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Erindale flex their muscles

Erindale celebrate

Erindale flex their muscles

Author : Kevin Merrigan NewsCorp Sport

Erindale flex their muscles

NRL Schoolboys live stream: Erindale look to make big impression early against Illawarra

A try of the competition candidate and a stand-out showing from Ethan Alaia were just part of the dynamic Erindale package on display in their big Peter Mulholland Cup win over Illawarra.

Relive the action.

Erindale have flexed their muscles with a statement opening round victory over Illawarra, running away 38-8 winners in a dominant performance at Berkeley Sports Club on Thursday.

Five-eighth Ethan Alaia was a standout performer for the visitors, picking up two first half tries and showcasing a mean stepping and running game.

“He’s got some frightening speed,” coach Ashley Barnes said about his young No.6.

“He’s been playing a lot of hooker so he’s still adjusting to five-eighth.

“The more he plays there though the better he’s getting and he showed that today.”

Coach Barnes identified Max Millan as a key performer for his side for his tireless work in the front row, as well as Laurie Daley Cup gun Xavier Cacciotti for his running game and contact in defence.

Country U18 player Xavier Cacciotti was excellent for Erindale.

Country U18 player Xavier Cacciotti was excellent for Erindale.

Max Mercer, captain of the Monaro Colts Laurie Daley Cup side, was another top performer, picking up two tries from second row, the second of which was a great bursting run off a short ball from Alaia.

Try of the match came within the opening minutes, with Laurie Daley Cup star Xavier Cacciotti breaking down the right flank and beating a number of tackles, before fullback Sam Gash was on hand to finish the move under the sticks.

Illawarra’s sole try of the opening half came through Tyrone Amone, leading to some tempers flaring from both sides after the post-try celebrations.

That was all the fight the Illawarra side would show however, with damaging front rower Palu Tuasala being the only diamond in the rough for the home side, as well as big interchange forward Tony Taani, who got a rousing reception from the home crowd with every hit-up.

Erindale’s other tries would come through Alex Sweeney and Olli Bolatagici down a damaging right flank, with centre Mark Tuialii showcasing great skill in the buildup down that side.

“I think we did some really good things for a round one performance,” coach Barnes said.

“I think there were still some periods where we weren’t playing to the standards we want to … a bit wayward with the footy at times, lacking a bit of discipline.

“There were a lot of positives to take away from that game though.”

Illawarra put a late consolation on the board through pacey centre Harry Wililo, forcing his way through the tiring Erindale defence, but it took nothing away from an electric opening round performance from the visitors.

WATCH ROUND 1 OF THE PETER MULHOLLAND CUP

Don’t miss a match from the opening round of the NRL Schoolboys Peter Mulholland Cup. See the draw below and check back here for links to the streams on game day!

Wednesday, May 17
12.30pm: Bass High v Holy Cross Ryde
WATCH THE REPLAY

Tuesday, May 23
1pm: St Gregory’s College v St Dominic’s College
WATCH THE REPLAY

Tuesday, May 30
6pm: Patrician Brothers Fairfield v Matraville Sports
WATCH THE REPLAY

Wednesday, May 31
11am: Hills Sports High v Endeavour Sports High
WATCH THE REPLAY
1pm: Patrician Bros. Blacktown v Westfields Sports
WATCH THE REPLAY

Thursday, June 1
2pm: Illawarra Sports High v Erindale College
WATCH THE GAME LIVE
2pm: Central Coast Sports College v All Saints Maitland
WATCH THE GAME LIVE

Wednesday, June 7
10.15am: Farrer MAHS v Hunter Sports

PREVIEW Erindale flex their muscles

Erindale will be looking for a repeat of their thumping 2022 first round triumph over Illawarra when the two sides meet again in the 2023 Peter Mulholland Cup next Thursday.

The Canberra-based team features some of the most talented juniors from across the Raiders junior rep system in SG Ball, Harold Matthews, as well as the Monaro Colts in the Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups.

Coach Ashley Barnes hopes the more mature players in his side will lift those around them after gaining experience in the City v Country U18s match recently, with the likes of Xavier Cacciotti and Samuel Gash playing for the Country side.

You catch every moment of this blockbuster match at Collegians Sports Ground from 2pm on Thursday exclusively on KommunityTV as part of our two-year deal to cover the NRL Schoolboys Cup competition.

The Erindale side also features promising Harold Matthews Cup stars Jonah Anderson and Mitchell Brophy who will control the spine alongside Cacciotti.

Erindale reached the final four last year, beating Patrician Brothers, Blacktown in the quarter finals before going down to Hill Sports 22-18 in a semifinal thriller. They began their campaign with a 12-try rout of Illawarra.

Hopes are high for another big run this year.

Erindale College made it all the way through to nthe final four in 2022.

“A lot of them have grown a lot through their junior reps work over the past few months,” Barnes said.

“I think if we play to our potential, we’ll be tough to beat.

“We put a good performance on the Illawarra side last year, so no doubt they’ll want to turn that around.”

The Illawarra side features a number of victorious Laurie Daley Cup stars with the Illawarra South Coast Dragons, such as devastating prop forward Palu Tausala.

A number of Illawarra Steelers Harold Matthews Cup representatives make up the backline, including halfback Kade Reed, rapid centre Hayden Buchanan and winger Harry Wililo.

Coach Brett Kelly highlighted Darnell Te Ahuru as another to watch from the wing, as a former high jumper of 1.92m, he’ll be near impossible to contain under the high ball.

“We know they’re normally pretty strong the Erindale side,” Kelly said.

“But I reckon we’ve got some pretty solid forwards and some good pace to burn in the outside flanks.

“If we play well we’re more than a good chance of taking it out.”

TEAM LISTS

Erindale College

1 Sam Gash, 2 Koko Salim, 3 Lachlan Cunanan, 4 Mark Tuialii, 5 Alex Sweeney, 6 Ethan Alaia, 7 Jonah Anderson, 8 Jesse Millin, 9 Mitchell Brophy, 10 Jayden Svager, 11 Max Mercer, 12 Brock Apolevski, 13 Xavier Cacciotti, 14 Olli Bolatagici, 15 Josh Urbaniak, 17 Peter Soward, 18 Luke Tuialii, 19 Blake Hovi

Illawarra Sports High

1. Tali Feagai, 2. Darnell Te Ahuru, 3. Ben Kami, 4. Harry Wililo, 5. Brodie Annen, 6. Lachlan Greatz, 7. Kade Reed, 8. Palu Tausala, 9. Isaiah Hegedus, 10. Zech Taufa, 11. Tyrone Amone, 12. Jacob Colwell, 13. Jack Rogers, 14. Khobe Phillips, 15. Rivah Jago, 16. Tony Taani, 17. Brett Carney, 18. Peter John Povey

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