Three sides that entered round 16 of the VB NSW Cup in the top four were beaten at the weekend, resulting in some major ladder shifts.
Tyler Cornish nailed a late field goal to claim a dramatic 19-18 victory for the Wyong Roos over competition leaders, Penrith Panthers. The Roos stole the win despite scoring three tries to the Panthers’ four. Goal kicking came back to haunt the Panthers who still remain outright leaders due to the three-point gap they had going into the game.
The New Zealand Warriors leapfrogged Mounties into second position on the ladder after defeating them 36-28 at Mt Smart Stadium. David Fusitu’a bagged a hat-trick and Mason Lino had a perfect day with the boot, kicking six from six for the Warriors. After such a strong start to the season, Mounties have only won a single game since Round 9, and will be desperate to snap out of their form slump before sliding further down the VB NSW Cup ladder.
Nathan Gardner inspired the Newtown Jets to break a two-match losing streak and defeat the Manly Sea Eagles 28-20. Gardner was simply outstanding, scoring a try and setting up another three while making four line-breaks and breaking nine tackles. Dylan Kelly also starred with a hat-trick of his own but it was not enough for the Sea Eagles to get over the line.
The Canterbury Bulldogs used plenty of second-phase play to overcome the huge forward pack of the Illawarra Cutters, and came out 44-28 victors. The Bulldogs earned a 44-0 lead before the Cutters fought back for a more-respectable score line. Tyrone Phillips continued his hot try-scoring streak by bagging a double, while Chase Stanley was perfect with the boot, slotting seven from seven.
The North Sydney Bears completely dominated Wests Tigers in a 26-8 showing. Cody Walker was sensational for the Bears, scoring two tries amongst plenty of activity, while Cameron McInnes had a fantastic game, recording 50 tackles and scoring an important try. The game included several first graders such as McInnes, Tim Moltzen, Jason Clark, Joel Reddy and the return of Paul Carter.
The Wentworthville Magpies pulled a 16-12 upset against the Newcastle Knights at Ringrose Park, in a defence-orientated game. The Magpies led 10-6 at half time, and managed to hold off a Knights side that threw everything at them. The Knights have hit a terrible patch of form, and will need a win this weekend against the Sea Eagles to stay in the hunt.