There was just one name on the lips of the NSW Cup fans and it was Chris Sandow. Demoted to the NSW Cup for a minor indiscretion, was his form good enough to return to first-grade and to lead the Magpies to a win? There were some great clashes yet again and some surprising upsets. Here is our take on the week’s action.
Wentworthville Magpies 48 (B Faraimo 2, Z Docker-Clay 2, T Lasalo, J Folau, J Aloiai, D Alvaro tries; C Sandow 8 goals) bt NZ Warriors 6 (J Bell try; M Lino goal)
Ricky’s View: Galvanised by the addition of Chris Sandow in the side, the Wentworthville Magpies put in their best performance of the year. By far. It was Sandow who led the way, kicking a 40/20, kicking goals at will and putting on a masterclass with deft kicking and passing. A return to form for the enigmatic half.
Canterbury Bulldogs 26 (T Tasi 3, L Dodd, S Lane tries; Dodd 3 goals) bt Newtown Jets 24 (N Gardner, C Brown, N Mataitinga, R Moujalli tries; Gardner 4 goals).
Ricky’s View: A fast finish by the Jets was not enough to clutch an astonishing win, despite their best efforts. The Dogs have struggled in 2015 so far and after a 40-point drubbing last week, were after a win. It was set up nicely with a first-half hat-trick for utility back Tautalatasi Tasi.
North Sydney Bears 26 (D Millard, J Garlick, F Junior Mauala, C Walker, D Nicholls tries; Nicholls 3 goals) bt Penrith Panthers 18 (E Alono, C Smith, T Eisenhuth tries; W Smith 3 goals).
Ricky’s View: The upset of the round and perhaps the season. The lesser-fancied Bears side managed to overpower a usually strong Panthers side. It was veteran Daryl Millard who led the way and called the shots from his favoured centre position. The match was poised with ten minutes to go but two late tries for the Bears sealed the win.
Wyong Roos 30 (B Elliot 2, N MacDonald 2, N Stapleton, O Slaimankhel tries; Stapleton 3 goals) bt Mounties 14 (J Ahearn, B Tupou, L Bateman tries; S Duggan goal).
Ricky’s View: Another upsets of sorts as competition heavyweights Mounties were let down by some poor play and ball control in the second half. Wyong, however, managed to capitalise and ran over the top of the Mounties side in the second half. It was a closely fought first-half but the momentum was with Wyong for the entirety of the second half.
Wests Tigers 20 (L Liolevave, J Sila, T Moltzen, N Milone tries; J Drinkwater 2 goals) bt Newcastle Knights 18 (H Tuha 3, N Ross tries; D Phythian goal).
The Knights will be disappointed with themselves after letting a lead slip, as the Tigers fought their way back to win the contest. It was the return of Tim Moltzen that eventually galvanised the Tigers side and it proved to be enough, as the deficit was clawed back, giving the Tigers a crucial win.