Western Suburbs began a seven game home stand with a convincing 36-14 victory over Kingsgrove at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Magpies were looking to make it three wins on the trot after defeating last year’s Grand Finalists in Wenty and Mounties, while the Colts were desperate to go one better after last week’s heartbreaking 26-26 draw against Windsor.
In scenes reminiscent of last year’s century effort against the Colts, Wests could not have started better as a right side hitup by Keni Gauvet resulted in an offload to Junior Vaivai, Jerome Mose inside to notch the opening try. Dayne Craig’s kick made it 6-0 inside two minutes.
Kingsgrove were struggling to slow the Magpie ruck down, and Michael Stevens took advantage by slipping an inside ball for Sam Aiga who busted the line open, Andrew Sultana backing up on the outside to touch down for a 12-0 lead courtesy of Dayne Craig’s conversion.
Wests found themselves unable to hold on to the football and Kingsgrove hit back at the halfway point of the first stanza, Misieli Vaikeli getting one back for the Colts. Jordie Hodges’ conversion was successful, the Colts back to within six.
Kingsgrove failed to complete their set from the restart and, as so often happens, they paid the ultimate price, Sonny Bristow barging over for Wests. Dayne Craig kept his 100% record intact for an 18-6 lead to the black and whites.
The grind was not favouring Kingsgrove who gradually conceded dominance, Tunui Maurangi going through some soft defence to touch down under the posts and, after Dayne Craig’s kick, Wests led 24-6.
Kingsgrove looked to score just before the break after a Magpies knock on, but put the ball down themselves and, with the siren sounding in the background, Wests threw caution to the wind in going left, Tom Satterswaite on the end of a sweeping passing movement. Michael Stevens pushed the kick wide, the Magpies leading at halftime by 28-6.
Neither side started the second half with much respect for the touchline, but it was Kingsgrove who paid, a delightful flick from Mason Talolua allowing Andrew Sultana to wrap around and notch his second. Tom Satterswaite took over the kicking from Michael Stevens without success, the Magpies taking just eight minutes in the second half to extend their lead to 32-6.
A handling error from Kingsgrove allowed Junior Vaivai to almost beat his man on the outside, but the Colts’ defence held firm. It didn’t so much two tackles later though, George Khoury barging over from dummy half. Junior Vaivai’s kick hit the posts, Wests ahead 36-6 with 25 minutes remaining.
Kingsgrove were having no luck with ball in hand, and they finally found success from the kicking game with 19 minutes remaining, a towering bomb from Abbas Miskie put down by Wests, Jayden Tavae on hand to pick up the crumbs. Jordie Hedges hit repeated Junior Vaivai’s feat of hitting the post with the conversion attempt, the Colts facing a 26 point mountain to take anything from the match.
A penalty for holding in the play the ball allowed Kingsgrove to build some pressure and they again resorted to their kicking game as Wests moved up quickly in defence, a chip wide from Abbas Miskie putting Dwayne Brown over. Jordie Hedges shanked the kick, the Magpies taking their 36-14 lead through to the end, the final ten minutes a scrappy affair.
While the second half was scrappy, Kingsgrove can take heart from a second half which finished all square at 8-8.
WESTERN SUBURBS 36 (Andrew Sultana 2, Jerome Mose, Sonny Bristow, Tunui Maurangi, Tom Satterswaite, George Khoury tries; Dayne Craig 4 from 4, Michael Stevens 0 from 1, Tom Satterswaite 0 from 1, Junior Vaivai 0 from 1)
KINGSGROVE 14 (Misieli Vaikeli, Jayden Tavae, Dwayne Brown tries; Jordie Hedges 1 from 3)
Halftime: Wests 28 Kingsgrove 6
Penalties: Wests 2 Kingsgrove 6
1. Sam Aiga
2. Tom Satterswaite
3. Rusty Bristow
4. Junior Vaivai
5. Jerome Mose
6. Andrew Sultana
7. Michael Stevens
8. Tunui Maurangi
9. Dayne Craig
10. Jarrad Szczudlo
21. Keni Gauvet
18. Sonny Bristow
13. Shane Lalogafau
14. George Khoury
16. Luke Williams
19. Fred Tevago
20. Mason Talolua
1. Jordie Hedges
2. Dwayne Brown
3. Jayden Tavae
4. Misieli Vaikeli
5. Coleman Edmond
6. Aidan Carney
7. Abbas Miskie
8. Billy Tsikrikas
9. Rhys Norman
10. Richard Pohahau
17. Sam Matakaiono
12. Matthew Douglas
13. Jade Ferguson
14. George Keates
15. Jason Briot
18. Moses Manufeka
21. Mitch Subotin