VB NSW Cup Round 8 wrap
Reigning VB NSW Cup premiers the Penrith Panthers finally ended Mounties' seven-game win as they re-assert themselves as this season's team to beat.
Mounties opened their season with seven consecutive victories with many labelling them as the competition favourites. But the Panthers reminded everyone they are still the defending premiers as they overcame wet weather and injuries in the top-of-the-table clash to become the first team to topple Mounties this season.
The Wests Tigers scored a desperate comeback win against the Wentworthville Magpies to avoid a fifth-straight loss and keep their season on track. After winning their first three matches in a promising start to the season, the Wests Tigers suffered four straight losses entering their clash against Wenty. Their losing streak appeared to continue when they fell behind 28-16 against the Magpies. However, Josh Drinkwater provided the late-game heroics to nail the game-winning field goal and break their losing streak.
Across the Tasman, the New Zealand Warriors remain undefeated at home, earning an impressive 44-18 victory over the high-flying Newtown Jets. The Jets were riding a wave of momentum in winning their past four games. The visitors never looked comfortable though as the Warriors piled on nine tries in a powerful performance and consolidate a top-four position.
The Newcastle Knights also established their place in the top-four of the VB NSW Cup ladder after a hard-fought 20-12 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs. Pat Mata'utia bagged two quick tries in the space of five minutes to give the Knights an early cushion that they never relinquished.
The Illawarra Cutters snuck into the top eight following a gripping 22-14 upset win over the Wyong Roos. In a man-of-the-match performance, Shannon Crook led the Cutters to their third win of the season scoring a try and kicking three goals. Wyong suffered another disappointing result after they were thrashed 32-4 the previous week against the North Sydney Bears.
The Manly Sea Eagles' resurrection continues with back-to-back victories after they beat local rivals North Sydney 38-22. Manly led 24-10 before the Bears cut the deficit to just two points with 15 minutes remaining. Manly wouldn't be denied their third win of the season as they lifted themselves from the bottom of the ladder.
Everyone's attention now turns to the VB NSW Cup Representatives Team as they go up against the QLD Residents side in their annual interstate showdown this Sunday, May 3 in Brisbane. It's set to be an absolute monster blockbuster with both sides determined to reign supreme in the fierce rivalry. The game will be broadcast live, through Channel 9, to both NSW and Queensland.