NSW Cup Match Report: Mounties cement first place
Mounties has put in a dominating display that has seen them defeat the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 58-18 at GIO Stadium to cement their standing at the top of the VB NSW Cup ladder after nine rounds.
In a twelve tries to three win the Mounties were able to really flex their muscle and run rampant over a poor performing Bulldogs side with both Sam Duggan, Gus Aiga, Jeremy Hawkins and Jeff Lynch scoring doubles.
Mounties got the scoring underway in the 5th minute when Duggan found a gap in the defensive line of the Bulldogs after receiving an offload from Mitch Barnett. The conversion was successful from Mitch Cornish for a 6-0 lead.
It was quick back-to-back tries for Mounties when Cornish put a kick towards the corner that was knocked back by Aiga and the Canterbury defence was unable to deal with the threat before it was pounced on by Mitch Cronin who scored in the corner. The conversion was successful for Cornish giving the Mounties a 12 point lead.
It was then three tries in under 10 minutes for Mounties who were threating to run away with the game. After a 70 metre run from centre Jeremy Hawkins and back-to-back penalties against Canterbury, Duggan was able to score his second try of the game. The conversion was unsuccessful by Cornish however leaving the score at 16-0 with 12 minutes gone.
The scoreboard pressure continued to be piled on by Mounties as they crossed again in the 21st minute. Aiga was able to score in the corner after some quick short passes created space out wide. Unfortunately, Cornish missed the conversion leaving it a 20 point lead for Mounties.
Mounties were in again in the 38th minute when Jeff Lynch scored under the post after Cornish once again played a role in setting up the try, after breaking the line and passing the ball back on the inside to Lynch. Cornish stepped up to add the extra two for a 26-0 lead.
It was soon six unanswered tries after Mounties scored once again in the 32nd minute. Aiga scored his second of the game after Mounties were able to find and take advantage of space out wide, however the conversion attempted by Cornish was waved away leaving the score at 30-0.
The Bulldogs were finally able to score with just two minutes to go in the first half. Brad Clark was able to score after a number of offloads created gaps in Mounties defence. The conversion was successful by Levi Dodd to reduce the Mounties lead to 24 points at half time.
The domination from the Mounties continued early on in the second half when Barnett found his way across the line despite the attention of several tacklers from the Bulldogs. The conversion by Cornish was unsuccessful leaving Mounties with a 28 point lead.
The Bulldogs reply came in the 50th minute as they crossed for their second try with Canterbury fullback Jaline Graham crossing in the corner. The conversion by Dodd was successful to make it 34-12.
It was a quick response from Mounties however who crossed straight away from the kickoff after a mistake from the Bulldogs allowed Jeremy Hawkins to cross in the corner. Once again the conversion from Cornish was unsuccessful leaving the score at 38-12.
The Bulldogs hit back in the 66th minute though as Graham made a line break down the wing before passing the ball to Jarrod McInally who scored under the post. Dodd kept his 100 per cent kicking record intact to reduce the lead to 20 points.
The Raiders did not wait long to restore their lead with David Shillington scoring under the posts after an act of unselfish play by Josh McCrone, who passed to Shillington despite being already over the tryline. Cornish was able to convert this for a 44-18 lead.
It was back-to-back tries once again for Mounties when Hawkins scored his second of the match after McCrone drifted across the field to create space for the powerful centre to run into. The inconsistant kicking from Cornish continued with another unsuccessful conversion leaving the score at 48-18.
The scoreboard domination was really starting to show for Mounties as they crossed another two times before the end of the game. Lynch crossed for his second of the match whilst Cornish was able to score his own try under the post after a 30 metre run. Cornish handed over the conversion to Luke Page who successful converted the final try of the match.
The only issue for Mounties out of the win was that Kyle O’Donnell was placed on report for a crusher tackle.
Mounties 58 (Duggan 2, Aiga 2, Lynch 2, Hawkins 2, Cronin, Barnett, Shillington, Cornish Tries; Cornish 4/11, Page 1/1 Goals) def. Canterbury Bulldogs 18 (Clark, Graham, McNally Tries; Dodd 3/3 Goals)