The Cessnock Goannas returned to earth with a thud at the hands of Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) rivals Wyong Roos at the Cessnock Sportsground on Saturday.
The 2020 premiers, on a high after eight players – AJ Davis, Billy Gilbert, Connor Kirkwood, Denzel Burns, Gerome Burns, Robert Tuliatu, Tyrone Roberts-Davis and Wyatt Shaw – were named in the Newcastle Rebels senior representative squad during the week, suffered their first loss of the season.
But, full credit must go to the Roos who stunned the hosts 30-12 on their home turf in round five of the NSWL Denton Cup.
A double to Zane Rickit (16th, 23rd) gave Wyong a handy 8-0 lead.
However, Cessnock hit back through young gun Harvey Neville and a conversion to Adrian Davis to trail 8-6.
The Roos went to the sheds ahead 14-6 after Blake Andrews touched down, with Lachlan Hanneghan adding the extras.
The Goannas reduced the margin to 14-12 when Roberts-Davis broke through the defensive line. Davis made no mistake with the shot at goal.
Wyong then put the issue beyond doubt with Damon Goolagong (57th), Rickit (66th) and former Manly NRL star Terence Seuseu (76th) diving over, and Hanneghan landing two conversions.
South Newcastle Lions nearly produced the upset of 2020 but just fell short of beating The Entrance Tigers, losing a thriller 19-16 at EDSACC Oval on the Central Coast.
The visitors struck early, 6-0, via Jake Dooley and a goal to Jason Keelan.
However, Josh Mantellato (17th) and Luke Sharpe (29th), plus extras to the former, ensured the Tigers led 12-6 at the break.
Another try to Lachlan Bell (61st) extended the home side’s advantage to 16-6.
The Lions then clicked into gear to set up a grandstand finish, when Keelan (64th) and Justin Afflick (71st) scored, as well as Keelan goal, to level it all up at 16-all.
But, The Entrance held its nerve with Will Pearsall separating the two teams with a field goal in the 76th minute.
Matthew Killick secured the victory with a penalty in the dying stages.
Meanwhile, the Macquarie Scorpions put the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs to the sword 40-12 at Lyall Peacock Oval.
The fixture was virtually as good as over by half-time when the Toronto-based outfit enjoyed a 22-6 lead at the break.
Ro Buaserau dived over in the opening minute for Macquarie, however Kurri Kurri cancelled it out courtesy of Zeb Dunstan (15th). When Ethan Niszczot converted, the Bulldogs led 6-4.
The Scorpions, thanks to a Royce Geoffrey double, and another to Andrew Sumner, as well as three Kerrod Holland goals, soon hit the front.
The second period was no different with Luke Higgins (49th), Liam Higgins (54th) and Tevita Toloi (57th) adding their names to the tryscoring list.
Holland, the ex-Canterbury sharp-shooter, was on target a further three times as the Scorpions surged to 40-6.
The Bulldogs grabbed a consolation try to Stephen Gordon, which was converted by Niszczot.
The Central Coast Butcher Boys maintained their winning momentum at the expense of the Western Suburbs Rosellas 24-10 at St Johns Oval.
An entertaining first half saw the combatants tied up at 10-all.
Young Rebels’ rep Kurt Donoghoe (21st) and Jack Kelly (25th), who landed a conversion, scored for Central Newcastle.
Wests’ scorers were Max Buderus (10th) and Heath Gibbs (31st), with Stephen Widders booting a goal.
Second-rower Randall Briggs then made his mark on the encounter, snaring a hat-trick, to seal the triumph.
Kelly kicked a further goal.
Perry Le Brocque carved up the Lakes United Seagulls in the Maitland Pickers’ emphatic 58-6 victory at Cahill Oval.
The flying winger scored in the fourth, 13th, 45th and 48th minutes in a dominant attacking display.
He was ably supported by doubles to Singleton junior James Bradley (22nd, 70th) and Tom Hughes (66th, 78th), and four-pointers to Brock Lamb (18th) and Carl Randall (53rd).
Lamb amassed a personal haul of 22, with nine goals from as many attempts.
The Seagulls’ points came from a try to John Toleafoa (26th) and a conversion to Zane Camroux.
NSWRL Denton Cup
Round five results:
Wyong Roos 30 (Zane Rickit 3, Blake Andrews, Damon Goolagong, Terence Seuseu tries; Lachlan Hanneghan 3 goals) defeated Cessnock Goannas 12 (Harvey Neville, Tyrone Roberts-Davies tries; Adrian Davis 2 goals)
Macquarie Scorpions 40 (Royce Geoffrey 2, Ro Buaserau, Andrew Sumner, Luke Higgins, Liam Higgins, Tevita Toloi tries; Kerrod Holland 6 goals) defeated Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 12 (Zeb Dunstan, Stephen Gordon tries; Ethan Niszczot 2 goals)
Central Coast Butcher Boys 24 (Randall Briggs 3, Kurt Donoghoe, Jack Kelly tries; Kelly 2 goals) defeated Western Suburbs Rosellas 10 (Max Buderus, Heath Gibbs tries; Stephen Widders goal)
Maitland Pickers 58 (Perry Le Brocque 4, Tom Hughes 2, James Bradley 2, Brock Lamb, Carl Randall tries; Lamb 9 goals) defeated Lakes United Seagulls 6 (John Toleafoa try; Zane Camroux goal)
The Entrance Tigers 19 (Josh Mantellato, Luke Sharpe, Lachlan Bell tries; Mantellato 2, Matthew Killick goals; Will Pearsall field goal) defeated South Newcastle Lions 16 (Jake Dooley, Jason Keelan, Justin Afflick tries; Keelan 2 goals)