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20 talking points Round 4

Tre Fotu playing his first game at Shark Park 20 talking points (Photo : Steve Montgomery)
Tre Fotu playing his first game at Shark Park 20 talking points (Photo : Steve Montgomery)

20 talking points Round 4

Author's : Jason Hosken and Sean Teuma

The 20 talking points from NSWRL junior reps round four.

20 TALKING POINTS

Josiah-Ekkehard Neli bashes his way through the Sharks line to score in Rnd 4 (Photo : Steve Montgomery)

Josiah-Ekkehard Neli bashes his way through the Sharks line to score in Rnd 4 (Photo : Steve Montgomery)

A MASSIVE round of junior reps action saw competition leaders stamp their authority, unbeaten streaks ended and some upset results as well.

Take a look at what made headlines from a massive round four of the NSWRL junior reps season.

BALMAIN FINDING ITS FEET

The Tigers have won their past two and have put themselves into finals contention in SG Ball.

The manner they’ve gone about it would impress officials the most, hanging in games and winning them at the death.

They were there to be beaten even after they scored the final try, but held solid in some good signs for the road ahead.

NOT PANIC STATIONS FOR THE BULLDOGS… YET

Canterbury has now dropped its past two SG Ball Cup games, but a strong for and against has them still sitting in seventh.

Their next two games are must win however, because their run home is among the toughest in the comp.

In their last three weeks they will face Wests, the Warriors and Penrith, all on the road.

Damon Marshall. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

Damon Marshall. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

ROOSTERS, STEELERS GAME OF THE YEAR?

The SG Ball clash between the Roosters and Steelers had just about everything.

Stunning tries, big leads, bigger comebacks and a late finish that sent both teams home with a point.

The two played out the first draw for the season, and while it will dent their finals hopes, it was spectacular viewing for the netural.

KNIGHTS PUT SOUTHS TO THE SWORD

Newcastle tuned up for their blockbuster against the Warriors with a dominant win over South Sydney.

They’ve been clinical in their two home games so far this year to set up the second best for and against in the competition, keeping them in fourth spot.

What was most impressive was how quickly they were able to put the game away.

WARRIORS FIND LATE TO REMAIN UNBEATEN

New Zealand had to dig deep on their home soil against a winless and desperate Dragons side, but they did just that.

Trailing by two inside the final 10 minutes, their centres proved too much for St George to handle, with Patrick Moimoi and Sialetili Faeamani getting across the stripe.

They remain deep in the finals hunt and still have a game in hand.

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR?

South Sydney looked destined for their third-straight defeat to start the Harold Matthews season trailing 22-6 at halftime.

Whatever was said in the sheds from coach Luke Deller worked wonders.

They scored three tries in the space of 16 minutes after the break, including what would prove to be the matchwinner from captain Daniel Lua, to get on the board in season 2023.

Xavier Singh scores in the Harold Matthews. Picture: Steve Montgomery/Ourfootyteam.com

Xavier Singh scores in the Harold Matthews. Picture: Steve Montgomery/Ourfootyteam.com

SHARKS REDISCOVER THEIR BITE

After a tough outing against the Roosters last week, they got their revenge on the Central Coast variety.

Cronulla was in full control from the outset in a seven-try effort that keeps them in a lofty ladder spot.

Xavier Singh scored a hat-trick and provided some incredible acrobatics in the process out on his wing.

Photo Galleries Rnd 4

HMC – Sharks v CC Roosters
SGB – Sharks v Storm
TGC – Sharks v Dragons
HNWP – Sharks v Dragons

STEELERS KEEP SEASON ALIVE IN DRAMATIC FASHION

It was a wild day at Morry Breen Oval on the Central Coast with three incredible games, perhaps the Harold Matts clash provided the most drama.

Illawarra was cruising at 20-6 with less than 10 minutes remaining and an extra player on the field due to a sin bin.

Two late Roosters tries kept them on their toes however to set up a grandstand finish, which would ultimately be secured with Tom Kirk.

Christopher Makhlouf. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

Christopher Makhlouf. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

BULLDOGS UNLEASH ON BEARS

Canterbury wasn’t in a charitable mood coming off the back of their maiden Harold Matts loss of the season.

Five first half tries against the Bears put the game out of reach very early of the visitors at Belmore Oval.

It’s that clinical nature that has them sitting in second and a definite hope of higher honours in the U17s comp.

STEELERS GIVE ROOSTERS A REAL FIGHT

For the first time in 2023 the Roosters Indigenous Academy faced a stern test in the Tarsha Gale Cup.

Illawarra led with less than 15 minutes to go in the contest, keeping their opponents scoreless in the process.

The class of the Roosters shone through however, with two late tries taking their record to a perfect 4-0, with both the best attack and defence in the competition.

The Dragons hit hard in defence. Picture: Thomas Lisson

The Dragons hit hard in defence. Picture: Thomas Lisson

DRAGONS GET REWARD FOR EFFORT

No team deserved their first win more than the St George Dragons Tarsha Gale side.

They were beaten at the death in round two and had to settle for a draw last week.

The Dragons opened up a big lead against Cronulla and despite some nervous moments, held their nerve to get the two points they both needed and had earned.

PANTHERS TURN THE CORNER WITH GUTSY DEFENCE

The 34-16 scoreline suggests Penrith eased past Manly to record their first Tarsha Gale Cup win of the season.

It couldn’t be any further from the truth. The Panthers earned their attacking stripes the hard way in a chaotic six minutes before the break.

Up by six, first the Penrith girls held-up wrecking ball Monica Fasavalu-Fa’amausili, then did the same to Wanita Leatherby, before try-bound prop Tafao Asaua was forced into error.

Set to face the struggling Tigers next week, Penrith are one to watch.

RAIDERS SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE

After three weeks on the road, the Raiders returned home with a bang.

Victories against the formidable Magpies in the Matts and SG Ball leave both outfits undefeated at the top of the table.

MATTS DRAGONS CAN’T TAKE A TRICK

The Harold Matts Dragons can’t take a trick. Stuck in 14th after four straight defeats, they’ve proven they can match it with the best in the competition.

In round three they were level with a strong Penrith at half-time, and on the weekend against Parramatta they went to the sheds at 12-all.

From there it quickly unravelled. Omar Dennaoui spent time in the sin bin, and by the time the centre returned Parra had shot clear 24-12.

HAROLD MATTS CONGESTED AT THE TOP

Wests headed to Canberra as frontrunners, now with one loss against their name they’ve slipped down to fourth spot.

Sitting alongside five other sides with three wins and a loss, they’re in good company as the battle for top spots heats up.

ANOTHER TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH FOR BELCONNEN

The big games continue at Belconnen in the SG Ball.

After knocking off the previously undefeated Magpies, Canberra are back on home turf in round four in another top of the table clash, this time against the unbeaten Parramatta Eels.

CLASSY PANTHERS DEFY THE ODDS

Down 20-6 in the second half at Brookvale, Penrith’s unbeaten start to the SG Ball season was on the rocks.

They eventually defied the odds storming home to win 30-20, but it was the brilliance of No.7 Luke Hanson and winger Nick Murphy that saw them turn the corner.

In a short side raid, Hanson sliced through with a show-and-go before Murphy who did the rest. A silky in-and-away left the fullback stranded, and his classy four-pointer put Penrith on the road to recovery.

Luke Hanson is tackled by Shadi Hammoud in the SG Ball Cup. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

Luke Hanson is tackled by Shadi Hammoud in the SG Ball Cup. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

YOUNG EELS WINGER DINING OUT

Lorima Rokosuka picked up a double in the Eels’ Harold Matts win over the Dragons, making it three straight weeks where the winger has crossed the stripe.

Just as capable on the left or right edge, the youngster is fast making a name for himself as a quality finisher.

TARSHA RAIDERS HAVE PLENTY OF STRIKE

In round three Georgia Willey lit up Brookvale with two tries to help open the Raiders’ season account.

The Australian Schoolgirls fullback repeated the feat against the Tigers, but was topped on the score sheet by centre Lara Cosgrove who shredded Wests’ defence on the way to scoring an impressive hat-trick.

BEARS NOT FAR OFF THE PACE

Despite sitting in eighth spot on the Tarsha Gale ladder with a draw and two losses, North Sydney’s first win can’t be far away.

If defence wins matches, then the Bears are on the right track. They’ve only conceded 46-points, the fourth least in the competition.

Jesse Eljuga. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

Jesse Eljuga. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

ROUND FOUR WRAP

AS we approach the midway point of the NSWRL junior reps season, round four has seen some big movers and shakers across all competitions.

Catch up on all the action so far from a huge weekend of rugby league:

TIGERS CAUSE BOILOVER AT BELMORE

LATE brilliance from co-captain Josh Feledy has lifted the Balmain Tigers to an upset 20-16 win over Canterbury at Belmore Oval in the SG Ball Cup.

With scores tied at 16-all and under seven minutes left of play, a magical flick pass from the centre to his outside man William Malloy saw him cross in the corner to wrestle back the lead.

It wasn’t game over though, with a regathered short kick-off giving the Bulldogs a golden opportunity to snatch victory late in the piece.

But it was to be Balmain’s day, holding solid when it counted to give them consecutive wins after starting the year 0-2.

Feledy praised the way his forwards were able to match it with their Canterbury counterparts, and how they’ve been able to turn their season around.

“They’re a big pack the Bulldogs and we stuck in there right until the last minute and got away with the win,” Feledy said.

“We always spoke during the pre-season that we only played one trial game, and we wanted to build throughout the season itself.

“Now we’ve got two wins on the trot. That’s a great win for us boys and we’ll take that into next week.”

Feledy is one of the young talents of this Tigers side, and looks set to graduate up to Jersey Flegg level at the conclusion of the U19s year.

“I’ve been a bit slow the first couple of games but picked it up today,” he said.

“I’m really focusing on what I need to do for the team and not really as an individual.

“Definitely hoping to move up to Flegg and then see what happens at the end of the year. But I’m just loving my footy here at the moment.”

Josh Feledy prepares to throw the matchwinning pass. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

Josh Feledy prepares to throw the matchwinning pass. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

In what was a game of changing fortunes, the Tigers struck inside the opening two minutes and opened up a 10-point lead midway through the first half when Feledy touched down in the 18th minute.

The Bulldogs struck back however, scoring the next two and hitting the front with 23 minutes left to play.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Canterbury on their home turf however, with their Harold Matthews Cup side scoring a big 44-8 win over North Sydney.

The Bulldogs raced the clock throughout the first half and opened up a commanding 28-4 advantage through the opening 30 minutes.

Halfback Mitchell Woods was strong again, posting two tries and a personal tally of 20 points.

William Malloy is hit by Jonathan Sua. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

William Malloy is hit by Jonathan Sua. Picture: Sean Teuma/NewsLocal

PANTHERS RUN HOT WINNING ALL THREE AT BROOKVALE

An outstanding first half defensive effort paved the way for Penrith to outclass Manly 34-16 in an entertaining Tarsha Gale clash.

Chasing their first win of the season, Penrith overcame a massive Manly middle on the way to a comprehensive seven tries to three victory.

Returning after missing last week, towering Sea Eagles prop Tafao Asaua threatened to dominate from the get-go, barging over for her third try in as many starts to open a 6-4 advantage.

After regaining the lead at 10-4, Penrith then withstood raid after Manly raid, holding the ball over the line on three separate occasions in a challenging six-minute workout.

The reward came on the stroke of halftime

The reward came on the stroke of halftime, when a Montana McLean bust was finished off by five-eighth Taya Lazare.

Trailing 14-6, Manly made a hash of the second half restart allowing Penrith’s exciting speedsters to spring into action. Centre Bella McEachern scored the first of four Penrith second half tries that included a double to Piper Spackman.

In the Harold Matts, the young Panthers were never headed in winning their third straight game, a 24-18 win over Manly.

The Sea Eagles scored first through centre George Mapuilesua, but with five of the next six tries including a double to Cameron Bamblett, Penrith jumped clear 24-10 with 15 minutes still to play.

The home side rallied, and a couple of consolation tries saw them finish within six-points at the final siren.

In the SG Ball, Penrith extended their unbeaten run to four games, but it was anything but one-way traffic against a committed Sea Eagles.

The 30-20 win sees Penrith jump to third on the ladder. For the winless Sea Eagles it was a case of what might have been.

Manly fired out of the blocks with a blistering three-try opening to lead 14-0. And another to hooker Jake Fulton saw them head to the sheds up 20-6 an in total command.

The change of ends sparked the Panthers, prop Luron Patea finishing with two tries as the Penrith boys stormed to victory with five unanswered second-half tries.

RAIDERS’ GOLDEN HOMECOMING

In a battle of the unbeaten Harold Matts heavyweights, Canberra jumped to top spot on the table after clipping the Magpies’ wings 28-14.

On home turf for the first time this season, Raiders centre Harry Hudson had the locals cheering with the opening try in just the third minute.

Wests’ reply was swift, and the reigning premiers led 10-6 after 15 minutes following back-to-back tries to winger Ali Hicham Karnib and skipper Luke Laulili’i.

From there, it was all Canberra. After wrestling back the ascendancy, the Raiders then went on a points blitz of their own, scoring four unanswered tries either side of the interval to open an unassailable 28-10 lead.

In another clash of two undefeated frontrunners

In another clash of two undefeated frontrunners, the SG Ball Raiders flexed their muscles with a comprehensive 40-12 demolition of the highly touted Wests Magpies.

Classy backrower Jaxon Lavender had a day to remember, he crossed twice on a day that saw playmaker Keahn Skipps finish with a personal 16-point haul.

In a fiery ending, with five minutes remaining and down 30-12, Wests lost Zakauri Clarke and Tallyn Da Silva to the sin bin. With a two-man advantage, Canberra rubbed more salt into the Magpies’ wounds closing out the afternoon with a further two tries.

In a one sided Tarsha Gale clash, Canberra swept aside the Wests Tigers 44-4 in a Belconnen masterclass.

On what proved to be a magic day for the Green Machine’s speedsters, Lara Cosgrove crossed in the first half as the home side jumped to a 10-0 lead.

In an eight tries to one rampage, Cosgrove notched a well deserved hat-trick in the final minute of the match, while star fullback Georgia Willey crossed for a double of her own in Canberra’s second straight win.

For the Tigers, the loss rounded out a tough fortnight where they’ve conceded 70-points and scored only one try.

NSWRL JUNIOR REPS ROUND 4

HAROLD MATTHEWS Cup Rnd 4 Results, Ladder & Players’ Stat’s

SG BALL Cup Rnd 4 Results, Ladder & Players’ Stat’s

TARSHA GALE Cup Rnd 4 Results, Ladder & Players’ Stat’s

RABBITOHS COMEBACK HIGHLIGHTS MIXED DAY

The Rabbitohs produced one of the comebacks of the junior reps season to knock off Newcastle at Kurri Kurri.

Trailing 22-6 at halftime, South Sydney hit back with three unanswered tries to pick up their first win of the Harold Matthews season 24-22.

Their three tries came in a 12-minute span in the second half, with captain Daniel Lua’s 46th minute touchdown proving the difference.

They couldn’t replicate the feat in the SG Ball Cup however, with the Knights running out 42-4 winners.

Back-to-back tries to Jayden Harris and Elijah Salesa Ieaumoana gave them a 14-0 lead at the break that the visitors were unable to overcome.

Ethan Ferguson brought up his double, before Jayden Harris came off the bench and scored a hat-trick to cap off the big win.

Newcastle maintained pace with the top Tarsha Gale Cup teams after downing Souths 22-6.

Yilara Widders struck first for the Rabbitohs after just three minutes, but that is where the joy would end, as the Knights struck twice on both sides of halftime to keep their good form in 2023.

EELS’ KELLYVILLE HAT-TRICK

The junior Eels had a day out at Kellyville, finishing in front in all three grades.

The Tarsha Gale girls kicked off the day with a hard-fought 16-6 win over the North Sydney Bears.

With both sides coming off a last start draw, it was no surprise to see the scores locked at six apiece just minutes before the break.

Bears centre Grace-Lee Weekes crossed to level the scores in the 21st minute, following an early try to Eels backrower Kalisi Mahe.

But it was Parra’s super-sub Nella Lima who proved the hero, planting the ball over the line just before the interval to open a handy six-point buffer.

North Sydney had a golden chance

North Sydney had a golden chance to counter after the break, but with Eels centre Caitlin Peadon in the sin bin they came away empty-handed.

Siulolovao Vave officially shut the door on a Bears comeback, the winger’s late try enough to round out Parra’s second victory of the season.

In the Matts, Parramatta had to wait until after halftime before overcoming a depleted Dragons 36-12.

The winless Saints ran in three unconverted tries to match Parra 12-all in an enthralling opening stanza.

But their hopes began to unravel

But their hopes began to unravel two minutes after halftime with the dismissal of Omar Dennaoui to the sin bin.

During the centre’s absence, Parra try sneak Lorima Rokosuka bagged a double as the Eels shot clear 24-12. Another two tries saw the Eels ice an emphatic third straight win.

Parramatta have extended their unbeaten run in the SG Ball competition to four after they comfortably accounted for the Bears 44-12.

Hooker Matthew Arthur and fullback Te Hurinui Twidle crossed early for the blue-and-gold’s before Norths levelled at 12-all following tries to Malakye Enasio and Emmet Nicholls.

The second half was all Parra. Te Hurinui Twidle added another two tries as the relentless Eels piled on another six. Arthur grabbed a double, while with six conversions and a try, five-eighth Ethan Sanders finished with 16-points as the Eels jumped to second place on the ladder.

ROOSTERS, STEELERS SHARE SPOILS

The Steelers gave the Roosters Indigenous Academy their toughest test to date in the Tarsha Gale Cup, but ultimately it wasn’t enough, going down 12-6 on the Central Coast.

Mia-Rose Walsh gave the visitors the perfect start with a try in the second minute in a low-scoring first half.

The Roosters finally cracked it in the 48th minute through Eliza Lopamaua, before Skyla Adams sealed the result with seven minutes to play.

Illawarra was able to hit back in the Harold Matthews however, fending off a late Roosters charge to prevail 24-18.

The Steelers looked to be in cruise control with 10 minutes to play, leading by 14 points and with the Roosters reduced to 12 men with Brandon Beetson sent to the sin bin.

Toby Rodwell and Zach Fittler had other ideas, helping them back to 20-18 inside the final four minutes, before Steelers fullback Tom Kirk extinguished the comeback.

In one of the games of the season, the SG Ball sides couldn’t be split, with the Roosters and Steelers tied at 24-all.

The home side struck first and opened up a big 18-0 lead after 40 minutes, before three tries in nine minutes had Illawarra back on level pegging.

Ethan Roberts gave the Roosters the lead once again, but it was Jett Liu who spoiled the party and salvaged a point with six minutes remaining.

CRONULLA HITS BACK HARD

Cronulla is back on track in the Harold Matthews Cup following a surging 36-6 defeat of the Central Coast Roosters at home.

The writing was on the wall with Kaden Gardner scoring inside a minute, and the Sharks taking a comfortable 16-0 lead at the break.

That was extended further after halftime, and when winger Xavier Singh brought up his hat-trick, the result was safely in their keeping.

More Coverage

NSWRL Junior Reps Rd 4: Matts, Ball, Gale teams of the week

NSWRL Junior Reps Rd 3: Matts, Ball, Gale teams of the week

NSWRL Junior rep’s 20 talking points Rnd 3

NSWRL Junior Reps Rd 2: Matts, Ball, Tarsha Gale teams of the week
NSWRL Jnr Reps Rd 1: Matts, Ball, Tarsha Gale teams of the week

It continued onto the SG Ball with a dominant start propelling the Sharks to a 34-16 win over Melbourne.

They scored the first five tries and led 28-0, before the Storm scored three late tries to make the scoreline respectable.

Photo Gallery

TGC – Sharks vs Dragons

HMWP – Sharks v Dragons

Related Links

Daily Telegraph

Harold Matthews Cup Draw / Results

SG Ball Cup Draw / Results

Tarsha Gale Cup Draw / Results

HNWP Draw / Results

Andrew Johns Cup Draw / Results

Laurie Daley Cup Draw / Results

(QRL) Mal Meninga Cup Draw / Results

(QRL) Cyril Connell Challenge Draw / Results

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