VB NSW Cup Match Report: Mounties suffer first loss of 2014
Mounties unbeaten run in the VB NSW Cup has come to an end after going down 32-16 at the hands of Penrith on Saturday at Sportingbet Stadium.
Mounties preparation for the game was hampered with the loss of three keys players in Sami Sauiluma and Kyle O'Donnell called up for NRL duties while Matt McIllrick was a late withdrawal due to injury.
The Panthers got off to a flying start when they opened the scoring in the 6th minute after a cross field kick from Isaac John found Naiqama and with the conversion it was 6-0.
The game then became an arm wrestle with some great trades of possession from one end of the field to another until the 31st minute when the Panthers scored another converted try from a kick to make it 12-0 and just minutes later yet another kick on Mounties goal line resulted in another try with the conversion going wide to make it 16-0.
Mounties looked to weather the final few minutes however on the stroke of half time the Panthers went to the air again and came away with another unconverted try to make it 20-0 at the half time break.
In the 50th minute Mounties registered first points when some spectacular ball movement saw Joe Bond dive over in the corner with a difficult conversion by Cornish waved away it was 20-4.
Joe Bond then collected a double in the 68th minute when a kick from Cornish was regathered by him and he planted the ball next to the upright to reduce the margin to 10, Panthers leading 20-10.
The Panthers then scored two tries in the space of as many minutes to give them an unassailable lead of 32-10 with just five minutes remaining but to their credit Mounties played to the final bell and came up with a try to Jeremy Hawkins in the 79th minute when he collected a bat back from Gus Aiga from a Cornish kick to make the final score 32-16.
In the Ron Massey Cup Mounties played another get out of jail free card when they waited until the final minute to defeat Blacktown Workers.
In a repeat of their victory over Windsor Mounties led 12-10 mid way through the first half however a solid effort in the next stanza by Blacktown saw them leading at the break by 20-18.
The second half saw both teams trade tries with Mounties leading 34-24 at the 60 minute mark however Blacktown then rallied with two converted tries to lead Mounties 36-34 with just minutes to go before a piece of Wayne Dargan magic saw Mounties claim a converted try on the ball to grab a 40-36 win.
In the Sydney Shield Mounties led Blacktown 10-6 at halftime with grabbing the lead 12-10 in the 55th minute before Mounties muscled up to take the win 26-12.
Next week Mounties travel to Canberra in the VBNSWCup where they take on the Knights with the game telecast live on FOX 1 from 12:45pm on Saturday while the Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield both take on Asquith at Aubrey Keech a Reserve from 1:15pm on Sunday.