Western Suburbs emerged victorious in a tough and sometimes spiteful clash at Aubrey Keech by 26-18 over Mounties.
Mounties started full of fire and forced Wests to defend for three consecutive sets through patience and pressure via two dropouts a tackle restart, however Gus Aiga couldn’t handle Braeden Batiste’s pass and the first ten minutes passed without points.
The first 20 minutes was a
really good grinding game until Mounties opened up, a short ball from
Michael Stevens sending Sam Aiga through, who drew his brother Gus,
allowing Andrew Sultana to touch down next to the posts. Dayne Craig was
successful with the simple conversion, Wests ahead 6-0.
knocked on from the kick-off, putting Mounties on the attack
immediately. Wests held strong for four tackles, until Theo Leato
scooted from dummy half, hit and spun over the line. Kurt Horton’s
conversion was pushed across the face, Wests up by two with 15 minutes
until the interval.
A loose pass from Mounties was scooped up by
Wests from the restart and the black and whites immediately sprung to
life, giving the ball plenty of air. However, it was a grubber from
Dayne Craig which caught Mounties unaware, the deflection allowing the
Magpies’ rake to score from his own kick. Craig hooked the kick wide,
Wests with a truckie’s lead after 29 minutes.
Mounties needed to
stay in touch with a try before the break and did so, a Brendan Newton
bomb coming down for Wayne Dargan, who fought his way over the line.
Kurt Horton produced an almost identical kick, pushing across the face,
Wests taking their 10-8 lead to half time.
It took 14 minutes of
the second half to yield points, but a Mounties bomb proved too tough
for Wests to handle and, from the following set, Brendan Newton squeezed
his way through the Wests line, offloading for Gus Aiga to touch down.
Kurt Horton made it third time lucky, Mounties hitting the lead for the
first time by 14-10 with 25 minutes remaining.
Mounties sought to
get under the Magpies’ skin, but Michael Stevens took the tackling
option away with a grubber on the halfway line as Mounties pushed up,
Trent Jennings regathering to send Nu Akeripa away to score. Dayne Craig
added the extras and Wests regained their lead 16-14 with a quarter of
the game to play.
A penalty for holding down in the ruck allowed
Wests to set up an attacking move, Andrew Sultana selling a great dummy
and stepping through before offloading a glorious ball for Ronnie
Palumbo. Dayne Craig’s conversion split the uprights and Wests, with 15
minutes remaining, held the biggest lead of the day, 22-14.
heads down, Dayne Craig took the opportunity to grubber through the
line and follow up to grab a second try. Craig’s conversion sailed wide,
and Wests held a 12 point buffer with 10 minutes for Mounties to mount a
Five minutes were all that remained and Mounties threw
caution to the wind, Louis Vaitou outpacing Sam Aiga to touch down in
the corner after a break from Dave Cahalane. Kurt Horton’s conversion
was off the mark again, leaving Wests too far in front to be caught at
26-18, with a penalty goal attempt by Dayne Craig sailing wide after the
WESTERN SUBURBS 26 (Dayne Craig 2, Andrew Sultana, Nu
Akeripa, Ronnie Palumbo tries; Dayne Craig 3 from 6) MOUNTIES 18
(Theo Leato, Wayne Dargan, Gus Aiga, Louis Vaitou tries; Kurt Horton 1
Halftime: Wests 10 Mounties 8
Penalties: Wests 7 Mounties 6
1. Sam Aiga
15. Shawn Craig
16. Junior Vaivai
2. Trent Jennings
5. Jerome Mose
6. Andrew Sultana
7. Michael Stevens
17. Tunui Maurangi
9. Dayne Craig
12. Shane Lalogafau
3. Rusty Bristow
4. Nu Akeripa
13. Sonny Bristow
8. Jarrad Szczudlo
19. Fred Tevago
21. Luke Williams
22. Ronnie Palumbo
1. Gus Aiga
2. Theo Leato
3. Wayne Dargan
4. Dave Cahalane
5. Louis Vaitou
6. Brendan Newton
7. Braeden Batiste
23. Rodney Coates
9. Jason Antonelli
10. Mitch Cahalane
11. Brady Cheshire
12. Kurt Horton
21. Clay Priest
8. Uiti Baker
13. Adam Tangata
14. Mitchell Geggs
18. Jacob Mayer