Western Suburbs went down 36-22 in a fiery clash against Mounties last weekend at Leichhardt Oval, but perhaps took away a psychological advantage.
Down to 15 men due to injury after 20 minutes, the
Magpies dug deep against the competition front runners in a performance
which was not done proper justice by the scoreboard.
opened the scoring for the afternoon in the second minute, a looping
pass to the right missing all comers, with Nick Kassis on hand to scoop
up the crumbs. David Farkas slotted the conversion, Mounties ahead 6-0
after three minutes.
After their century against Kingsgrove,
Wests were happy to get into a good grind and both sides used their
possession well in stretching the opposition defence, with Mounties
dominating the kicking game through sheer distance, Wests looking the
better with ball in hand.
The dominance of the kicking by
Mounties was turned on its head, though, with just four minutes to the
break, after a decisive break down the left hand side by Wests’ Sean
Connor. Nathan Waters followed up with a towering bomb, batted down by
Amanono Tovio to David Atuau, who showed excellent patience and footwork
to manoeuvre Tovio back into an onside position. Tovio then took the
pass and beat the cover to touch down in front of a vocal Wests crowd.
Michael Stevens slotted the touchline conversion, Wests drawing level
with three minutes to the interval.
A penalty to Mounties for a
lifting tackle allowed them to have the last attacking play of the half,
and they made it count with a barnstorming run by Uiti Baker allowing
an offload for Jason Green, who juggled the ball all the way down the
ground before controlling it for the try. David Farkas added the extras
and Mounties fortuitously went to the break up 12-6.
Mounties registering their final try against the run of play, Wests
sought to atone for their six point deficit, but, when your luck’s in
your luck’s in, and a neat run around play from Wests rebounded to
Vinnie Uelese, who outpaced the cover to go 75 metres to touch down.
David Farkas converted to put Mounties up 18-6 with 32 minutes to play.
were muscling up in a tense and physical contest and with half an hour
left, Pat Galea came up with a dubious challenge on Wests’ Nathan
Waters. However, the referee instead dispatched Waters to the sin bin
for fighting, incensing the Magpies outfit.
In a display which
revived memories of the old fibro days, Wests played with such intensity
and determination that one could have been forgiven for thinking it was
Mounties who were a man short, and posted two tries in Waters’ absence
to level the scores, with Mosese Pangai bullocking up the middle to
score, and then Dayne Craig burrowing over from dummy half. Michael
Stevens converted both tries and when Waters returned with 20 minutes to
go, the scores were locked at 18-18.
Mounties were stung into
action and regained the lead after a sweeping backline movement to the
right found Danny Galea, Galea matching Jason Green’s juggling act as he
touched down. David Farkas had no problems converting from touch,
Mounties back in front 24-18 with 15 minutes remaining.
began to dominate the forward battle and, with perfect timing, Brett
Lahey stepped up, literally, with two left foot steps, the first through
the Wests line, the second past Magpies fullback Sam Aiga, to register
Mountie’s fifth try of the afternoon. Farkas converted and Mounties
entered the final ten minutes with a 12 point break.
desperate to get back into the game and a series of long passes to the
left found Mosese Pangai with a two man overlap as he was tackled.
However, in a cruel twist, Tim Tautuaa stuck out his hand and the ball
somehow stuck, Tautuaa outlaqsting the Magpies’ cover over 100 metres to
wrap the match up. David Farkas added the two, Mounties ahead 36-18
with five minutes to go.
Wests refused to go away and, after a
penalty for a shoulder charge, immediately spread the ball right,
Amanono Tovio the beneficiary of the quick passing chain. Michael
Stevens rejected the opportunity to convert, more concerned with
registering another try, although to no avail, Mounties running out
Magpies coach Leo Epifania summed up his team’s
efforts by pointing out that, with 15 men for the final hour of the game
and with four tries for Mounties against the run of play, the win just
wasn’t meant to be for Wests.
For Mounties, halves David Farkas
and Brett Lahey guided the side around the park well, with Uiti Baker
causing plenty of consternation for Wests with his ample frame. For
Wests, Dean Rysko was fantastic with his go forward, ably supported by
Sonny Bristow, while Nathan Waters played a game reminiscent of Geoff
Toovey’s glory days.
Next week, Mounties host Blacktown at Aubrey
Keech on Saturday at 3pm, while Wests travel to McCredie Oval on Sunday
to face off against Guildford at 3pm.
MOUNTIES 36 (Nick Kassis,
Jason Green, Vinnie Uelese, Danny Galea, Brett Lahey, Tim Tautuua tries;
David Farkas 6 from 6) def WESTERN SUBURBS 22 (Amanono Tovio 2, Mosese
Pangai, Dayne Craig tries; Michael Stevens 3 from 3*)
*Conversion attempt rejected for final try
Penalties: Wests 6 Mounties 6
Halftime: Wests 6 Mounties 12
1. Sam Aiga
2. Fusi Toutai
3. Jerome Mose
4. Trent Jennings
5. Amanono Tovio
6. Michael Stevens
7. Nathan Waters
8. Dean Rysko
9. Dayne Craig
10. Sonny Bristow
17. Mosese Pangai
12. Tom Morrison
13. David Atuau
15. Sean Connor
16. Chris Standing
18. Richard Ene
22. Fred Tevaga
1. Theo Leato
2. Tim Tautuaa
23. Nick Kassis
4. Vinnie Uelese
20. Shannon Chapman
6. David Farkas
7. Brett Lahey
8. Uiti Baker
9. Sam Brunton
10. Adam Tangata
15. Fred Pakatoa
12. Pat Galea
13. Tim Baldwin
14. Tere Glassie
18. Tunui Maurangi
19. Daniel Arona
22. Jason Green