There are no signs of the Cessnock Goannas displaying any premiership hangover, with the 2020 Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) champions knocking over the Western Suburbs Rosellas 20-12 on Thursday night.
In the opening match of the NSWRL Denton Cup Easter round, the home side led from start to finish at the Cessnock Showground, backing up its previous triumph – at the expense of the South Newcastle Lions – to kick off 2021 a week earlier.
A double to Brent Mendyk, as well as a try to Tyrone Roberts-Davis, and goals to the latter and Adrian Davis, gave the Goannas a handy 16-6 lead at the break.
The Rosellas’ points came from Ben Stone, who dived over in the 31st minute, and a conversion to Stephen Widders.
Cessnock extended that margin to 20-6 when Denzel Burns touched down.
Dyllan Parlane provided Wests with a glimmer of hope when he crossed in the 52nd minute. And, when Widders sent the ball between the uprights, the team trailled 20-12.
However, that’s as close as they got, with the Goannas defending strongly for the rest of the game to remain undefeated this season.
The Central Newcastle Butcher Boys grabbed the choccies on Good Friday, upsetting the Bulldogs 18-16 in a thriller at the Kurri Kurri Sportsground.
Despite Dylan Phythian landing an early penalty, the hosts began in promising fashion with Ethan Niszczot and Tyler Randall finding cracks in the Butcher Boys’ wall.
A sole conversion to Niszczot put the Bulldogs ahead 10-2.
But, Central Newcastle hit back via the likes of Cameron Anderson (30th minute), converted by Phythian, and Randall Briggs (36th) to hit the front 12-10 at the interval.
Kurri Kurri then secured the advantage courtesy of Ben Wyborn, with Niszczot adding the extras, to lead 16-12.
The Butcher Boys refused to surrender and Fuaimamao Uta levelled the scores at 16-all in the 63rd minute.
With both squads leaving nothing in the sheds, a penalty – to Uta – just before full-time broke the deadlock, with Central Newcastle prevailing from a gallant Kurri Kurri outfit.
It was a contrasting story at EDSACC Oval on the Central Coast on 2 April, with The Entrance Tigers roaring to a 54-4 victory over the Lakes United Seagulls.
The visitors stunned the Tigers in the first minute of play when Matt Cooper found the tryline.
However, from there, it was all one-way traffic as The Entrance handed out a rugby league lesson.
Tries to Tim Nawaqatabu (5th), Will Pearsall (9th), Ryan Doherty (25th) and Alan Munro (37th), plus four successful attempts from Josh Mantellato, meant the Tigers led 24-4 at oranges.
The rout continued in the second period, too, with Luke Sharpe (49th), Jyris Glamuzina (53rd), Nathan Cooper (58th), Mantellato (66th) and Pearsall (72nd) joining the party.
Mantellato, who never missed a shot all afternoon, added another five goals for a personal haul of 22 points.
The Maitland Pickers put the Wyong Roos to the sword 39-6 at Bill Hicks Oval on Saturday 3 April.
A brace of tries to Singleton Greyhounds product James Bradley, as well as Tom Hughes, plus four Brock Lamb goals, and a rare field goal, ensured the 2020 President’s Cup titleholders enjoyed a 21-0 margin at half-time.
Jarome Haines (52nd) and Perry Le Brocque (60th), along with a couple of Lamb extras, allowed the Pickers to extend that advantage even further at 33-0.
Luke Bartley eventually saw the Roos on the board, with Lachlan Hanneghan converting, to trail 33-6.
Haines added his second, with Lamb on target again, to seal the deal 39-6.
The Macquarie Scorpions snared their maiden win of 2021, beating the South Newcastle Lions 22-10 at Townson Oval this afternoon.
Joe Woodbury crossed in the third minute, with former NRL star Kerrod Holland piloting the ball between the posts, for a 6-0 lead.
The Lions retaliated through Lewis Hamilton, and a conversion to Harry Croker, to level things up at 6-all.
The Scorpions soon regained the ascendency at 12-6 when Woodbury picked up his second, which Holland converted.
The sea-sawing nature of the fixture continued when South Newcastle’s Harry Van Dartel dived over to make it 12-10.
But, even with Liam Higgins spending 10 in the sin bin, Macquarie still posted points through Callan Briggs just before the break, handing them a margin of 16-10.
The second half was a dour affair with Luke Higgins touching down. Holland raised the touchies’ flags and scoreline to 22-10.
2021 Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League
Round two results:
Cessnock Goannas 20 (Brent Mendyk 2, Tyrone Roberts-Davis, Denzel Burns tries; Roberts-Davis, Adrian Davis goals) defeated Western Suburbs Rosellas 12 (Ben Stone, Dyllan Parlane tries; Stephen Widders 2 goals)
Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 18 (Cameron Anderson, Randall Briggs, Fuaimamao Uta tries; Dylan Phythian 2, Uta goals) defeated Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 16 (Ethan Niszczot, Tyler Randell, Ben Wyborn tries; Niszczot 2 goals)
The Entrance Tigers 54 (Will Pearsall 2, Tim Nawaqatabu, Ryan Doherty, Alan Munro, Luke Sharpe, Jyris Glamuzina, Nathan Cooper, Josh Mantellato tries; Mantellato 9 goals) defeated Lakes United Seagulls 4 (Matt Cooper try)
Maitland Pickers 39 (James Bradley 2, Jarome Haines 2, Tom Hughes, Perry Le Brocque; Brock Lamb 7 goals, field goal) defeated Wyong Roos 6 (Luke Bartley try; Lachlan Hanneghan goal)
Macquarie Scorpions 22 (Joe Woodbury 2, Callan Briggs, Luke Higgins tries; Kerrod Holland 3 goals) defeated South Newcastle Lions 10 (Lewis Hamilton, Harry Van Dartel tries; Harry Croker goal)