TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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The Tradewind South London Storm are the first side through to the TotalRL RLC Southern Premier Grand Final after defeating a depleted West London 70-6 in a dominant major semi-final display.
Storm, who lost their final season match to Wests last week arrived as a team on a mission. Knowing that a victory today would not only put a marker down for the play offs but guranetee a long needed week off next week.
The start was the big affair that was expeted with both line ups looking as though they mean business. As it started the sharks baying for yet more blood kicked off to a storm side looking to show that last week was a one off and that they were prepared to crank up the anemometer to get there. The match was broken open in the 5th minute with a sensational jinking 65m solo try by Storm centre Tane Kingi for 6-0.
The first quarter hour was a tight affair with both sides seeking an advantage before the Storm blew the game apart with a combination of powerful running and quick hands. With Louis Neethling storms very own hurricane converting each touchdown, Souths scored tries to Neethling (15th minute), Gavin Calloo (18), Nathan Morris (25) and Mick Walker (39) to lead 30-0 at half-time.
Storm went in at half time knowing that a couple of quick tries after the break would seal the game and the spoils for them and they were confident. Almost every player had been involved in one of the tries and the team were gelling into a great hunting machine.
South London started the second half with a lightening bolt of tries with Zacharow and Mitchell Moore (twice) scoring Neethling-converted tries by the 47th minute for 48-0 and the ball game. With the injury list from the previous week still high the signs looked ominous as Neethling went down with an Ankle but thankfully this was the only enforced rest for the Storm.
With the game over as a contest, Storm posted further tries to Phil Molloy, Kingi, Morris (all converted by Keri Ryan) and Kingi again in the 71st minute for 70-0. West London scored a late consolation to Martin Brazez to complete a 70-6 scoreline.
The key feature of this year's Storm side has been all 17 players performing and again, it was hard to nominate a stand-out with the man of the match vote going to towering lock Rich Singleton.
Wests, who will be hoping for some player returns next week, now face Ipswich next weekend in the knock-out semi-final with the winner to face South London in the Southern Premier Grand Final on August 13.
South London Storm are having an outstanding year as a club as they have won already the RLC Premier Division South Minor Premiership, and are in the final of the Play offs for the major title. They were also runners up in the Middlesex 9?s Bowl competition and the ?A? team have had one of their most successful league campaigns of recent years.
Now a great season has also been added to by the South London Storm ?A? team, who had the weekend off this weekend. Due to postponed matches being played this weekend and with these results going in their favour in the London Regional division of the Rugby League Conference (the division below the table topping first team) Storms ?A? team have been crowned RLC London Division Shield Champions. This is a great result for the Storm ?A? team who now gain a week off themselves before taking on the winners of this weeks clash between St Ives Roosters and Bedford Tigers in the National Quarter Finals.
South London Storm 70 (Kingi 3, Moore 2, Morris 2, Calloo, Molloy, Neethling, Walker, Zacharow tries; Neethling 8, Ryan 3 goals) def West London Sharks 6 (Brazez try, Agland goal)
Storm: Moore, Molloy, Kingi, Zacharow, Calloo, Walker, Wilson, Hill, Morris, Templeman, Neethling, Ryan, Singleton (subs) More, Sia, Jackson, Murdoch