It was a case of black and white Déjà vu for Wests, as Blacktown recovered from a slow start to spank Wests 46-26 at HE Laybutt Reserve.
The match started promisingly for the boys from Campbelltown, with a barnstorming kick return from Tala Mapesone creating the opportunity for David Attua to touch down three tackles later. Attua missed the fairly simply conversion attempt, but the Magpies were still up 4-0 in as many minutes.
Wests posted their second try three minutes later, with some weak Blacktown defence exposed by Tom Morrison, whose strong run on the right flank resulted in points. Attua converted the second time round, with the Magpies leading 10-0.
Blacktown showed plenty of grit and resilience but it was the Magpies next to score, with a magnificent long ball from Nathan Rumsby to Tuiniua Paiaaua and a step to match from Paiaaua as he posted the black and white’s third try of the afternoon. Attua was successful with the two points, taking Wests to 16-0.
Just like last week, Wests led 16-0 after half an hour. And just like last week, Wests conceded three soft tries in the last ten minutes before half time.
The first came from a Bradlee Cummings intercept, fortunately for Blacktown as Wests had numbers on their left side. Jarrod Brackenhoffer converted from in front to pull the margin back to 16-6.
Workers were in again four minutes later, with James Davies stretching out through some tired and feeble Wests defence to score under the posts. Brackenhoffer again added the two and Blacktown were back in the game at 16-12.
Right on half time, Wests chose to spread the ball, but a knock on and quick ball movement saw the ball shifted to Waqa Blake, who had too much pace for a gallant Dean Rysko. Brackenhoffer added his third conversion from in front and Blacktown somehow found themselves up 18-16 at the interval.
The second half was only seven minutes old when Blacktown posted their fourth try. A kick through was badly fumbled by the Magpies, with Bradlee Cummings on hand to register his second of the afternoon. Brackenhoffer easily concerted and Blacktown skipped out to a 24-16 lead.
Wests were determined to ensure the game didn’t get away from them this week, and they nearly found the line on fifteen minutes only to be held up. From the ensuing play the ball, the Wests Tigers combinations paid dividends, with a wonderful ball from Adrian Haangana finding a barnstorming Inno Innoesio to score under the posts. David Attua added the extras and Wests were back to within two.
However, all the Magpie’s work was undone on the hour, with a lightning fast Fakeo Dibeci running around a compressed Magpies defence before making Sam Aiga look like a statue to score under the posts. Brackenhoffer duly put Blacktown back out to an eight point lead with his conversion.
Five minutes later, Blacktown all but sealed the game with a last tackle passing movement resulting in a rather soft Jean Le Knox out wide. Brackenhoffer missed the tricky conversion attempt, Blacktown up 34-22 with just over ten minutes to play.
Wests weren’t done though, and Inno Innoesio showed some incredible strength to carry three defenders over the line as he scored his second of the game. David Attua failed with the conversion, and although Wests only trailed 34-26 with 11 minutes on the clock, the margin clearly weighed them down.
Blacktown finished off the match with a try for Jarrod Brackenhoffer despite howls of protest from the Wests faithful over a forward pass in the lead up and a second for Fakeo Dibeci, who capitalised off a neat inside pass from Bradlee Cummings. Brackenhoffer was successful with both conversion attempts, Blacktown posting a comfortable 20 point victory.
For Blacktown, Jarrod Brackenhoffer was a thorn in the side of the Wests defence, whileJake Attard and Michael Ross led the way in the pack. For the Magpies, Soni Passi was a human wrecking ball, beating the first tackle every time, while Adrian Haangana and, yet again, Dean Rysko, had big games.
Next week Blacktown head to McCredie Park to face off against Guildford, while the Magpies fly back to their nest in Campbelltown to take on The Entrance.
BLACKTOWN 46 (Bradlee Cummings 2, Fakeo Dibeci 2 James Davies, Waqa Blake, Jean Le Knox, Jarrod Brackenhoffer tries; Jarrod Brackenhoffer 7 from DEF WESTERN SUBURBS 26 (Inno Innoesio 2, David Attua, Tom Morrison, Tuiniua Paiaaua tries; David Attua 3 from 5)
Penalties: Wests 4 Blacktown 3
Halftime: Blacktown 18 Wests 16
1. Sam Aiga
2. Tuiniua Paiaaua
3. Fusi Toutai
11. Mason Harrison
16. Tala Mapesone
6. Nathan Rumsby
7. David Attua
18. Soni Passi
9. Matt Jones
10. Dean Rysko
22. Luke Williams
12. Tom Morrison
13. Adrian Haangana
4. Jerome Mose
14. Matiasi Toutai
17. Joel Jasmin
20. Inno Innoesio
1. Scott Buckley
23. Derek Goulding
2. Waqa Blake
4. Jean Le Knox
5. Fakeo Debici
6. Jarrod Brackenhoffer
22. Bradlee Cummings
8. Michael Ross
9. Jake Attard
10. Josh Butfield
17. Chad Grant
13. Bradley Cheshire
11. Jake Shearer
14. James Davies
16. Willie Laufalau
18. Dwayne Moseley
19. David Andjelic