The Macquarie Scorpions premiership aspirations in the 2021 Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) are back on track following their 18-10 victory over the Western Suburbs Rosellas at Harker Oval on Sunday afternoon.
After dropping the opening game of the NSWRL Denton Cup season, the Scorpions picked up their second consecutive scalp from three rounds.
However, they were made to fight all the way.
Wests struck first, through Hayden Loughrey and a goal to Michael Hendry, to lead 6-0.
Macquarie then moved up a gear, with Royce Geoffrey (13th minute), Joe Woodbury (21st) and Luke Higgins (34th) scoring.
Former NRL star Kerrod Holland converted the latter’s try for a 14-6 margin at the interval.
The second period was a dour affair with the Scorpions and Rosellas each adding a four-pointer to their respective tallies, via Ro Buaserau (Macquarie) and Max Buderus (Wests).
The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs produced a massive upset by defeating The Entrance Tigers 16-10 at EDSACC Oval on the Central Coast.
Jyris Glamuzina (35th) and Kyle McCudden (38th), and a Josh Mantellato conversion, ensured the hosts were in the box seat leading 10-4.
The Bulldogs’ lone points came from Barry McGrady in the 22nd minute.
But, the tables were turned after half-time.
Kurri Kurri’s Brady Hammond (47th) and Lewis (70th) touched down, with Ethan Niszczot converting both, to stun a shell-shocked Tigers on their way to their maiden triumph in 2021.
The Central Newcastle Butcher Boys handed out a league lesson in beating the South Newcastle Lions 32-12 at Townson Oval.
However, it was anyone’s fixture in the opening stages of the clash.
A double to Kurt Donoghoe (7th, 31st) and another to Dylan Phythian (2nd), as well as a couple of Jack Kelly goals, were the backbone of the Butcher Boys’ first half points.
Marshall Sing bagged the Lions’ try while Jason Keelan raised the flags with a successful penalty attempt.
Central Newcastle upped the tempo after the break, as Cameron Anderson (41st), Ethan Campbell (55th) and Timothy Christie (65th) got into the act, too.
Phythian and Kelly each kicked a goal.
Souths claimed a consolation try to Corey Brown, with Keelan converting.
In the match of the round, on Saturday 10 April, the Cessnock Goannas gained early bragging rights over the Maitland Pickers, prevailing 24-22 at the Maitland Sportsground.
In the end, it was a booming 50m penalty to Adrian Davis, which separated the 2020 Real NRL premiers and 2020 President’s Cup champions.
The Goannas grabbed the early advantage when Gerome Burns dived over and Davis converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Pickers hit back almost immediately, with Matthew Allwood and Chad O’Donnell touching down. Brock Lamb kicked one goal to put the side ahead 10-6.
Cessnock responded with a converted try to Denzel Burns, plus the brilliant Davis penalty, to head to sheds in front 14-10.
The topsy-turvy nature of the match continued when Maitland’s O’Donnell secured his second of the afternoon. Lamb made no mistake with his shot and the home team led 16-14.
The Goannas refused to lay down, with Wyatt Shaw (47th) and Brent Mendyk (52nd), as well as a Davis two-pointer, giving the visitors the lead, 24-16.
The Pickers ensured there would be a grandstand finish when Daniel Ticehurst crossed over. Lamb’s extras made it 24-22 with 20 still on the clock.
But, neither outfit could break the opposition’s defence in the final stages.
The Wyong Roos maintained their winning ways, accounting for the Lakes United Seagulls 34-10 at Morry Breen Oval on the Central Coast.
The hosts led 18-0 at the break, thanks to Mitch Williams (8th), Cody Boyle (16th) and Lachlan Hanneghan (31st), and three Hanneghan goals.
They continued that form in the second half, racing to 34-0, with Kye Martin (48th), Lincoln Tubridy (61st) and Jake Lewis (67th) touching down and Hanneghan booting another pair.
The Seagulls finished with a flurry as Nash Lofberg and Jake O’Meley put their names on the scoreboard.
A Nash Birch goal in the 77th minute enabled Lakes United to reduce the margin to 34-10.
2021 Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League
Round three results:
Macquarie Scorpions 18 (Royce Geoffrey, Joe Woodbury, Luke Higgins, Ro Buaserau tries; Kerrod Holland goal) defeated Western Suburbs Rosellas 10 (Hayden Loughrey, Max Buderus tries; Michael Hendry goal)
Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 16 (Barry McGrady, Brady Hammond, Lewis Hughes tries; Ethan Niszczot 2 goals) defeated The Entrance Tigers 10 (Jyris Glamuzina, Kyle McCudden tries; Josh Mantellato goal)
Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 32 (Kurt Donoghoe 2, Dylan Phythian, Cameron Anderson, Ethan Campbell, Timothy Christie tries; Jack Kelly 3, Dylan Phythian goals) defeated South Newcastle Lions 12 (Marshall Sing, Corey Brown tries; Jason Keelan goals)
Cessnock Goannas 24 (Gerome Burns, Denzel Burns, Wyatt Shaw, Brent Mendyk tries; Adrian Davis 4 goals) defeated Maitland Pickers 22 (Chad O’Donnell 2, Matthew Allwood, Daniel Ticehurst tries; Brock Lamb 3 goals)
Wyong Roos 34 (Mitch Williams, Cody Boyle, Lachlan Hanneghan, Kye Martin, Lincoln Tubridy, Jake Lewis tries; Hanneghan 5 goals) defeated Lakes United Seagulls 10 (Nash Lofberg, Jake O’Meley tries; Nash Birch goal)
Western Suburbs Rosellas d Macquarie Scorpions 36-10
Central Newcastle Butcher Boys d South Newcastle Lions 26-24
Maitland Pickers d Cessnock Goannas 28-6
Northern Hawks d Lakes United Seagulls 20-16
Western Suburbs Rosellas d Macquarie Scorpions 46-4
South Newcastle Lions d Central Newcastle Butcher Boys 28-18
Maitland Pickers d Cessnock Goannas 46-12
Northern Hawks d Lakes United Seagulls 32-4