NSW Cup Match Report: Mounties secure Minor Premiership
Mounties have defeated the NZ Warriors 36-10 in the final round of the VB NSW Cup to take out the minor premiership for 2015 at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday.
Up against a depleated Warriors outfit, Mounties got out of the blocks fast with line breaks by Jack Ahearn and Mitch Cronin almost leading to an early try however it was the Warriors who opened the scoring when a kick deflection led to a try near the posts in the 2nd minute for the visitors to lead 6-0.
In the 9th minute Mounties scored the equaliser when Mark Nicholls powered over next to the posts to give Mitch Cornish an easy conversion and in the 13th minute Gus Aiga put Mounties ahead when a nice backline move started by Josh McCrone saw him dive over in the south west corner to make it 10-6.
Over the next 20 minutes play went end to end and the anticipation of the next try was building nicely in the healthy crowd as they were treated to some enterprising play.
In the 33rd minute Pat Mago gave the crowd their money's worth when he beat several defenders to get across the line and put Mounties in front by 14-6 and it remained that score until the half time break.
Immediately after the break the Warriors hit back with a try under the posts and with the conversion it was 14-12 in favour of Mounties but minutes later Patty Mago got a double when Josh McCrone chipped over the defence for Pat Mataele to regather and slip a nice ball for Mago to get across the line and make it 20-10.
At the 52nd minute mark Mounties were on the attack and a last tackle kick was spilled by the Warriors with Stuart Mills able to take up the ball and after getting across the line he still had to beat two defenders to get the ball down and make it 24-10.
From the restart Mounties went on the attack again this time it was Mitch Cornish who got the try when he took on the line and stepped two tackles to score and convert to extend the lead to 30-10.
In the 59th minute Kyle O'Donnell got the points Mounties were after when he ran a nice inside line close to the line and dived over next to the upright to give Cornish an easy conversion and Mounties led 36-10 which gave them enough for and against to lead the race for the minor premiership.
The next 20 minutes was an epic battle with Mounties trying to extend their lead and the plucky Warriors trying to get some points back but in the end the clock beat both teams, the final score of 36-10 enough to deliver the minor premiership, a top four finish and a date in the first round of the finals series with another match up against the Warriors who finished the season in fourth position.
Mounties 36 (P Mago 2, M Nicholls, G Aiga, S Mills, M Cornish, K O'Donnell tries; Cornish 4 goals) bt Warriors 10 (S Fe'aou, S Luafalealo tries; S Havili goal)
In the final round of the Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield Mounties will take on Guildford at McCredie Park on Sunday with the Massey Cup team already wrapping up the minor premiership and Shield looking to finish in the top four.