The race to the VB NSW Cup finals is on after an epic Round 18 on the weekend. The Wyong Roos stormed into premiership contention following their heart-stopping last-minute 22-20 victory over the competition leaders, the Penrith Panthers. It was an inspiring defensive effort by the Roos who repelled a dazzling Panthers side in attack. The Panthers remain on top of the table with the Roos moving into fourth position to leave many anticipating a finals showdown between the two of the VB NSW Cup’s heavyweights.
The Canterbury Bulldogs are building plenty of momentum in their run to the finals with another impressive victory coming against the Newtown Jets. The Bulldogs held off a fast-finishing Jets side to clinch a 30-26 win and climb into fifth position, two points behind fourth place. Try-scoring sensation Tyrone Phillips added two more tries to his ever-growing tally for 17 tries after 18 rounds.
The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles kept their slim finals hopes alive with a vital 40-18 victory over the Wests Tigers. It was a spirited performance for the Sea Eagles who came off a heavy loss to the Newcastle Knights in Round 17. The win sees the Sea Eagles move from last place on the ladder while the Wests Tigers’ season risks slipping away with only seven rounds remaining until the finals.
The Warriors claimed second spot – tied with the Panthers on 26 competition points but behind them on for and against – after rallying from an 18-nil deficit in the first 17 minutes to beat the Illawarra Cutters 38-22 at Mount Smart Stadium. The Warriors scored their 38 points in a 32-minute onslaught before clinching the emphatic win to state their title credentials. In a rare draw occurrence, the Cutters have their opportunity to extract revenge quickly with a rematch against the Warriors at WIN Stadium this Saturday at 3:00pm.
An explosive Round 19 also features the Wentworthville Magpies taking on the North Sydney Bears, the in-form Bulldogs up against the Panthers, a local rivalry between the Knights and Roos while the Jets travel to GIO Stadium to face Mounties in the Fox Sports Match of the Round.