Round 16 NSW Cup Match Report

Ricky Newell

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles recorded their biggest win of the season in the NSW Cup today with a thumping 46-10 over the Parramatta Eels at Commbank Stadium.

The Eels were humiliated in their own backyard as the Sea Eagles ran in eight tries to two with winger Jackson Ferris grabbing a hat-trick.

Centre Clayton Faulalo, halfback Latu Fainu, fullback Jake Toby, second-rower Zac Fulton and five-eighth Cooper Johns also crossed for tries. Johns also had a fine day with the boot, kicking seven from eight goals.

Faulalo’s try sees him sit at the top of the NSW Cup leaderboard for the time being with a tally of 15 this season. North Sydney Bears centre Junior Pauga is his main competition, with a total of 14 tries so far.

After an action packed first half that saw 40 points scored between both sides, it was a much quieter second half with only three tries scored overall. The victory today has seen us claim 10 competition points from a possible 14 since our bye in Round 9, coming from four wins and two draws.

The first chance came in the third minute with a sharp attack down the left edge by the home side. Centre Isaac Lumelume found himself with the ball on the last tackle, placing a grubber kick through towards the in-goal searching for points. The ball was bobbled by Toby but was thankfully grounded, forcing a drop-out.

Parramatta capitalised on another repeat set and a high amount of possession to score three minutes later through winger Chris Tupou on the left sideline. The ball was shifted through the hands quickly and made it to Tupou, who burrowed underneath the defence to crash over in the corner.

Blacktown had their chance to hit back three minutes later after surging downfield to find themselves in the Eels territory on the last tackle. The side opted to run the ball rather then go for a kick, hoping to fool the defence. With some smart footwork, prop Ben Condon broke through a gap between defenders before popping a pass out to the left, which was unable to be taken as possession was turned over.

© NRL Photos

The Sea Eagles continued to dig deep and retaliated with a try in the 11th minute through Faulalo thanks to some lovely work by his teammate. Toby broke through a tackle on the left edge and found himself with just the fullback to beat, dragging him in just enough to send Faulalo over untouched. Johns converted to take a 6-4 lead. 

In quick succession, Blacktown had another try through Fainu five minutes later. After breaking out of a scrum, Fainu scanned the defence before popping a pass to Joshua Stuckey. The second-rower slipped out of two defenders tackles and turned back to pass to Fainu, who ducked underneath a tackle to dive over next to the post. Johns converted to extend the lead to 12-4. 

Ferris scored Blacktown’s third try in the space of ten minutes as the side continued to show their prowess in attack. The ball broke down the left edge, whcih was proving to be a weak spot for Parramatta’s defence, as the side were tackled 20 metres out from the tryline. The ball quickly shifted to the right edge with a few quick passes and Ferris dived over to score. Johns nailed the conversion attempt from the sideline for an 18-4 scoreline. 

The Sea Eagles had their fourth try of the afternoon in the 23rd minute as Ferris grabbed his second. The play came off the back of some quick hands, with Stuckey throwing the final pass to Ferris to beat the opposing winger, allowing him to go over untouched. Johns continued his fine form from the tee, sending the ball over the black dot to take the score to 24-4. 

Toby found himself on the scoresheet for Blacktown with a try in the 31st minute after a wonderful off-load by back-rower Zac Fulton metres out from the line, bringing the score to 28-4.  

Fainu cooked up Blacktown’s sixth try with some silky footwork, sending Fulton over for a try on the stroke of half-time. The energetic halfback stepped in between three defenders and was left with the fullback, choosing to look and pass to his left to a flying Fulton. Johns converted for a 34-4 scoreline at the break. 

The opening to the second half was a quiet affair as both sides pushed downfield. The Sea Eagles remained in the driver’s seat, pushing back every chance that the Eels threw at them whilst proving to be their own enemy with costly error’s deep in the home side’s territory. 

Ferris crossed for his hat-trick in the 56th minute in emphatic fashion as he scored a 75-metre try. The Eels attempted to shift the ball left with some quick passes only to be met by Ferris who’d rushed up to the line, forcing the ball to the floor. He poked the ball along the ground before picking it up at his own 30-metre and racing away to score. Johns converted from in front to take the score to 40-4. 

Tupou scored his second try for the Eels in the 71st minute after burrowing underneath the defence in the left corner. Halfback Jordan Rankin converted from the sideline to cut the deficit back to 30 points. 

With six successful conversions to his name, Johns wanted to get in the action and crossed for a try with four minutes remaining in the match. Harper and Ferris combined down the right sideline with some well-timed passes to find them in space, with the last pass from Ferris to Johns beating the fullback. He converted his own try from the sideline for a final scoreline of 46-10. 

The Sea Eagles head back to Blacktown to host the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 17 of the NSW Cup, with the fixture kicking off at 3pm on Sunday June 25 at HE Laybutt Field.