25 rounds, 192 games, #Origin on a Sunday, and a September Grand Final.
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Round 7 saw the Kyle Parker Coached South Sydney Matthews Cup Team take on the St. George Dragons. Judging from both teams position on the competition ladder and our earlier match against the Dragons in a pre season trial it was going to be a very even contest.
The match started off on the right note when Jason Coates made a break and followed it up with a quick play the ball. It was smart work by Jamie Ingram and Captain Michael Cummins who ensured Chris Toplis scored the opening try of the match after five minutes of play. We extended that lead straight from the kick off after some good hit ups by Wesley Manuta and John Joseph and it was Joey Matapuku who crossed for our second four pointer of the afternoon.
A great backline move which saw fullback Jamie Ingram scoring the try extending our lead by 12 points ? nil after only ten minutes. It was unfortunate we could not convert any of these tries but were playing fantastic football. Strong defence from three quarter Sean McInroy forced a Dragons mistake and the boys capitalised on this with Sean being the recipient of the try after a great cut out pass from five eight Jason Clark.
We fell asleep in the lead up to the 1st half and let the Dragons cross over for two soft tries after we fell off to many tackles. 10 seconds out from half time it was Aaron Grech who crossed the line after Sean McInroy made a great break. The try was converted and we took a 24 points ? 12 lead into the break.
Straight after the half time break it was the St. George who crossed for a try. We gave them good field position after a poor kick off and a penalty giving them back to back sets and the score read South Sydney 24 ? St. George 18. We then defended well to repel the Dragons attack and kept them out, when we were given the ball however we dropped it on the first tackle giving the Dragons good field position. This time they took advantage and crossed the line and tied things up at 24 points to all.
Michael Cummins found open space fourteen minutes into the second half and was cut down after a 50 metre run. He played the ball quickly and Sean McInroy found himself going straight through the St. George defence to score. After a scrum win against the feed Petros Thanos went on a 30 metre run to the try line to extend our lead by 34 points ? 24. Michael Cummins finished off the scoring for the South Sydney team crossing for the last two tries of the match and we ended up running out winners by 44 points ? 24.
The win was a credit to the whole Matthews Cup Team and Coach Kyle Parker who had a number of players out injured and unavailable for the weekends game. He only had three reserves to use during the whole match and the win really showed what the team is capable of when they are switched on.
Petros Thanos received the teams Best and Fairest and was outstanding and assisted by many of his team mates. This now puts the Matthews Cup team sitting in fourth position on percentages with an important match against the undefeated Illawarra team as their next challenge.
The S G Ball team was inspired by the Matthews Cup teams fantastic performance prior to their game and started their match on the right note scoring after four minutes of play. Strong runs from forwards Nathan McKay, Albert Tuara and Sam Huihahau set the platform for the backs to spread the ball and it was a great pass from Eddie Paea to put Reece Robinson over for the opening four pointer. The try was converted and we lead by 6 points ? nil.
The Dragons hit back soon after and reduced the score to 6 points ? 4. When the referee awarded us a 5th Tackle Penalty in good field position we were able to capitalise and score a try to back rower Travis Robinson after he went over from dummy half after some good lead up work by Edward Pettybourne, Max Kerr, Beau Falloon and Chad Isles.
In a game which appeared to be going try for try the Dragons tied the ball game up after we failed to mark up and the Dragons put on a blind side play to score. Soft defence on our try line saw the Dragons score another try and the lead for the first time in the match by 16 points ? 10.
Five minutes out from the half time break strong defence once again forced a St. George error and it was once again Travis Robinson who scored he showed great strength as he slammed the ball down for a try carrying three Dragons defenders with him over the line. Travis converted his own try and we went into the half time break tied up at 16 points all.
Beau Falloon, Nathan McKay and Trent Trotter continued making good surges, until Eddie Paea stepped up and took on the St. George defence he then flicked a magical pass to Reece Robinson who went straight through to score another great try. We took the lead once again in this see ? sawing match 20 points ? 16. Fetuli Talanoa scored our next try after a great grubber kick from Eddie Paea.
The Dragons as they had so often done in the match once again hit back and reduced our lead to just two points after a mistake on only the second tackle when we were 15 metres out from our own line. They scored a converted try and the score read South Sydney 24 points ? 22.
In the closing stages of the game the St. George team was hammering our line and it was a credit to our defensive effort to keep them out. A big run from Reece Robinson once we got the ball got us out of trouble and on the stroke of full time an intercept to fullback Dave Watson put the game out of reach for the St. George team with the final try of the game. The final score read 30 points ? 22.
This win was also a credit to the S G Ball team who battled there way through injury and had a number of players unavailable for the match. The bench resembled a war zone after the match but kept the teams chances of making the semi finals alive. The clash against the Illawarra Steelers is one not to be missed.
We must also take this opportunity to congratulate Manase Manuokafoa (aka Nelson) on making his National Rugby League debut for the South Sydney Club in their win over the Newcastle Knights at Central Coast Stadium last weekend. Nelson is a Mascot/Marrickville RSL Junior and had a fantastic game in his debut match.
For all information on the District Representative Teams, Premier League, Jersey Flegg or Junior League Information visit our website www.leaguenet.com.au and follow the links to the South Sydney Junior League.