Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
17 hours ago
Attacking flair and great defence seen at Physical Disability Rugby League exhibition match
The Western Sydney Outlaws and Eastern Sydney Stingrays played their second exhibition match last Saturday at New Era Stadium, Cabramatta. There was renewed interest in the game and it showed with players turning up from as far as Blayney, Bowral and Pitt Town.
The game was played over three twenty-minute periods to contend with the hot temperatures on the day. Both teams proved to be in an attacking mood as no less than 74 points were scored in the match. The Stingrays would prevail with the score finishing 42-32.
The Stingrays were the first to score when Marik Gleizer ran straight up the middle to score from ten metres out. He would go on to convert his own goal from in front.
The Stingrays then extended their lead when Brett Fairhall showed some fancy footwork to pass five players on his way to the try line. Kyle Schaberg successfully converted to give the Stingrays an early 12-0 lead after seven minutes of play.
Nick Riches pegged one try back for the Outlaws four minutes later when he bumped his way through the defence to score near the posts. George Tonna cut the margin to six points after converting.
The Stingray's margin increased when Fairhall would score the second of his three tries when he showed tremendous speed up the middle as he again beat five players on his way to score. Bailey Ferguson would go on to convert to give them an 18-6 lead with four minutes left in the first period.
The Outlaws needed to be the next to score if they were to stay in the contest and they did when Eddie Sharp barged past a standing defender on his way to score in the left-hand corner right on the stroke of twenty minutes. The conversion was missed and the Stingrays led 18-10.
Fairhall scored his third try for the Stingrays two minutes into the second period as he ran straight up the middle uncontested. Schaberg added the extras.
Some nice lead-up play involving a superb pass from Gleizer to Fairhall put the Stingrays on the attack again and almost saw him score what would have been the try of the match so far and his fourth for the afternoon if it were not for a committed Sharp who chased him down on the left-side flank and tackled him into touch. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the match, Sharp's tackle was reminiscent of Scott Sattler's tackle in the 2003 NRL Grand Final.
A lapse in the Stingray's left-hand defence saw flyer Jonathan Smith score down the touch-line for the Outlaws soon after. David Grech converted after missing his previous attempt at goal.
Minutes later Fairhall would again be denied a try after he made a 60-metre dash from deep inside his own half only to be taken down from behind metres short of the try line by a flying Riches. Riches' try-saving tackle would be to no avail though as Schaberg would score off the next play-the-ball with the Outlaws' defensive line still retreating. Will Baker then converted with ease.
The Outlaws' Ch