NSW Cup Match Report Elimination Semi Final

NSW Cup Match Report Elimination Semi Final

NSW Cup Semi-Final Match Report vs Raiders

by Ricky Newell

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles season has ended following a 24-22 defeat to the Canberra Raiders at North Sydney Oval in Week One of the NSW Cup Finals on Saturday.

The Sea Eagles fought back from a 12-6 deficit at half-time and went out to a 22-12 lead with a little over 20 minutes to play thanks to two tries apiece from Jacob Sykes and Kaeo Weekes.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for the valiant Sea Eagles side as Canberra fought back with tries in the 63rd and 69th minute to claim a victory.

Cooper Johns and Josh Schuster lined up alongside each other in the halves for the second consecutive week, pushing Latu Fainu out to the centres for his first appearance in the position following eight appearances in the halves.

Dean Matterson backed up to play for the side after playing 24 minutes in Friday’s  54-12 victory over the Tigers in the NRL.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

The Raiders opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a try for forward Peter Hola next to the right post. Fullback Chevy Stewart converted for an early 6-0 lead.

Canberra grabbed their second five minutes later with a phenomenal diving effort in the right corner from winger James Schiller, pushing their lead out to ten points.

Blacktown were lucky not to concede a third try in the 17th minute after a full-field effort from Raiders’ Schiller was cut short. The winger latched onto the ball metres out from his own line and sprinted downfield with his sights set on the try. Thankfully Jake Toby, who was on the opposite wing, was able to cut him down metres out from the tryline and force an error with a desperate tackle.

The Sea Eagles kicked into action and were unlucky not to grab a try after a long-range effort in the 23rd minute. Schuster threw a perfect cut-out pass to Fainu who weaved between the defenders to find a gap. The centre popped a pass out to winger Clayton Faulalo who then kicked infield for Weekes only to be beaten for the ball.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

Canberra capitalised on a missed kick to touch from Blacktown and pushed downfield to find themselves ten metres out. After being awarded a penalty, they chose to take the shot at two points which was converted by Stewart for a 12-0 scoreline.

Blacktown were denied of another try with eight minutes to play in the half as the Raiders continued to hold on. After a good shift to the left edge, Fainu had the ball 15 metres out from the line and backed himself. He tucked his ears back and tried to dive in the corner but unfortunately had the ball knocked out of his hands in the process. During the attempt, he took a knock to the head and was taken from the field with a HIA as both sides began to lose their cool.

 The Sea Eagles scored on the stroke of half-time after the ball bounced in their favour, resulting in a try for forward Jacob Sykes. Johns ran the ball on the last tackle and poked a grubber kick towards the in-goal area, deflecting off several players. Lock Dean Matterson and Sykes chased, with the latter getting hands on the ball for the try. Utility Jamie Humphreys converted to take the score to 12-6 at the break.

Blacktown carried the momentum into the second half and scored after five minutes as Sykes bagged his second of the afternoon. Schuster threw a perfectly timed short ball to the forward at the ten-metre line and he pushed past the defender’s tackles to ground the ball on the line. Humphreys converted to level the scores at 12-all.

The Sea Eagles hit the lead for the first time in the match with a try for Weekes in the 54th minute, with Schuster playing a big part in setting the play up. The five-eighth drifted wide on the last tackle and popped a ball back on the inside to Weekes who steamrolled over the opposing fullback to ground the ball. Humphreys converted for an 18-12 lead.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

The momentum shifted completely in favour of Blacktown as Weekes crossed for his second try five minutes after his first. Schuster found Toby 15 metres out from the line and the winger pushed through to break through the defence. After dragging in the opposing winger, he popped a pass out to Weekes who used his pace to dive over in the corner, taking the score out to 22-12.

Canberra wasn’t going to back down and fought back into the match as Schiller crossed for his second try in the 64th minute. The winger caught the ball 25 metres out from the line after a short drop-out and managed to get past five defenders to score. Stewart converted to cut the deficit back to four points.

The Raiders hit the lead with just over ten minutes to play with a long-range effort as Stewart crossed for his side fourth try. Winger Xavier Savage broke down the sideline and finished the play off with a simple pass to Stewart who raced away for the try next to the posts. He converted his own try for a 24-22 lead.

Blacktown went agonisingly close to re-taking the lead with three minutes to play. Schuster took on the line after assessing his options and broke through the defence. With a player on him, he threw a no-look flick pass to prop Ben Condon who was in support. Despite his best efforts, he was unfortunately stopped short of the line and the referee deemed the play a double movement, resulting in a penalty for the Raiders.

The Sea Eagles had one final chance to save their season after the Raiders kicked the ball dead, resulting in a seven-tackle set. Despite this, a silly pass resulted in a turnover and Canberra ran the time down to claim a two-point victory.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

NSW Cup Round 26 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 26 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 26 Match Report vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Ricky Newell

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles secured their spot in the NSW Cup Finals with a strong 32-18 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Accor Stadium today.

The Sea Eagles ran in six tries to four to fight back from an 18-10 deficit at half-time to qualify for their first finals berth since the 2015 season. 

Two tries in the first ten minutes of the second half showed just how much the Sea Eagles wanted the win, ultimately setting them up to take control of the match after taking the lead for the first time in the 41st minute. Two tries in five minutes at the hour mark for Jake Toby and Ben Condon cemented the victory.

Blacktown were bolstered with the first-grade experience of Josh Schuster at five-eighth alongside halfback Jamie Humphreys.

Schuster had a massive impact, finishing with three try assists to go along with a 40/20 kick in a strong performance.

Winger Clayton Faulalo took his tryscoring tally for the season to 29 with two tries, making him the first player since the 2016 NSW Cup season to score that amount. 

Dean Matterson, James Uesele, Nathaniel Roache and Zac Fulton were also late additions. The team were without their captain, Gordon Chan Kum Tong ahead of his NRL debut for the Sea Eagles.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the sixth minute after prop Kurtis Morrin crashed past a defender to score next to the post. Centre Jonathan Sua converted for an early 6-0 lead.  

The home side crossed again six minutes later down the left edge through fullback Khaled Rajab after he found a gap in the defence. Sua converted to take the lead to 12-0. 

© NRL Photos

The Sea Eagles hit back with a try in the 17th minute through Zac Fulton after a handful of sets in the opposition’s territory. The second-rower ran hard off a pass from the ruck and spun out of a tackle to ground the ball on the line. Humphreys converted for a 12-6 scoreline.  

Blacktown prop Austin Dias went agonizingly close to scoring the side’s second try six minutes later after being held up at the line on the last tackle. Second-rower Samuela Fainu chased hard and leapt into the air to bat the ball back, landing in the hands of Dias who fought until the tackle was called. 

Sea Eagles’ Faulalo tip-toed down the sideline and pushed past the chasing defenders to score his 28th try of the season in the 24th minute. Blacktown’s 2022 Players’ Player of the Year, Jake Toby, ran hard at the line and threw a well-timed pass to set the winger up with just enough space to get the ball down, bringing the score to 12-10. 

Bulldogs forward Franklin Pele found a gap in the defence and scored under the posts with a strong run four minutes before halftime. Sua converted to give his side an eight-point lead at the break.  

The Sea Eagles came out the gates flying in the second half with a try for forward Morgan Boyle after just one minute. Schuster was instrumental in the try, breaking through the defence at the halfway line and sending Boyle over with a simple pass to beat the fullback. Humphreys converted from in front for an 18-16 scoreline. 

The tryscoring sensation in the 2023 NSW Cup season was in again as Faulalo crossed for his second try of the day in the 47th minute. Similar to the first, Toby was involved with a phenomenal cut-out pass to the winger, who used his pace to beat the defenders to score in the corner, giving his side a 20-18 lead.  

© NRL Photos

Blacktown were pushing for more points after being denied two times in a matter of minutes. Faulalo was heavily involved with the attack in the 59th minute, chasing hard on a kick and leaping over the opposition to grab the ball. The winger flicked the ball infield to Fainu who put in a perfectly placed grubber kick, sitting in goal and ultimately forcing a drop-out.  

The pressure finally broke and the Sea Eagles had their fifth try two minutes later. Toby got himself on the scoresheet after a simple pass from Schuster freed up enough space for the fullback, with his speed getting him over the line untouched. Humphreys converted to take the lead to 26-18.  

Blacktown prop Ben Condon dived under the posts for a well-deserved try in the 67th minute. Schuster had his hand in the lead up to the try as well as setting it up, kicking a 40/20 to get his side in position before handing off the final pass to Condon. Humphreys converted from in front for a 32-18 scoreline. 

The home side grabbed a consolation try through winger Harry Hayes in the 75th minute, with the siren eventually sounding for fulltime. The Sea Eagles claimed the two competition points with a final scoreline of 32-22, sending them to the finals. 

Blacktown now awaits results in this afternoon’s NSW Cup fixture between the Bears and the Raiders to determine who they face in Week One of the finals at North Sydney Oval on Saturday, September 2.

NSW Cup Round 25 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 25 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 25 Match Report vs NZ Warriors

Wayne Cousins

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles have moved back inside the NSW Cup top five following an impressive 32-12 victory over the NZ Warriors in Auckland tonight.

With one round remaining and the top five teams contesting the finals, Blacktown Workers have moved from seventh place to third place on 30 points subject to weekend results.

Blacktown Workers play the fourth placed Bulldogs next Friday night at Belmore Sports Ground. The Bulldogs play the fifth place Canberra this weekend with both teams on 29 points.

It was a dominant display by Blacktown Workers over the second-place Warriors at Daniel Anderson Stadium.

The Warriors were denied a try in the third minute for a shepherd before centre Viliami Vailea was held up in three-man tackle four minutes later.

After soaking up the early defensive pressure, Manly opened up the scoring when hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong burrowed over from dummy half to score under posts. Five-eighth Jamie Humphreys converted for a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes.

© NRL Photos

Clayton Faulalo extended the lead to 12-0 in the 25th minute when the ball bounced in his arms off a Warriors player from a Humphreys kick.

Warriors half-back Ronald Volkman then lost the ball in trying to score under the posts five minutes later.

The Sea Eagles punished the Warriors for the mistake when a nice backline play to the left saw winger Ryan Garner score out wide. Humphreys converted for an 18-0 lead after 34 minutes.

A great cut out pass from full-back Jake Toby sent centre Brad Abbey over in corner for a 22-0 lead after 48 minutes.

Three minutes later, leading NSW Cup Faulalo added to his tally after scoring off a Humphreys grubber for a 26-0 lead.

The Warriors got on the board in the 58th minute when second-rower Jacob Laban scored off a bomb for a 26-6 scoreline.

Faulalo grabbed his third try when Garner put through a kick in running for the centre to catch the ball to score for a 32-6 lead after 69 minutes.

Garner was placed on report and sent to the sin bin with four minutes to go for a lifting tackle that resulted in a melee.

The Warriors scored two minutes from full-time with a try to Volkman next to the posts for a 32-12 scoreline.

© NRL Photos

NSW Cup Match Report Round 23

NSW Cup Match Report Round 23

NSW Cup Round 23 Match Report vs Sydney Roosters

Wayne Cousins

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles forced their way into the top five with a 28-18 win over the Sydney Roosters at Wentworth Park today in round 23 of the NSW Cup.

The Sea Eagles ran in five tries to three to move into fourth place with three rounds remaining. The top five teams contest the finals.

Blacktown Workers play their final three matches away against Penrith (eighth), Warriors away (second) and the Bulldogs (third).

The Roosters opened the scoring in the 31st minute when winger Jaxson Paulo, who heads to Manly next season, backed up a break by prop Josh Bevan to score next to the posts for a 6-0 lead.

Blacktown Workers hit back eight minutes later when prolific try scoring winger Clayton Faulalo backed up a sensational 80 metre run by Jackson Ferris to score in the corner after Ferris brushed off five defenders in a superb run. Cooper Johns converted from the sideline for a 6-all scoreline at the break.

Sea Eagles half-back Latu Fainu then grabbed his first try when he showed his class by throwing a dummy to slice through the defence to score a 25 metre try next to the posts. Johns converted for a 12-6 lead after 52 minutes.

Seven minutes later, Johns extended the lead to 18-6 after converting a try to Ferris after the winger crashed over from two short passes from Johns and Zac Fulton to score in the corner.

The Roosters got back to 18-12 in the 64th minute after half-back Joseph Whitikama Temara Taipari swooped on a loose pass to score a converted try next to the posts.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

Blacktown Workers got some breathing space when centre Morgan Harper took the defence on to stroll his way to the corner to score for a 22-12 lead after 69 minutes.

Fainu then secured victory for Blacktown Workers when he backed up a break down the left side by his brother Samuela Fainu for Faulalo to pass back inside for Fainu to score out wide. Johns converted for a 28-12 lead.

The Roosters then crossed two minutes from full-time through Ethan Clark-Wood for Paulo to convert for the 28-18 scoreline.

NSW Cup Round 22 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 22 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 22 Match Report vs St George Illawarra Dragons

Wayne Cousins

Blacktown Workers continued their charge towards the NSW Cup finals with an impressive 36-20 win over St George-Illawarra Dragons on Saturday.

The Sea Eagles ran in seven tries to four in the round 22 match at Shellharbour with full-back Jake Toby and winger Ryan Garner getting a double each. Cooper Johns kicked four from seven goals.

 With the top five teams contesting the finals, Blacktown Workers sit in sixth place on 26 points, equal with the fifth-placed Penrith Panthers with just 11 points separating the teams on for and against.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

Blacktown Workers play the Sydney Roosters (13th), Penrith, Warriors (second) and the Bulldogs (third) in their remaining matches.

 Some slick hands in a nice backline play saw wingerRaymond Tuaimalo Vaega open the scoring in the fourth minute. Five-eighth Cooper Johns converted from the sideline for a 6-0 lead.

 Half Jakob Arthur and five-eighth Cooper Johns then produced a long, floating cut out pass across the field to send winger Ryan Garner over in the 13th minute for a 12-0 lead.

A spilt bomb led to the Dragons scoring a converted try to winger Sione Finai for a 12-6 scoreline after 19 minutes.

The Dragons then scored two tries in four minutes through Ryan Couchman and Treigh Stewart to trail 12-10 after 27 minutes.

© Bryden Sharp Photography

Stewart then gave the Dragons a 14-12 lead after crossing for his second try in the 31st minute.

 However, Blacktown Workers regained the lead five minutes later through another try to prolific try scorer Clayton Faulalo to give the Sea Eagles a 16-14 lead at half-time. A great pass from Arthur put second-rower Samuela Fainu into a hole to send Faulalo over.

 Garner extended Blacktown’s lead when he crossed for his second try in the 50th minute after a high cut out pass from Johns, who added the extras for a handy 22-14 lead.

 The Dragons hit back again when Stewart crossed for his hat-trick to leave the home side trailing 22-20 with 13 minutes remaining.

 Blacktown Workers secured victory when Toby crossed for two tries in three minutes.

 His first saw him stroll to the line off a break from Vaega that found Faulalo in support to send his full-back away to score under the posts. The second saw Toby swoop on a loose pass to cross in the corner.

 Centre Brad Abbey put the icing on the cake with a try in the final minute after a great run and offload from Karl Lawton for the 36-20 win.

 Blacktown Workers play the Roosters at Wentworth Park on Sunday, August 6, at 2pm.

NSW Cup Round 20 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 20 Match Report

NSW Cup Round 20 Match Report vs Canberra Raiders

Wayne Cousins

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles keep finals hopes alive with a win over the Canberra Raiders

A strong second half fightback has seen the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles grab a 24-18 victory over the Canberra Raiders at home today in round 20 of the NSW Cup.

In chilly conditions, Blacktown Workers overcame a 12-8 half-time to deficit to produce a strong finish to move to keep their finals hopes alive with six rounds remaining.

New Manly Sea Eagles prop Matthew Lodge made an immediate impact, scoring a try and making plenty of metres with some strong carries in an impressive debut for Blacktown Workers.

Lodge, who signed a train and trial contract with Manly last Monday for the rest of the season, played 34 straight minutes in the first half before playing the last 25 minutes of the second half.

NSW U19 second-rower Samuela Fainu also backed up for the Sea Eagles after captaining the Blues to victory in Redcliffe on Thursday night.

The Raiders enjoyed plenty of early possession inside the Sea Eagle quarter, eventually capitalising on it through the strength of prop Trey Mooney to crash over next to the posts.  Five-eighth Joshua James converted for a 6-0 lead after four minutes.

Canberra then lost hooker Danny Levi in the eighth minute with a possible jaw injury before the Sea Eagles opened their account in the 11th minute with a try to half-back Jakob Arthur from an inside kick from winger Jake Toby for  6-4 scoreline. It all came from a long run from centre Clayton Faulalo after taking a short kick on his own line two players earlier. 

Canberra went to a 12-4 lead after 20 minutes after forward Adrian Trevilyan crashed through the middle to score under the posts.

Blacktown Workers crossed for their second try in the 26th minute when Faulalo managed to pop a pass in a two-man tackle for winger Ray Vaega to dive over in the corner. Cooper Johns failed to convert from the sideline to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 12-8.

Fainu almost pulled off a spectacular try in the 32nd minute off a Johns crosskick but lost the ball after a few juggles with the score remaining 12-8 at the break.

Blacktown Workers drew level in the 61st minute when Fainu leapt high to defuse a Johns bomb to score near the posts. Johns converted for a 14-12 lead.

Lodge then extended the Sea Eagles lead to 18-12 when he used his strength to carry two defenders over the line to score. Johns converted for a 20-12 lead with 14 minutes remaining.

Faulalo then all but sealed victory for the Sea Eagles after half-back Jakob Arthur toed the ball through for his centre to score after a bone crunching tackle from Vaega that saw Canberra spill the ball from a Johns bomb for a 24-12 lead with six minutes remaining.

A minute later, Canberra hit back with a converted try to lock Hohepa Puru for a 24-18 scoreline to set up a nervous finish for the home side.

The win sees Blacktown Workers move to 22 points, just one point behind the fifth placed Canberra.

Blacktown Workers play third place Newtown Jets in a crucial game at Henson Park on Saturday, July 22, at 3pm.