Dominant performances from the Mounties, Wentworthville and North Sydney Bears headline Round 4 of the Canterbury Cup NSW, while the Warriors record an upset victory over the previously undefeated Panthers.
North Sydney Bears v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
North Sydney Oval
Sunday, 7th April – 1.10pm
Match: Bears v Bulldogs
Round 4 -
Venue: North Sydney Oval, Sydney
HIGHLIGHTS | North Sydney v Canterbury-Bankstown - Round 4
A hat-trick to Lachlan Lam has been the catalyst of a powerful performance from the North Sydney Bears as they recorded a comprehensive 42-0 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
Lam marked his return from first-grade with three tries and two try-assists to inspire a relentless 80-minute display from the Bears as they recorded their third consecutive victory in the Canterbury Cup NSW.
The young five-eighth constantly threatened from start to finish as his combination with halves partner Brock Lamb flourished in the eight-tries-to-none rout while the Bulldogs slumped to their second loss of the season.
The performance was made all the more special with the foundation club enjoying ‘Old Bears Day’ at the historic venue, as the Bears matched their attacking masterclass with a gritty defensive performance to completely shutout the reigning premiers.
Lam credited the collective efforts of his team-mates on either side of the
ball and paid tribute to the passionate Bears fans and ex-players who were watching on while also celebrating their rich history.
"I tried really hard today but I thought the boys were unreal today. It's Old Bears Day today and we spoke about putting in a strong performance for them because they came out and supported us," Lam told NSWRL.com.au.
"We showed them (what we can do) and hopefully made them proud.
"Our idea is that points will come but we want to build our game on defence and the effort areas. To keep them to zero was the main goal but the good things that happened (in attack) were the bonus."
While it was Lam who starred for the home side it was centre James Tuitahi who got them off to a flying start with a powerful effort from close-range in just the 4th minute of play.
But Lam then took it upon himself to extend their lead when he burst onto a short ball from 30m out before evading fullback Toa Mata’afa with sheer speed to give the Bears a comfortable 10-0 advantage.
Brock Lamb’s strong kicking game allowed the Bears to dominate field position throughout the entire first-half before he and Lam had a hand in Curtis Johnston’s four-pointer in the 29th minute.
It was was courtesy of two slick passes from the duo in a classy backline movement which allowed Johnston enough space on the left-hand side to cross for his sides third unanswered try.
The Bulldogs simply had no answer for the wave of momentum behind the Bears as Tuitahi latched onto a cross-field kick before offloading to Fletcher Baker to set a comfortable 20-0 advantage at half-time.
The Bears then took an unassailable lead early in the second-half as Captain Bradley Deitz buried his way over in the 46th minute before a deft grubber from Lamb gave the dynamic No.6 his second try just 10 minutes later.
Lam reaped the rewards when he sent Sitili Tupouniua through with a classy pass before supporting the break from his back-rower to cross under the posts for his hat-trick.
He iced an incredible individual performance when he returned to serve for Tupouniua with a pinpoint grubber in the 69th minute as the Bears surged to first place on the competition ladder.
Match: Mounties v Magpies
Round 4 -
Venue: Aubrey Keech Reserve, Sydney
HIGHLIGHTS | Mounties v Western Suburbs - Round 4
By Alex Hrissis
Mount Pritchard Mounties extended their unbeaten run with a dominant 52-6 win over Western Suburbs Magpies in Round 4 of the Canterbury Cup.
The home team started the game strong and asserted their dominance early with Andre Niko scoring a try in the first few minutes after a nice offload from Reubenn Rennie and then proceeded to convert his try to put his team ahead 6-0.
The Mounties scored another try halfway through the first half after fullback Bailey Simonsson managed to catch the ball after it was lobbed over the defence and the home team doubled their lead.
The Magpies defensive woes continued to struggle as the home side scored two more tries, one coming from Simonsson to get himself another try before half time following a nice flick from Andre Niko to head into the sheds with a lead of 24-0.
Mounties continued to pile misery on the travelling Magpies with Tony Satini getting himself a try just minutes into the second half to give his team a third point lead.
The home side then found them self extending the lead even further after quick halfback Brendan O’Hagan found a break in the Magpies’ defence and sprinted half the field to get himself a try and extend his teams’ lead to 36-0.
Andre Niko found himself on the scoresheet just a few minutes later. The Mounties’ centre received the ball from a lob pass and placed it down for a try with great composure.
The home team widened the gap even further after Bailey Simonsson scored two tries in five minutes and gave his team a lead of 52 points.
Bailey Simonsson spoke to NSWRL.com.au following his performance against the Magpies and was full of praise for his team mates,
“Yeah it was good to get across the line a few times but it was on the back of all the forwards’ hard work.”
The away side managed to get themselves a consolation goal through Kauri Aupouri-Puketapu to make the final score 52-6.
Mounties’ win over Western Suburbs moves them to top of the table in the Canterbury Cup with the side still failing to lose a game this season.
Match: Knights v Dragons
Round 4 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
HIGHLIGHTS | Newcastle v St George Illawarra - Round 4
By Robert Crosby
The St George Illawarra Dragons have posted their first win of the season in the Canterbury Cup NSW, defeating the Newcastle Knights 34-16 at McDonald Jones Stadium.
With both sides going down in their past two matches the importance of coming away with two competition points saw the Dragons prove too strong, despite a hat-trick from Knights winger Kiah Cooper.
Getting the better of the opening exchanges the Dragons opened the scoring after eight minutes through an Eli Levido penalty goal.
Denied the opening try in the 11th minute due to a forward pass, Jonus Pearson made amends minutes later to give the visitors a 6-0 lead midway through the first half.
With Pearson denied another four-pointer with the final pass ruled forward, the Knights struck back in the 26th minute after a rampaging run from returning centre Tautau Moga put Cooper over in the left corner.
Crossing for a crucial try just before the break, Dragons hooker Reece Robson gave the visitors a 12-4 lead at the change of ends.
Sustaining pressure from the Dragons early in the second half, a 50-metre intercept from Mitchell Andrews paved the way for Moga to score his first try in over a year to narrow the score to 12-8.
Needing to lift their intensity having been punished for late fade-outs over the opening three weeks, the Dragons responding with two tries in four minutes to Tristan Sailor and Levido to take the score out to 24-8 with 20 minutes to play.
Securing the result through Luciano Leilua and Josh Kerr, two late consolation efforts gave Cooper his hat-trick as the Dragons ran out 34-16 winners.
Next week, Newcastle host Blacktown Workers on Saturday afternoon, while St George Illawarra return to Kogarah against Canterbury-Bankstown on Sunday.
Match: Magpies v Jets
Round 4 -
Venue: Ringrose Park, Sydney
HIGHLIGHTS | Wentworthville v Newtown – Round 4
By Blake Edwards
The Wentworthville Magpies have recorded an impressive 42-10 victory over the Newtown Jets at Ringrose Park on Sunday.
A warm afternoon was always going to be a tough challenge so early in the season, with both sides struggling to adapt, which resulted in poor discipline and plenty of dropped footy.
Newtown looked more comfortable in the opening half hour, though it was the Magpies who struck first through playmaker Bevan French, who fielded a downfield kick courtesy of a favourable bounce, racing away to plant it down. This effort was soon backed up, with Ray Stone crashing over to give Wenty a twelve point lead. The Jets had an opportunity to grab their first points of the game late in the first half when Fullback Will Kennedy raced through the Wenty defence, but his good work was short lived when he threw a wayward pass to his outside back, which found the turf, meaning the hosts would hold onto their 12-0 lead.
A dangerous tackle on Newtown’s Haveatarna Luani by Wenty’s George Jennings saw the hosts on the back-foot shortly after the resumption, with Jennings eventually put in the sin-bin by Referee Keiran Irons for foul play as a result of Luani being forced from the field under the HIA ruling. The Bluebags took full advantage of their opportunity, with Daniel Vasquez barging his way over the stripe for their first points.
The Jets came up with the ultimate coach killer when they dropped the ball in the set after points, inviting the hosts back into the contest. The Magpies accepted the invitation immediately through Stone who racked up his second for the afternoon, shortly followed by another four-pointers to flanker Damon Goolagong, and French pushing the score out to 30-6.
A spirited run from Jets’ Siosifa Talakai resulted in a powerful try, though it wouldn’t be enough to deter the soaring Magpies from scoring their sixth try of the afternoon through D’Rhys Miller, well and truly puting the game out of reach for Greg Materson’s men. A neat try to Josh Hoffman off a French banana-kick, rounded out the scoring, with the Magpies running out 42-12 victors.
Match: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs
Round 4 -
Venue: Lottoland, Sydney
HIGHLIGHTS | Blacktown v South Sydney - Round 4
By Matt Buxton
Lachlan Croker has returned to Rugby League for the first time since suffering an ACL injury in Round 8 last year but it was Kelepi Tanginoa who stole the show in Blacktown’s 32-12 convincing victory against South Sydney.
The Rabbitohs entered the game undefeated while Blacktown had no wins on the board, but previous form went out the window at Lottoland as the Sea Eagles turned it on.
Croker started the game with confidence when he executed a perfect kick behind the Rabbitohs’ defenders for his winger Sam Smith to win the race and score the first try of the afternoon.
Jade Anderson constantly posed a threat at fullback for Blacktown and he popped up in the perfect time and place when Tanginoa got his arm free close to the line and threw and offload for the fullback to collect and stroll over.
Tanginoa was in on the action again when he threw a nice pass to put Dane Aukafolau into space, which then allowed him to give it to Abbas Miski who had plenty of work to do before scoring Blacktown’s third consecutive try.
The final 20 minutes of the first half was looking to be completely scoreless until Abbas Miski ran the length in the final minute against the run of play. The Rabbitohs found themselves in good field position and a long ball was floated out to Leigh Higgins’ wing and he attempted to put an attacking kick through, but the ball went straight into the hands of Miski who never looked like getting chased down.
Tanginoa deserved his name on the scoresheet and he opened the second half with a strong effort when he ran onto a beautiful Zach Dockar-Clay pass and powered through the Rabbitohs’ defenders to make the score 26-0.
Andy Saunders powered through from short range shortly afterwards, before Souths finally broke the duck when Connor Tracey burst into a hole off a nice Keaon Koloamatangi pass close to the line.
Souths went back-to-back with a perfectly executed scrum play that was finished off by Dylan O’Connor, which was the final scoring play of the match.
Match: Warriors v Panthers
Round 4 -
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
HIGHLIGHTS | Warriors v Penrith - Round 4
By Jamie Wall
Two late tries by centre Patrick Herbert has given the Warriors a 22-12 win over Penrith Panthers at Mt Smart Stadium to bring up their first victory in the Canterbury Cup NSW.
The home side made a host of changes from last weekend’s 18-all draw against Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, the most notable being the inclusion of five eighth Adam Keighran. He was in to replace Chanel Harris-Tavita, who played an influential role in the previous night’s NRL win for the Warriors over the Titans.
The rain that had been falling all morning in Auckland had thankfully eased somewhat by the time both teams ran out onto Mt Smart Stadium, but the surface was still in a greasy enough state to make handling errors more probable than possible.
It didn’t take long for the conditions to impact on the game after Panthers’ Liam Coleman put a kick in that was fumbled in the in goal by the Warriors. Jack Hetherington was on hand to touch down, and Jed Cartwright’s conversion gave the visitors a 6-0 lead.
Panthers prop Tim Grant found himself in the sin bin after 12 mins for a professional foul that gifted the Warriors their first real opportunity, but they couldn’t cash on the one-man advantage.
After a penalty by an increasingly frustrated Panthers side was conceded, Sam Cook took a fantastic offload from Leivaha Pulu to bash his way over next to the posts.
This jolted the Warriors into life, and they completely dominated the rest of the half. They took a 10-6 lead into halftime Hayze Perham hit the line and sent a perfect long pass out to Adam Pompey to dive over untouched.
The Warriors had a slice of luck straight off the kickoff when Grant took out Keighran and the resulting penalty gave the Warriors excellent field position. Phillip Makatoa almost scored off a Keighran grubber, but was adjudged to be offside.
After that, the game lost its way through poor handling and discipline by both teams, and the Warriors lost the hard-running Pulu after he suffered a head knock.
Billy Tsikrikas scored for the Panthers off a break by Kaide Ellis close to the line, sliding in next to the posts. The conversion should have been a formality for replacement goal kicker Jarome Luai, but he blasted it into the upright to leave the scores locked with 20 minutes to go.
Luai atoned for his mistake three minutes later after the Warriors were caught offside and he landed a penalty goal from just to the right of the posts.
It looked as though the Panthers may have done enough, but they crucially gave away a penalty and then a repeat set with eight minutes to go.
Warriors Ligi Sao went on a barnstorming run to give them great field position, which opened up enough space for Herbert to step inside the cover defence and score in the corner. Keighran then calmly slotted the sideline conversion to make the score 16-12 with five minutes to play.
In the 77th minute, Keighran showed his class again, putting a perfect kick through for Herbert to get his second try in five minutes. That move iced the result for the home side, handing them their first win of the season.