The Illawarra Cutters’ finals hopes for 2015 are over after an empathic second-half performance saw the Bulldogs run out convincing winners 32-8.
After a tight first half which saw the Bulldogs lead at the break 10-4, the Cutters reduced the gap to just two points early in the second half.
But from there it was all Bulldogs, scoring four unanswered tries including a double to Lindon McGrady and a customary try to the VB NSW Cup’s top try-scorer Tyrone Phillips.
Canterbury Bulldogs 32 (L McGrady 2, T Phillips, J McInally, J Graham, D Fualalo tries; L Dodd 4 goals) bt Illawarra Cutters 8 (A Tuimavave-Gerrard, E Nabuli tries)
Penrith Panthers 22 (W Blake, M Watene-Zelezniak, S Scarlett, C Harawira-Naera tries; Harawira-Naera 3 goals) bt Warriors 10 (S Havili 2 tries; A Hingano goal)
SUMMARY: After going to halftime locked at 10-10, Penrith outlasted the Warriors in an arm wrestle. The Panthers struck twice midway through the second half with tries to halfback Sam Scarlett and centre Corey Harawira-Naera, the latter converting both for a 12-point lead. Keeping the home side scoreless in the second spell, the Panthers stay top equal on the ladder.
Newcastle Knights 40 (K Holland 2, J Feeney 2, K Tofilau, D Sironen, J Safiti, J Rosbery tries; G Ndaira 3, Holland goals) bt Newtown Jets 26 (M Brown 2, G McCallum, S Sauiluma, T Murphy tries; Murphy 3 goals)
SUMMARY: The Knights overcame a 22-4 deficit midway through the first half to end the Jets' season. A 16-point lead after 26 minutes wasn't enough for the Jets who are officially out of the running for finals contention. Man-of-the-match Jaelen Feeney was inspirational with a two-try effort, instigating the Knights' 36-unaswered-point explosion.
Mounties 54 (B Lee 2, S Mills 2, M Cornish 2, J Hawkins, M Cronin, W Mataka, A Duggan tries; Cornish 7 goals) bt Wests Tigers 18 (N Milone, K Rowe, P Manumalealii tries; J Drinkwater 3 goals)
SUMMARY: With only one round left before finals, Mounties made an emphatic statement defeating Wests Tigers 54-18. Brenko Lee bagged a hat-trick with Mounties' halves and hooker, Mitch Cornish, Josh McCrone and Glenn Butriss proving too hard to handle for Wests Tigers. The loss puts an end to the Wests Tigers' season.
Manly Sea Eagles 58 (D Berryman 2, J Hodges 2, T Symonds 2, D Reardon, B Williame, M Rudolph, S Vave tries; K Aldridge 9 goals) bt Wentworthville Magpies 16 (N Kassis, C Nelson, L O'Malley tries; B Henry 2 goals)
SUMMARY: Manly took a significant step forward in securing a finals spot by completely blowing Wentworthville away 58-16. Tom Symonds scored a double and was inspirational for the home side, while Jayden Hodges was at his creative best out of dummy half. Kurt Aldridge had a near perfect afternoon with the boot, kicking nine conversions from ten attempts.
Wyong Roos 18 (M McIlwrick, T Cornish, L Pulu tries; Cornish 3 goals) bt North Sydney Bears 16 (J Olive, E Murphy, C Walker tries; D Nicholls 2 goals)
SUMMARY: Wyong kept their minor premiership hopes afloat with a gutsy 18-16 victory over North Sydney. The Roos flew out to an 18-0 lead after just 15 minutes, before the Bears fought back with 16 points just before half time. Some inspirational defensive efforts from both sides resulted in a scoreless second half, during a game that was heavily affected by constant rain.
This article first appeared on NSWRL.com.au