Mounties have opened their account in the 2014 #VBNSWCup in style with an emphatic 50-10 points victory over Manly at Brookvale Oval.
Joe Bond opened the scoring for Mounties in the 2nd set of the game after Manly conceded a penalty and Bond was able to capitalise on an early defensive lapse to slide over next to the posts in the south east corner with Kurt Horton adding the extras for a 6-0 lead.
In the 4th minute Jeremy Hawkins showed class on the wing when he kept his width and dived over just inside the touch in goal line to score Mounties second with the conversion unsuccessful Mounties led 10-0.
Seven minutes later Manly crossed for their first try when they squeezed through Mounties line next to the posts to make it 10-6 and pressured the line on their next set until Jeremy Hawkins took an intercept and raced down field to the 30 metre line and a quick play the ball saw Jake Foster cruise over for an easy try and with Hortons conversion it was Mounties 16-6.
In the 21st minute Shane Shackleton was the man of the moment when he was able to run onto a neat pass from Matt McIllrick and dived in under the sticks virtually untouched and with Horton slotting the conversion Mounties extended their lead to 22-6.
Play slowed over the next few sets with a few mistakes creeping in however in the 33rd minute Matt Place was able to dive over adjacent to the posts after a great tackle bust and run by Sami Sauiluma for Mounties to lead 28-6 and with the clock winding down on the first half Manly chanced their arm and got a try on the bell to make it 28-10 at the break.
The message from coach Antonelli at half time was simple, push up harder in defence, have urgency and be clinical.
The message appeared to sink in at first and in the 45th minute Jeremy Hawkins made a nice break from the scrum and scored a nice individual try with Kurt Horton unable to convert and the score was 32-10 in favour of Mounties however the game plan then went out the window and for the next 10 minutes both teams turned over possession far to often for the coaches liking and it appeared to remain that way until Bill Tupou scored a great individual try busting two tackles to dive over to make it 36-10 after Horton radar was off for the second time.
Again the play from both teams kept breaking down and it was 20 minutes before the next scoring play when Kyle O'Donnell grabbed a try by barging over next to the sticks to make it 42-10 after Hortons conversion and in the 78th minute Sami Sauiluma got a try after Matt Place put in a nice kick for him to pounce on to make it 46-10 after Horton failed to convert.
In the 79th minute played looked to have broken down on the 5th tackle until Joe Bond injected himself into the line and slipped a nice ball to Place who kicked through for Horton to pounce and make it 50-10 as the bell sounded.
Mounties top the ladder after round 1 and will look to back it up next Sunday against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium.
In the OAMPS pre season cup Mounties secured two wins with the True Blue Chemicals Sydney Shield team scoring a 44-20 victory over Auburn and the Ron Massey Cup team claiming victory over Burwood Nth Ryde 28-16.