Sunday, September 8, 2013

Elimination Final - Ron Massey Cup - Match Review

Western Suburbs lived to fight on in the Ron Massey Cup after eliminating Auburn 28 -16 at New Era Stadium.

The Magpies made the perfect start by nailing a 40-20 kick with their first set of six, however could not find the line. Indeed, the first points were not posted until the 15th minute, when a backline of violins to the left was interrupted by the trombone of Dean Rysko, who barged through the Auburn defence to touch down under the posts. Michael Stevens added the extras to put Wests up 6-0.

Both sides played an expansive, entertaining game and the Magpies were soon in for their second try, with a Michael Stevens break resulting in a shift to the left, Nathan Scarano scooting through to score after being left unmarked. Stevens pushed the conversion wide, the black and whites 10-0 ahead after 24 minutes.

A succession of handling errors and penalties caused by a mixture of over-enthusiasm and some warmer than average weather followed before Wests registered their third try of the afternoon, with a glorious face ball at the line by Dayne Craig finding Dean Rysko, who registered his second of the afternoon. Stevens slotted the two, and Wests led 16-0 with five minutes to the break.

Auburn desperately needed something to break the Wests momentum and Alex Seini obliged by darting to the corner after a backline sweep to the right side. Seini was unable to convert his own try amid a cacophony of noise from the Magpie faithful on hand, Wests taking their 16-4 lead into halftime.

Auburn came out all guns blazing in the second half and took 11 minutes to notch their second try, a series of offloads eventually allowing Cliff Nye to cross in the corner. Alex Seini slotted the goal from touch, and Auburn was back within six. Eight minutes later and Auburn levelled the scores as Sione Tovo scored a try reminiscent of Dean Rysko’s first for Wests which Alex Seini converted. With 20 minutes to play, Wests and Auburn were locked at 16-16.

Auburn took a long period to build momentum, and in a flash it was gone, with Sonny Bristow showing good strength to bust through the Warriors left defence. Michael Stevens hit the metalwork, Wests leading 20-16 with 15 to go.

Auburn sought a reply in vain and, with seven minutes remaining, a Michael Stevens bomb was plucked from the air by Amanono Tovio. Michael Stevens hit the very same rivets on the goalpost, Wests ahead 24-16 with six minutes to play.
The black and whites deservedly sealed the game three minutes from time through Tovio’s second of the day on the back of a Frederick Tevaga break. Stevens missed the conversion, Wests holding on for a thoroughly entertaining victory. Magpies coach Leo Epifania was delighted with the character his team showed in digging deep when the match was in the balance, describing the performance as what Wests and the game of rugby league was built on as Wests played with plenty of self-belief.

Sonny Bristow and Dean Rysko stood tall for Wests, with Nathan Waters conducting play in behind them. For Auburn, Hala Akauola, Sione Tovo and Robbie Kamoto were best on the park. Western Suburbs will face off against Cabramatta next weekend, after the Two Blues went down 21-16 to The Entrance.

WESTERN SUBURBS 28 (Dean Rysko 2, Amanono Tovio 2, Nathan Scarano, Sonny Bristow tries; Michael Stevens 2 from 6) def AUBURN 16 (Alex Selei, Cliff Nye, Sione Tovo tries; Alex Seini 2 from 3) Penalties: Wests 7 Auburn 4.  Halftime score: Wests 16 Auburn 4

Western Suburbs
1. Sam Aiga
2. Sean Connor
16. Nathan Scarano
4. Jerome Mose
5. Amanono Tovio
6. Michael Stevens
7. Nathan Waters
8. Dean Rysko
9. Dayne Craig
10. Sonny Bristow
13. Mason Talolua
12. Tom Morrison
17. Luke Williams

14. Todd Makejev
15. Daviid Atuau
18. Frederick Tevaga
19. Chris Standing

1. Cliff Nye
2. Alex Seini
3. Ray Tafokitau
4. Heka Nanai
5. Fiteli Fatai
6. Gerrard McCallum
14. Jordan Bowles
8. Sione Tovo
9. Luke Ferry
10. Tupou Iongi
11. Pat Mafi
12. Will Mitchell
13. Chris Salem

7. Robbie Kamoto
15. Makahesi Makatoa
16. Hala Akauola
17. Daniel Tuulau

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