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LIVE | Canterbury Cup NSW Round 14

Round 14 of the Canterbury Cup NSW has some big names including Josh Reynolds playing for Wests Magpies and Solomone Kata for the Warriors, who scored two early tries to start the weekend. The Newtown Jets impressed with a win against heavyweights Mounties, while South Sydney came from behind to beat the Panthers.

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles vs St George Illawarra Dragons

Hannah McGrory

St George Illawarra Dragons have continued their recent good form after defeating the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 20-14 here at HE Laybutt Field.

Dragons winger Jason Saab scored two tries within the final ten minutes, with Tristan Sailor having a perfect day with the boot after landing three conversions and a penalty goals.

The Sea Eagles were in front majority of the second half after a terrific 70-metre runaway try to Abbas Miskie, however the home side weren’t able to defend their line as a strong Dragons side came charging through late in the second half.

“It was a tough game, one of the toughest of the year,” Sailor told

“We just got in the grind with them and to their credit they toughed it through with us. Big Jason Saab under the high ball was just too good.

“I’ve only just started goal kicking for the team, and we’ve had a few games where we’ve lost by two points. I was on the sideline trying to calm myself and luckily got it through.

“I’m focused on my routine of setting up and calming myself down and trying to block the crowd out, and luckily struck it well.”

The Dragons were the first to score in the 11th minute after a terrific kick from halfback Adam Clune, who found a flying Saab. The Dragons winger passed it to Charly Runciman to score the first with Sailor successfully converting to give his side a 6- nil lead.

The home side came back in the 34th minute with halfback Kane Elgey fnding Michael Tupou who broke through the defensive line before passing back to his halfback, who scored under the posts. Elgey successfully convert his try to lock the scores up at 6-all.

The home side were awarded a penalty with a late shot put on Zach Dockar-Clay and they opted to take the two. Elgey successfully kicked the penalty goal to give his side a two-point. 

A 70-metre runaway try to Miskie, saw him outrun five Dragons players to secure a lead after Elgey successfully converted. The home side extended their lead 14-6 with under twenty minutes remaining.

In the 68th minute Sailor slotted a penalty goal before Saab scored again. Sailor successfully converted from the sideline to level the scores at 14-all to set up a thrilling finish.

The Dragons prevailed after Saab secured a high ball to score his second try of the game to give his side victory.

The Dragons have moved up to fourth place, with the Blacktown Workers remaining to 12th.


Western Suburbs Magpies vs Newcastle Knights

Rebecca Szabo

A desperate cross-field kick after the siren helped the Western Suburbs Magpies score the match-winning try to down the Newcastle Knights 16-12.  

It was a slow, wet and slippery encounter today at Cambelltown Stadium, with Josh Reynolds (Magpies) and Aiden Guerra (Knights) both making their return from injury today.

The Magpies were able to put points on the board almost immediately from the kick off after Kane Bradley leapt high to knock back a cross-field kick for Paul Momirovski to score.

The Knights responded on the back of a Magpies mistake after Kiah Cooper burst through four defenders to level the scores with Mason Lino landing the conversion to put the visitors up 6-4. Lino was able to extend the Knights lead to 8-4 at halftime on the back of a penalty goal from right in front.

The Magpies started the second half strongly again after Momirovski grabbed his second try off a great set piece play to score in the corner. Jock Madden converted for the Magpies to take the lead 10-8.

The Knights took a 12-10 lead on the back of two more penalty goals to Lino but the Magpies refused to give up with Reynolds doing everything he could to spark something in attack for his team to get them home.

With 30 seconds left on the clock the Magpies got the ball back through a goal line dropout before putting up a high cross-field kick for Bradley to score the match-winning try.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Penrith Panthers

Andrew Jackson

Connor Tracey and Corey Allan have played a key role in leading the South Sydney Rabbitohs to a big 36-16 comeback victory over the ladder-leading Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

With Alex Johnston making his return from injury in the NRL, Allan was pushed back to the Canterbury Cup.

And the fullback starred alongside Tracey, with the pair wreaking havoc on Penrith’s right edge with their pace constantly catching the Panthers out.

Despite scoring first points, South Sydney found themselves trailing 16-8 at the break before storming home to seal the win.

An early penalty marched them upfield and they quickly capitalised, Billy Brittain holding it up for Jacob Gagan who strolled through flimsy defence.

Mawene Hiroti guided the ball through from the sideline.

After a scintillating performance last week, Daine Laurie continued his strong form for Penrith by setting up their opening try of the afternoon.

The five-eighth took it up to the line and played it short for Jed Cartwright who sliced over on the left edge.

Falls couldn’t convert the try though, leaving the difference at two points.

A potential opportunity presented itself once more for Cartwright but his late offload hit the ground and was scooped up by Rabbitohs winger Leigh Higgins.

Kurt Falls desperately chased him down to prevent a certain try but a penalty moments later gifted Souths an extra two points.

When presented with a penalty on South Sydney’s line, the Panthers elected to take the tap and were rewarded.

Sione Katoa threw a clever ball from dummy-half to put Kaide Ellis over under the posts.

Katoa then nailed a 40/20 from the set after points to earn his side another full set close to the try line but the Panthers rushed a left-side raid and the ball sprayed over the sideline.

The Rabbitohs also squandered an opportunity moments later when Lyndon Hills took a quick tap off a penalty and caught the Panthers napping.

He raced through virtually unopposed before some late pressure forced a mistake as he went to dive over.

That desperation in defence paid off as Penrith went on to score off the seven-tackle set.

Falls took on the line on the last tackle, stepping his way through before spinning over and scoring next to the posts.

He converted his own try to push the lead out to eight points.

Dylan O’Connor then pounced onto a last-tackle grubber to hand Souths the lead for the first time.

A panicked Penrith pushed the kick-off out on the full and the Rabbitohs were again camped on their line.

Brittain then shoved it on to Brock Gray who charged over for the home side. The successful conversion from Hiroti extended their buffer to 10.

The roll on continued on the next set as Tracey outpaced Penrith defenders on the outside to score in the corner.

Souths were constantly finding holes through Penrith’s tired middle defence and O’Connor was the next beneficiary, running away to score his second and the final try of the match.

Mounties v Newtown Jets

Stewart Moses

Having endured a slow start to their 2019 Canterbury Cup campaign, Newtown’s mid-season revival continued to gather momentum this afternoon at Aubrey Keech Reserve, after easily accounting for second-placed Mounties 34-20.

The Jets took full advantage of their territorial and possession advantage to set up the win, with a four-try performance allowing the Jets to put the game all but beyond doubt at halftime, leading 22-4.

Mounties came into this game relatively settled with the loss of Michael Oldfield at fullback offset by the late inclusion of hooker Tom Starling on the interchange bench, but the visitors were given an arguably bigger boost with the late inclusions of NRL seasoned Aaron Gray and Scott Sorensen into the starting line-up.

Winger Sione Katoa did his NRL selection claims no harms at all with two tries in an eye-catching performance.

Newtown were able to capitalise on an early flow of possession and good field position, to take a 4-0 lead after 8 minutes, with a try in the south-west corner to Katoa, with the winger’s spectacular grounding the end result of some slick hands out wide, with Will Kennedy and Ronaldo Mulitalo both instrumental in the lead-up.

Having withstood further pressure from the visitors, the home side eventually found their way onto the scoreboard in the 18th minute through hooker, Sam Duggan who had presence of mind on the last tackle to dive over from dummy half, with scores level 4-4 after replacement fullback Andre Niko missed the relatively simple conversion.

But that was as close as it got as the visitors proceeded to score 22 unanswered points.

A try three minutes later to Braydon Trindall from close range and converted by the halfback saw Newtown regain the lead, 10-4.

The lead was soon doubled four minutes later when prop Jaimin Jolliffe showed brute strength in forcing his way over the try line to score next to the posts.

The Jets weren’t done with yet and off the back of a late first half penalty deep inside Mounties’ half, the visitors were rewarded with another converted try to take a commanding 22-4 lead into the main break, after Scott Sorensen from a quick play the ball, took on the retreating defensive line before popping a peach of a round the corner offload to interchange forward Josh Carr, who scored unchallenged next to the posts.

The game was as good as over just two minutes after play resumed for the second half, with a brilliant second try to that man Katoa, this time a long-range effort that started from well within his own half, with the Jets leading 26-4.

Mounties finally stemmed the tide, scoring their second try of the afternoon through back-rower Royce Hunt in the 51st minute, having crashed over from close range to reduce the deficit to 16.

But Mounties didn’t make their comeback attempt any easier having conceded a simple Braydon Trindall penalty goal to restore a three converted try advantage for the Jets, midway through the second half.

Nonetheless an unconverted try to winger Tony Satini with nineteen minutes remaining, meant the gap was reduced to 14.

But any thought of an unlikely Mounties comeback was finally out to bed with 13 minutes remaining, through a try underneath the posts to hooker Billy Magoulias.

A late try to Darby Medlyn, converted by Niko puts some respectability back into the score but it wasn’t enough as the Jets recorded an impressive 34-20 win that puts them right back into the hunt for Canterbury Cup honours in 2019.

The loss for Mounties meant they were unable to take advantage of Penrith’s loss against South Sydney and take back top spot on the Canterbury Cup ladder.

With next weekend being devoted to representative football, both teams now enjoy the break before resuming the following weekend with both teams away next Sunday to Wentworthville and Canterbury respectively.

Warriors v Wentworthville Magpies 

Jamie Wall

The Warriors bounced back from a disappointing loss last week, beating the Wentworthville Magpies 26-16 at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland today.

It only took four minutes before the Warriors struck, after an offload by Sam Lisone sent Leivaha Pulu through a yawning gap 40 metres out. He was hauled down just short of the line, but a quick play the ball meant that Solomone Kata smashed his way over in the corner.

After the game settled down into a battle in the middle of the park, Wentworthville winger Greg Leleisiuao cut back infield and scored what can only be described as a pretty soft try next to the posts through some shoddy Warriors defence. Brad Takairangi’s conversion gave the visitors the lead after 17 minutes.

However, Wentworthville couldn’t follow it up with any more points, despite dominating territory. 

It fact, it was the Warriors who were the next to score, off an equally opportunistic try. Chanel Harris-Tavita sent a shallow kick out towards wing, only for the Laleisiuao to tap it back in the field of play and directly into Harris-Tavita’s hands five metres out from the line. The playmaker smartly ran the ball around under the posts for Adam Keighran to convert.

With six minutes to go in the half the Warriors were awarded a penalty that gave them excellent field position in the Wentworthville 20. A quick play and some slick hands from Harris-Tavita and Kata sent Setu Tu over to score close to the posts. 

However, Harris-Tavita went from hero to zero and back again shortly after, dropping the kickoff and giving Wentworthville a chance with halftime looming. He then came racing out of the line to pressure Will Smith into dropping the ball close to the line, sending the teams to the sheds with the score 16-6.

The Warriors then struck first after the restart, after a strong run upfield by Kata and a couple of frustrating penalties by Wentworthville. The ensuing set then moved the ball from one side of the field and then back to Kata, who scored his second in the left hand corner.

They should’ve had another straight away after a strong run by Phillip Makatoa, but Cole Waaka dropped the last pass cold with the line open.

It took until the 55th minute before Wentworthville could finally start clicking, with Takairangi and Haze Dunster combining to send Ethan Perry in to score. Brad Keighran then slotted the sideline conversion to pull the Magpies back within two tries. Dunster then got on the scoresheet himself not long after in the 65th minute. It off a Takairangi kick was fumbled by Waaka and bounced up for the winger to dive into the corner. Brad Keighran’s sideline conversion clanked off the upright.

But any hopes of a comeback were killed off with eight minutes to play, when Harris-Tavita and Kata linked up to send Taane Milne away for a try. It was converted by Adam Keighran to make the final score 26-16.

The result means that bragging rights in the Keighran family can go to Adam for the time being, getting one over brother Brad. However, they’ll meet again in Round 19.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v North Sydney Bears

Blake Edwards

A classy performance from experienced campaigner, Michael Lichaa, has helped the Bulldogs  secure a dominant 42-16 victory over the North Sydney Bears at Belmore Oval on Saturday afternoon.

 The Bears were dealt an early scare by the Dogs who found their way up the field courtesy of a penalty, before Toa Mata’afa lost it in reaching out to score. Momentum switched swiftly with the visitors striking the first blow when fullback Kieran Moss weaved through would-be defenders close to the Dogs’ line before popping the steeden up for Nick O’Meley who crashed over the stripe.

Bear’s playmaker Brad Deitz split through the Bulldogs defence in the ensuing set before kicking downfield for a chasing Moss who regathered the footy after a fumble by the Bulldogs cover defender, to race under the sticks to give the bears an early 10-0 lead. Back-to-back penalties helped the hosts score their first four-pointer, with prop Renouf Toomaga making the most of his body size from close range, barging his way over the line to narrow the Bears lead to 10-6.

Michael Lichaa showcased his experience controlling the ruck brilliantly, getting his side up into good ball area. The rake zipped around defenders close to the line before giving a nice short ball to Toomaga who backed up his first effort, storming over for his double to give his side a narrow 12-10 lead. Lichaa showed his class again moments later, fooling the bears marker defenders, turning the ball on the short side to Connelly Leumelu who cruised over for a try.

The bears found themselves further on the backfoot when a legal one-on-one strip by Morgan Harper turned defence into attack, with Kayne Kalache taking full advantage, carrying multiple defenders for five meters before planting it down in the in-goal. The dominant period gave the Bulldogs a handy 24-10 lead at the break.

Both sides came out of the sheds with plenty of energy, with North Sydney skipper Tom Freebairn showcasing this, when he displayed great strength surging towards the line before undoing the hard work, when he dropped the ball while trying to ground it. The Dogs returned serve in their first set of the half, before their would-be four-pointer was denied due to a forward pass.

After the dust settled, it was the defending premiers who struck first in the second stanza, after a nice wrap around play saw the hosts spread the ball out wide, finding Christian Crichton on the wing, who spun around defenders before slamming the ball down just inside the corner post for an eighteen point lead heading into the final half-hour.

A short while later Kalache ended up in the sin-bin after Referee Damien Briscoe ran out of patience when the Bulldogs conceded four consecutive penalties on their line, giving the Bears a much needed shot at scoring points. The Bears looked dangerous, before a back-line movement when wrong, ultimately resulting in a turn over the possession. As we see so often, the team down to twelve men score the next try. This was no different with the Bulldogs marching up field crossing through Francis Tualau, making it a hard task for Jason Taylor’s men at 34-10, with only a quarter of the game remaining. Tooamaga nearly scored his third of the afternoon, before referee Briscoe denied the barnstorming forward for a double-movement.

Norths finally took advantage of the ill-discipline from the Bulldogs, scoring their first of the half through Josh Curran, who sliced through from close range to dive over. Two late tries out wide to Bulldogs’ John Olive and Lemueleu who bagged his double, rounded out the scoring, with the boys from Belmore running out 42-16 victors.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.