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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

GALLERY: Hunter celebrates State Cup success

Newcastle City Knights, Wallsend Wolves and Maitland Redbacks all captured titles on a thrilling Sunday afternoon at the 2020 NSW Touch State Cup at Port Macquarie.

The mighty Knights led the charge at the Regional Sports Stadium and Tuffins Lane fields on 6 December, with six of the association’s 10 squads – women’s opens, senior mixed, 40 women’s 40 men’s, 50 men’s and 60 men’s – qualifying for the play-offs after three days of tough competition.

But, it was the talented experienced campaigners, the senior mixed, who stood tallest in the biggest representative tournament of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Newcastle City upset Taren Point 7-6 in the decider, after earlier eliminating another powerhouse, the Wollongong Devils, 5-4 in the semi.

The Knights also contested the 50 men’s and 60 men’s finales, however both lost tight matches to Deakin Thunder (4-2) and the Manly Sea Eagles (1-0) respectively.

And, in a strong showing of the club’s outstanding depth within the region, Newcastle City also boasted three semi-finalists.

After beating the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 5-4 in the morning, the women’s open line-up fell to the Sea Eagles 4-2.

The 40 women’s suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the Wolves, 3-2, in an exhilarating drop-off.

Not to be outdone, the Knights’ 40 men’s dismissed hosts Port Macquarie Makos 3-2 in the quarter-final, but bowed out to the Wests Magpies 5-2 a game later.

However, the icing on the cake was Newcastle City being named country affiliate of the tournament.

In other Hunter results, Wallsend celebrated twice today, with its men’s open B and 40 women’s teams securing grand final glory.

The young Wolves collected the plate after seeing off the Hornsby Lions (4-3), Wollongong (2-0) and, eventually, the Ballina Bull Sharks 2-1.

The female outfit knocked over neighbours Newcastle City 3-2 before overpowering Canberra City Magic 2-1 to snare the crown.

Maitland soared in the mixed open plate, putting the Sea Eagles (6-4) and South Western Sydney Raptors (8-4) to the sword in a dazzling display.

Meanwhile, the Doyalson Dragons went “oh so close” to taking out the blue riband event, the men’s open, going down 4-3 to Hornsby.

NSW Touch general manager Dean Russell thanked all the participants for their collective efforts.

“We knew it was going to be a different State Cup in 2020 with no crowds, due to COVID-19 and the safety protocols,” he said.

“When we were given our exemption, we always anticipated our overall numbers would be down.

“But, everyone played their part to ensure it went ahead – safely and successfully.

“I’m positive we’ll be back bigger and better in 2021.”

Newcastle City’s results (day one):

Women’s open – def Central Coast Dolphins 3-2, def Deakin Thunder 2-0, drew Wests Tigers 4-all, bye

Men’s open – lost Doyalson Dragons 4-8, drew Wollongong Devils 4-all, lost Canterbury Bulldogs 2-5

20 women’s – lost Orange Thunder 1-6, lost Macksville Falcons 1-8, def Balmain Tigers 1-0

20 men’s – def Penrith Panthers 4-3, bye, lost Parramatta Eels 1-2

30 women’s – lost Coffs Harbour 1-4, drew Central Coast Dolphins 1-all, lost Manly Sea Eagles 0-6

Senior mixed – def Gunnedah 7-1, def Wollongong Devils 5-1, def Penrith Panthers 8-4

40 women’s – def Macksville Falcons 3-2, bye, lost Canberra City Magic 0-4

40 men’s – def Maitland Redbacks 4-3, drew Penrith Panthers 4-all, def Balmain Tigers 4-0

50 men’s – lost Nelson Bay Neptunes 4-5, drew Wests Magpies 1-all

60 men’s – def Manly Sea Eagles 4-1, def Ballina Bull Sharks 2-0

Day two:

Women’s open – lost Manly Sea Eagles 2-7, drew Eastern Suburbs Roosters 3-all, def Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 3-2

Men’s open – lost Hornsby Lions 2-5, drew Bankstown Sports 5-all, drew Ryde Eastwood Hawks 3-all, def Carlingford Cyclones 9-2

20 women’s – lost Ryde Eastwood Hawks 0-2, lost Maitland Redbacks 2-4

20 men’s – drew Wollongong Devils 4-all, lost Macksville Falcons 4-6, def Doyalson Dragons 4-2

30 women’s – lost Cronulla Sharks 1-8, bye

Senior mixed – def Port Macquarie Makos 4-3, lost Eastern Suburbs Roosters 1-2

40 women’s – def Maitland Redbacks 4-3, def Hills Hornets 2-1, lost Wallsend Wolves 0-5

40 men’s – def Macksville Falcons 5-1, bye, def Wingham Wombats 8-1

50 men’s – def Deakin Thunder 3-1, lost Manly Sea Eagles 1-3

60 men’s – def Taree Flames 6-0, drew Manly Sea Eagles 0-all

Day three:

Women’s open – QF2, def Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 5-4; SF1, lost to Manly Sea Eagles 2-4

Senior mixed – SF2, def Wollongong Devils 5-4; GF, def Taren Point 7-6

40 women’s – SF2, lost to Wallsend Wolves 2-3 (drop-off)

40 men’s – QF3, def Port Macquarie Makos 3-2 (drop-off); SF2, lost to Wests Magpies 2-5

50 men’s – SF1, def Manly Sea Eagles 2-1; GF, lost to Deakin Thunder 2-4

60 men’s – GF, lost to Manly Sea Eagles 0-1

Other Hunter results:

Men’s open – QF3, Doyalson Dragons def Beresfield Bandits 6-4; SF2, Doyalson Dragons def Bankstown Sports 4-3; GF, Doyalson Dragons lost to Hornsby Lions 3-4

Mixed open – QF2, Wallsend Wolves def Doyalson Dragons 6-5; SF1, Wallsend Wolves def Norths Bears 4-3; GF, Wallsend Wolves lost to Hills Hornets 2-3

Mixed open plate – SF2, Maitland Redbacks def Manly Sea Eagles 6-4; GF, Maitland Redbacks def South Western Sydney Raptors 8-4

Men’s open B plate – QF2, Wallsend Wolves def Hornsby Lions 4-3; SF1, Wallsend Wolves def Wollongong Devils 2-0; GF, Wallsend Wolves def Ballina Bull Sharks 2-1

Women’s open B plate – QF2, Beresfield Bandits lost to Parkes Pumas 3-4; QF4, Doyalson Dragons def Ballina Bulls Sharks 1-0; Doyalson Dragons lost to Wollongong Devils 2 2-5

20 women’s – QF4, Wallsend Wolves lost to Orange Thunder 4-5

30 men’s – SF2, Wallsend Wolves lost to Central Coast 5-6

30 women’s – SF2, Maitland Redbacks lost to Manly Sea Eagles 4-5

40 men’s – QF4, Beresfield Bandits lost to Wests Magpies 2-6

40 women’s – SF2, Wallsend Wolves def Newcastle City Knights 3-2; GF, Wallsend Wolves def Canberra City Magic 2-1