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Around the Grounds | Junior Reps Semi-finalists decided


Semi-finalists decided in SLE Andrew Johns Cup

The 2023 regular season has come to an end in the SLE Andrew Johns Cup after five rounds of action with the Newcastle Maitland Region Knights booking their spot in the Semi-finals alongside the Central Coast Roosters, Macarthur Wests Tigers and Monaro Colts.

The stakes were high in Round Five when Newcastle faced the Roosters for top spot in the Northern Conference and it was the fast-starting Knights who came away with the spoils.

It was a memorable afternoon for the Knights spine after they ran in three tries in the opening 14 minutes through Fletcher O’Doherty, Kyran Blair and Lochlen Clenton. Fullback Mitchell Balzer also got in on the action, scoring the Knights final try of the afternoon to secure a 30-14 victory against the former conference leaders.

In the Southern Conference, the high-flying Tigers defeated a hungry Illawarra South Coast Dragons side who needed a win to keep their finals hopes alive. Despite being within striking distance at half-time, the Dragons couldn’t match the Tigers class in the second half as they ran away with a 34-16 win.

The Semi-finals will see the Knights take on the Colts, followed by the Tigers against the Roosters, with both games being played at Morry Breen Oval and the winners progressing to the Grand Final.


Colts leapfrog Rams and Tigers to secure Semi-finals berth

The Monaro Colts have defeated Riverina Bulls 28-10 to leapfrog both the Western Rams and Macarthur Wests Tigers to book a spot in the 2023 SLE Laurie Daley Cup Semi-finals.

While the Bulls season was ending, the Colts got exactly what they needed at NSWRL HQ in Bruce with a win and a few other results going their way.

The Colts got off to a fast start when prop Billy Hollands scored the opener just three minutes into the game. While the Bulls hit back through Mason Mescia and Ata Junior Misi, the Colts rebounded with four straight tries including a double to winger Jet Millard.

The Semi-finals will see Newcastle Maitland Region Knights take on the Colts at Morry Breen Oval, and the Illawarra South Coast Dragons face the Northern Tigers at Collegians Sportsground, for a spot in the Grand Final.


Panthers title defence kicks off with win over Storm

Penrith Panthers have picked up where they left off in 2023 after defeating Melbourne Storm 28-22 in Round One of the Jersey Flegg Cup.

While the Panthers were missing some key players from their 2022 Grand Final winning side, there were several returning players including Liam Ison, Samuel Lane, Sunita Lotoaniu and Aston Warwick.

Winger Cody Lawson opened the scoring at BlueBet Stadium with an incredible putdown and display of athleticism, after putting the ball down right in the corner while his body was completely airborne.

After getting off to a fast start, the Storm started to gain ascendancy running in tries to Joe Chan, Sualauvi Faalogo and a double to winger Matthew Hill, giving the away side a 22-8 lead at the break.

The Panthers resolve shone through in the second half, after they clawed their way back into the contest through tries to Blake Moore, Ison and a double to Warwick.

Ryley Smith was perfect with the boot in the second half, kicking three conversions from as many attempts, and a 64th minute penalty goal to secure a hard-fought victory.

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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