Western Suburbs produced a Melbourne-esque display of clinical and professional football in blasting away Asquith by 74-0 last weekend at Storey Park.
Wests signalled their intentions early with a bomb from their very first set, Amanono Tovio getting the slightest of touches to be denied a try by referee Jeff Hartup in one of just two handling errors in the first half for the boys from Campbelltown.
Wests continued to attack with determination and confidence and after eight minutes, Dayne Craig opened the scoring with a strong barge from dummy half after dummying to Dean Rysko. David Atuau slotted the conversion from plum in front, Wests up 6-0.
Asquith tried some enterprising football to hit back, but a knock on from a tricky pass gave Wests possession after 14 minutes, and Wests made it count with Dayne Craig throwing a faceball for a barnstorming Adrian Ha’angana to touch down. Atuau’s conversion put Wests ahead by a dozen.
Wests found success in bombing Asquith’s wingers and, three minutes later, Sam Aiga muscled his way through off a repeat seat. Atuau’s conversion saw Wests up 18-0 after as many minutes.
Five minutes later, Wests spun the ball wide to the left and the crowd had their stopwatches out as Fusi Toutai exploded through the line, with local radio commentators asking if it was Usain Bolt on the wing. David Atuau converted to keep pace with the clock after 24 minutes.
Another five minutes elapsed before another Wests try, with Soni Paasi on hand to pick up the scraps after Jerome Mose threw a wild ball in field in desperation off a last tackle Waters bomb. David Atuau split the posts for an even 30.
Wests were almost in again three minutes later, however this time the pass drifted forward and in to touch. However, Trent Jennings took exception to a challenge from Josh Nicholls, with players from both sides rushing in to defend their team mates. At the end of it, referee Jeff Hartup placed Jennings on report, cautioned Asquith’s Brad Nicholls and dispatched Fusi Toutai to the sin bin.
Being down a man didn’t stop the Wests juggernaut though, with a last tackle raid inside the Asquith 20 finding Amanono Tovio, who scooted over to touch down. Jack Hawkins pushed Tovio in the back in frustration after Tovio touched down, which Jerome Mose took exception to. Referee Hartup was again busy as he placed Paul Segala on report while sending both Hawkins and Mose for ten minutes. David Atuau pushed the conversion attempt wide, Western Suburbs going to the interval up 34-0.
Wests were awarded a penalty for a high tackle four minutes into the second stanza, and immediately took advantage, with Dayne Craig drifting across field before straightening up to catch Asquith’s defence still sliding. David Atuau converted to leave Wests 40-0 up on 45 minutes.
Four minutes later Wests were in again after using their hands on the last, the ball ending up in the hands of Fusi Toutai, who found Trent Jennings backing up. Atuau nailed the two for 46-0.
Three minutes later Wests hit the half century in style, with a try that had even hardened Asquith fans applauding. A shaky Nathan Waters bomb was marked by Amanono Tovio, from whom the ball then went to Jerome Mose, Soni Paasi and David Atuau. Atuau hoisted a second bomb, marked by Mose, who offloaded for Amanono Tovio to raise the Magpies bat. Atuau pulled the conversion across the face, Wests hitting the half century with just under half an hour remaining.
It took Wests three minutes to score again, Shane Lalogafau showing incredible strength to beat five Asquith defenders. Atuau added the extras.
Nine minutes passed before Wests hit 60, with Sonny Bristow the beneficiary of a wonderful offload from Soni Paasi to Amanono Tovio. Atuau was successful with the conversion for a 62-0 lead after 63 minutes.
Wests registered two tries in the next six minutes through Chris Standing and a second to Sonny Bristow to push the lead out to 74-0 with nine minutes to go, but Asquith’s cover defence showed plenty of desperation to hold Wests at bay for the last nine minutes of the match.
Wests coach Leo Epifania said his side’s discipline in attack was just as pleasing as the shut out as Wests played what was in front of them rather than what they wanted to be in front of them. Although a long way behind on the scoreboard, Asquith showed some impressive moves in the backline.
Wests laid the platform for their win in the pack, with Sonny Bristow, Inno Innoesio and Soni Paasi all relentless, while for Asquith, Jack Hawkins, Aaron Groome and Luke Jay tried hard to steer their side around the park.
Wests will take on Windsor on Wednesday at the Windsor Sports Complex, kick-off 7-30pm, in a deferred game from round 13 which shapes as crucial for the finals aspirations of both teams.
Next weekend, Wests head to Hurstville to do battle with Kingsgrove, while Asquith will look to bounce back at McCredie Park against Guildford.
WESTERN SUBURBS 74 (Dayne Craig 2, Amanono Tovio 2, Sonny Bristow 2, Adrian Ha’angana, Sam Aiga, Fusi Toutai, Soni Paasi, Trent Jennings, Shane Lalogafau, Chris Standing tries; David Atuau 11 from 13) def ASQUITH 0
Penalties: Wests 6 Asquith 9
Halftime: Wests 34 Asquith 0
1. Sam Aiga
2. Fusi Toutai
3. Jerome Mose
4. Trent Jennings
5. Amanono Tovio
15. David Atuau
7. Nathan Waters
11 Dean Rysko
9. Dayne Craig
10. Mason Talolua
20. Adrian Haangana
12. Tom Morrison
18. Inno Innoesio
8. Soni Paasi
13. Sonny Bristow
14. Shane Lalogafau
16. Chris Standing
21. Sione Ala
2. Brad Horder
3. Josh Nicholls
15. Luke McDonald
23. Michael Pearsall
6. Jack Hawkins
7. Aaron Groome
16. Desai Gupwell
9. Luke Jay
10. Mark Meredith
24. Arthur Meredith
12. Joel Latham
13. Ryan Wheeler
17. Justin Eves
18. Ben Kirkland
19. Josh Portlock
25. Paul Sagala