Undefeated Mounties kept their perfect record intact with a 66-16 demolition of Western Suburbs last weekend at Mount Pritchard Sportsground.
Mounties were expected to be far too strong for the young Magpies outfit looking to back up their 32-24 victory over Kingsgrove last week and things went according to the script early, with Grant Lahey opening the scoring when he proved simply too big to handle for the Magpies defence. David Farkas was successful with the conversion attempt and Mounties led 6-0 after as many minutes.
After exchanging penalties, Farkas was in the action again, threading a perfectly weighted grubber through the line. Both Tala Mapesone and Amanono Tovio found themselves a little too deep, allowing Billy King to swoop from nowhere to register his first of the afternoon. Farkas slotted the goal, Mounties keeping pace with the clock early.
Penalties punctuated the next ten minutes, with the highlight being the clash between Magpies backrower Tom Morrison and Mounties prop Mitch Cahalane, which saw Morrison placed on report.
David Farkas was playing out of his skin and he provided a sublime short ball on 24 minutes Cahalane, who drew Amanono Tovio in before sending Grant Lahey on his way for his second try. Farkas put the two points away, Mounties skipping out to an 18-0 lead with 15 minutes to the break.
Farkas laid on the next try too. However, it wasn’t for his team. A huge overlap on the left side tempted Farkas into throwing a long cut-out ball, which was picked off by Nathan Scaranto, who dashed the 85 metres to touch down, despite the best efforts of Tim Tautuaa. David Atuau potted the conversion from in front and Wests found a glimmer of hope at 18-6 with eight minutes until the break.
Mounties started to feel the pressure just before the interval and their struggles allowed Wests to score another try, with a bomb being put down by Billy King, Sonny Bristow on hand to pick up the crumbs and dive over. David Atuau converted and Wests were back in the game at halftime, down 18-12.
Magpies coach Leo Epifania said halftime was the worst thing that could have happened to his team, and it is difficult to argue with the Magpies boss. Just five minutes had elapsed before Louis Vaitou took advantage of the Wests defence not numbering up, with his second try. David Farkas pushed the conversion wide, Mounties back out to a ten point lead.
Mounties took just three minutes to add to their tally, with Pat Galea showing a Benji-like sidestep to cut through the Wests line before sending Robbie Mate on his way. Farkas added the two, Mounties now leading 28-12 with just over half an hour to play.
Wests could not halt the Mounties momentum as Wayne Dargan secured a loose ball off a bomb which provided either a room service bounce, if you’re a Mounties fan, or a Freddie Kreuger bounce if you’re a Magpie. Farkas added the extras and the score started to look ominous for Wests at 34-12.
There was no relief for the Magpies as another last tackle run paid dividends on 58 minutes, with Louis Vaitou on hand to notch a hat-trick out wide. A change of kicker to Blake Davies bore no fruit, though, Davies pushing the conversion attempt wide at 38-12.
Mounties were finding plenty of success on last tackle options, and they did so again five minutes later, another bomb finding the turf with Grant Lahey touching down despite the efforts of a gallant Amanono Tovio. Davies was successful at his second attempt at goal, Mounties moving out to 44-12.
The home side registered the half century just three minutes later after a Magpies drop-out. The Magpies showed plenty of enthusiasm at marker, but perhaps a little too much, as Fred Pakutoa simply waited for the Wests markers to split before darting through. Davies added the extras and Wests were looking for some inspiration with 12 minutes to go.
Wests did find some inspiration through Wests Tigers NSW Cup five-eighth Jack Madden and, with nine minutes to play, a grubber from Madden found space in the Mounties in-goal thanks to Tim Tautuaa rushing up to stop the passing option, Tuiniua Paiaaua sneaking in behind to score. David Atuau missed the difficult conversion attempt, Wests trailing 50-16 with eight minutes on the clock.
Mounties replied to the plucky Magpie effort by posting two tries in five minutes, the first to Wayne Dargan after a left hand spread on the last, the second to Theo Leato after a similar play on the right hand side. Both tries were converted by Blake Davies and Mounties had cracked 60 with a minute to play.
With time running down, a rather charitable penalty to Mounties for a high shot gave them the chance for one final left spread, with Wayne Dargan joining Grant Lahey in the hatters club for the afternoon. Pat Galea shaved the right hand uprights despite his teammates vocally urging the ball through the posts, Mounties finishing an even 50 ahead of Wests at the final siren.
For Mounties, David Farkas was nothing short of magnificent, with Pat Galea and Wayne Dargan also in the thick of it. For the gallant Magpies, Dean Rysko and Jack Madden led the way all afternoon, ably supported by Mason Harrison.
Next weekend, Mounties head over to Blacktown to face off against the Workers, while the Magpies will take a trip down memory lane, as they do battle with Guildford at Lidcombe Oval, both games kicking off at 3pm Saturday.
MOUNTIES 66 (Grant Lahey 3, Wayne Dargan 3, Louis Vaitou 2, Billy King, Robbie Mate, Wayne Dargan, Fred Pakutoa, Theo Leato tries; David Farkas 5 from 6, Blake Davies 4 from 5, Pat Galea 0 from 1) def WESTERN SUBURBS 16 (Nathan Scarano, Sonny Bristow, Tuiniua Paiaaua tries; David Atuau 2 from 3)
Penalties: Wests 4 Mounties 6
Halftime: Wests 12 Mounties 18
1. Amanono Tovio
2. Tuiniua Paiaaua
20. Nathan Scarano
19. Sam Aiga
5. Tala Mapesone
6. David Atuau
17. Jack Madden
22. Seffa Silafau
9. Matt Jones
10. Soni Passi
11. Tom Morrison
4. Jerome Mose
8. Dean Rysko
12. Mason Harrison
13. Sonny Bristow
14. Matiasi Toutai
18. Jamie Anyszkiewicz
16. Theo Leato
2. Billy King
4. Louis Vaitou
21. Wayne Dargan
5. Tim Tautuaa
6. David Farkas
7. Robbie Mate
8. Mitch Cahalane
9. Lancen Joudo
23. Pat Galea
15. Fred Pakutoa
12. Tim Baldwin
11. Grant Lahey
13. Jason Green
17. Blake Davies
18. Nick Kassis
20. Tunui Maurangi