalists in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup (Panthers, Bulldogs) the Mounties were third for the competition in offloads (225).

However, being the fourth-worst in the NSW Cup for missed tackles (736), or an average of 33.4 per game, again could be a focus to work on technique and fitness in the pre-season.

Acknowledgement of Country

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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