NSW Cup Match Report: Mounties v Manly
For the second consecutive week Mounties have made it a clean sweep of all three grades to remain unbeaten in NSWRL competitions in an amazing start to the season.
In the VB NSW Cup Mounties disposed of Manly at Aubrey Keech Reserve in front of a healthy crowd of 2314 to leap into first place on the ladder after three rounds.
Mounties got off to a great start with Mitch Barnett making some barnstorming runs and in the 8th minute he shook off would be tacklers and got a great ball to Glen Buttriss who dummied and dived over to open the scoring for Mounties to lead 6-0.
Six minutes later Mounties were in again when an unforced error from Manly saw Jack Ahearn score and with the conversion by Sam Williams Mounties led 12-0.
Mounties were in control of the game and made easy inroads into the defensive line and in the 21st minute Sam Williams was able to sell a neat dummy and stroll over to make it 18-0 after he converted his own try.
Manly clicked into gear on the back of a few errors from Mounties and in the 30th minute they crossed for their first try when Hodges was able to force his way over from dummy half to make it 18-6 and in the 36th minute they were in again when a bomb to the corner found their winger to make it 18-10 after the conversion was waved off.
Just when Manly fans thought a comeback was on the cards Luke Page closed out the half when he barged his way through the defensive line and scored adjacent to the posts to make it an easy conversion for Williams and Mounties led at the break by 24-10.
Mounties lead was cut to ten straight after the break when an error by Rhys Kennedy saw the visitors cross the line to make it 24-14 in the 42nd minute and not long after Manly were in again when another kick found the mark and with the conversion it was 24-20 and game on.
Mounties weren't about to let the game slip away and it was Williams who provided the spark when he delivered a great short ball to Pat Mataele who crashed over and with Williams radar on track it was 30-20 with 25 minutes to play.
Mark Nicholls then got his reward for an outstanding game when he and Kyle O'Donnell combined to send Nicholls over under the posts to make it 36-20 and just five minutes later Nicholls was in again when he sliced through the line and went over virtually untouched to give Williams another easy conversion and it was 42-20 with ten to play.
In the 77th minute it was Nicholls again who caused the Manly defence problems and off the back of a quick play ball Sam Duggan delivered a neat pass to Dave Cahalane on the right edge and he split the line and scored out wide with Williams conversion hitting the post to make the final score 46-20.
Mark Nicholls followed on from his outstanding game last week against Wyong to be named man of the match by the 81st minute commentary team against Manly and he was ably assisted by O'Donnell, Page and Clay Priest while in the backline Williams, Gus Aiga and Jack Ahearn all had big games.
Mounties took out the Ron Massey Cup match by 72-12 against Kingsgrove while in the Sydney Shield Mounties had a great win when they defeated Peninsula Seagulls by 34-16.
Mounties next game in the VB NSW cup is against fellow leader West Tigers next Saturday at Leichhardt Oval while the Massey and Shield teams take on Cabramatta at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday.
MOUNTIES 46 (M Nicholls 2, J Ahearn, D Cahalane, S Williams, G Buttriss, P Mataele, L Page tries; Williams 7 goals) defeated MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES 20 (B Fritz, D Reardon, J Hodges, M Rudolph tries; K Aldridge 2 goals)