Rosellas rally to move up position

by admin on July 13th, 2018

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Rosellas rally to move up position TweetFacebook Newcastle RL – Wests v Cessnock at Harker Oval on July 24Pictures by Max Mason-HubersFour tries in the opening 20 minutes of the second half saw Western Suburbs edge closer to securing a semi-final spot while an injury-plagued Cessnock slipped outside the top five for the first time this season.

The competition for positions in the 2016 Newcastle Rugby League play-offs took another turn in round 13 with Wests jumping to a share of second place following a 30-16 win against the now sixth-placed Goannas at Harker Oval on Sunday.

The Rosellas have 17 points and sitalongside South Newcastle, who accounted 36-12 for last-placed Maitland (3) at Townson Oval on Saturday.

Both clubs leapfrogged defending premiers Lakes (16), who dropped to fourth after relinquishing a 14-point lead with 20 minutes remaining and missing a shot at top spot on the ladder in a 26-24 loss to outright leaders Macquarie (19) at Cahill Oval on Sunday.

And adding further spice to the run home over the last three rounds, Kurri Kurri (15) continued their mid-season revival with a fifth straight win and claimed fifth position on the table after scoring 22 unanswered points in the closing stages for a 28-18 victory over Central Newcastle (3) at St John Oval on Sunday.

This leaves Cessnock (14), who lostKori Barber (ankle), Zeb Dunstan (ankle) and Josh Dimmock (shoulder) to injuries,narrowly outside the top five.

“We figured we had to win three of our last four to make it and if that’s the one we drop then so be it,” Goannas coach Dan Smailes said. “We’ve still got three games we can win.”

It could havegone the other way for Cessnock when leading 10-6 at the break courtesy of first half tries to winger Cal Orchard and second-rower Marvin Filipo.

But the Rosellas emerged from half-time a different side and crossed four times before the hour mark, book-ended by a double to back-rower Peter Mannion and also featuring tries to prop Jake Finn and Callan Richardson.

“The first half we made too many mistakes, but only trailed by four points,” Wests coach Steve Storrie said. “In the second half we went mistake free for 28 minutes, including three repeat sets. We built some pressure and put some points on.”

Out at Belmontand Macquarie prop Isaac Briggs capitalised on a pass from brother Scott, who played 80 minutes at five-eighth in his first grade comeback, in the dying stages before Teason Faave-Eli kicked the winning conversion.

And at Charlestown the Butcher Boys led Kurri 18-6 with 20 to go.

LADDER: Macquarie 19; South Newcastle, Western Suburbs 17; Lakes 16; Kurri Kurri 15; Cessnock 14; Central Newcastle, Maitland 3.

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