NSW Cup Match Report: Mounties smash Tigers
Mounties have scored a resounding 54-18 victory over the Wests Tigers to boost their for and against and end the Tigers season at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday.
Mounties got off to a flying start when Brenko Lee broke a tackle in the 3rd minute and passed inside for Jeremy Hawkins to cross and make it 6-0 with Cornish converting from out wide.
The Tigers were playing for their season and just two minutes later a cross field kick from Drinkwater was batted back and a missed tackle allowed them to score and make it 6-6.
Just a few minutes later the Tigers stunned Mounties by taking the lead when a missed tackle by Stuart Mills led to a try in the north east corner and the visitors led 12-6.
Mounties then knuckled down to the task at hand and in the 13th minute it was Hawkins and Lee combining again to send Hawkins over down the right edge for Mounties to trail 12-10.
Mounties then put all of the pressure on the Tigers when Mitch Cronin barged over from dummy half in the 26th minute to make it 16-12 in favour of the home team and just minutes later it was Mills who crossed for Mounties when a slick backline move gave him an unchecked passage to the line and he was able to improve the position for Cornish to convert and make it 22-12 in favour of Mounties.
In the 36th minute Mounties middle made some space with barging runs from Rhys Kennedy and Mitch Barnett and with the defence scattered it was Willie Mataka who took advantage when he powered over next to the posts to give Cornish an easy conversion for Mounties to lead 28-12 and on the stroke of half time Josh McCrone laid on a perfectly timed grubber for Mitch Cornish to collect a try and it was 34-12 with the conversion.
Immediately after the break Mounties extended their lead when Mitch Cornish delivered a long floating pass for Stuart Mills and he was good enough to beat the cover and score in the corner to make it 38-12 to Mounties with the conversion being flagged away.
The 47th minute saw Hawkins and Lee up to their old tricks when Hawkins broke the line and flick passed inside for Lee to have an open run to the line and Mounties led 44-12.
Five minutes later the Tigers got a try back when Cherrington found space up the middle and passed inside for the support to score under the posts and it was 44-18 with twenty five minutes to play
In the 57th minute it was dejavu when Josh McCrone delivered a grubber kick into the in goal and with a perfect bounce Mitch Cornish got a double to extend the lead to 50-18 with an easy conversion from in front.
Six minutes later Mounties pushed their lead out to 54 -12 when they took advantage of the Tigers line being down to 12 after a sin bin with Sam Duggan getting a well deserved try.
With ten minutes to play the Tigers tried to spoil the remaining time with stalling tactics however they pushed the referee to his limits and they finished the game with 11 players after having Drinkwater and Bullock sent to the bin for dissent.
A clinical display from Mounties leading into the last game of the regular season and best for Mounties in recording their 54-18 win was Mark Nicholls who was named man of the match by the 81st minute commentary team.
Mounties 54 (B Lee 2, S Mills 2, M Cornish 2, J Hawkins, M Cronin, W Mataka, A Duggan tries; Cornish 7 goals) bt Wests Tigers 18 (N Milone, K Rowe, P Manumalealii tries; J Drinkwater 3 goals)
In the Ron Massey Cup Mounties kept their momentum into the finals going strong with a clinical 56-8 demolition of Auburn with Wayne Dargan bagging a hat trick.
In the Sydney Shield Mounties let their grip on the top four slip when they were beaten by Peninsula 50-32 in a high scoring game that saw Brendon Newton get a double.
Mounties next game in the #VBNSWCup is against the NZ Warriors at Aubrey Keech next Saturday while the Massey Cup and Shield take on Guildford at McCredie Park on Sunday