Reigning Group 6 premiers Campbelltown City have started the defence of their title with a loss at the hands of the Narellan Jets yesterday.
The Kangaroos completed just one set in the second half in going down 28-22.
It was not the start new coach Isaac de Gois was looking for and he will now turn his focus to the grand final replay with the Roosters in Thirlmere on Sunday afternoon.
But the Roosters will also be looking to regroup after being hammered by Camden Rams 44-6 on the weekend, reports Macarthur Sport Radio chief MIKE SHEAN:
The Rams controlled play for the majority of the afternoon, in front of a typically vocal crowd at Harvey Shephard Field, in perfect autumn conditions.
Camden kicked off the scoring after just seven minutes, courtesy of fullback Steele Brown.
Rams skipped out to a 14-0 lead when big centre Christian Poutoa scored in the 24th minute.
A few minutes later second rower Toby Huxley, who was among the best on the field for Camden, bagged the first of his four tries to give the Rams a 20-0 lead.
Thirlmere managed their only points of the match seven minutes before halftime, when centre Jordan Tongahai charged over after a strong run on the right-hand side, giving the Roosters’ something to cheer about.
Thirlmere captain coach Jake Mullaney would have been frustrated with the first half.
But the Roosters had little possession, and even less territory in the opening term and the scoreboard reflected that.
Camden’s big five-eighth Luke Peoples scored almost immediately after the resumption of play, to extinguish any thoughts of a Roosters turnaround in the second stanza.
Huxley bagged his second 15 minutes into the second half, but by now the result appeared well beyond doubt, with the Rams controlling play at will.
Huxley added two tries in the final 10 minutes, and one to impressive hooker Corey White saw the scoreline end at 44-6 in favour of the locals.
Camden coach Nick Crouch would have been delighted with the performance of his side, especially the platform laid by his forwards, led by Huxley, Dean Rysko and Jake Dooner.
Jake Plunkett, playing at halfback, was instrumental in steering the Rams around, ably assisted by Luke Peoples at five eighth, allowing the backs to regularly cause problems for the Thirlmere defence.
Mullaney will know his side has plenty of work to do before next week’s match at home, with reigning premiers Campbelltown City.
Defence will be a key aspect this week for the Roosters.
RESULTS – FIRST GRADE
The Oaks Tigers 36 Moss Vale Dragons 10;
Camden Rams 44 Thirlmere Roosters 6;
Narellan Jets 28 Campbelltown City 22;
Picton Magpies 22 Mittagong Lions 16.
The Oaks 18 Appin Dogs 20;
Oran Park Chargers 50 Oakdale 14;
Camden 28 Thirlmere 14;
Narellan 28 Campbelltown City 8;
Picton 28 Mittagong 10.
Camden 24 Thirlmere 20;
Narellan 18 Campbelltown City 26;
Picton 22 Mittagong 10;
Warragamba Wombats 18 Mt Annan Oakdale 28.
The Oaks 36 Moss Vale 4;
Campbelltown City (2) 22 Oakdale 0;
Narellan 14 Campbelltown City 20;
Picton 16 Mittagong 0;
Camden 6 Thirlmere 10.
Narellan 14 Campbelltown City 24;
Picton 12 Bowral Blues 36;
Warragamba 54 Bundanoon Highlanders 0.
Saturday 7.30pm: Oakdale v Narellan
Moss Vale v Picton
Mittagong v Camden
Thirlmere v Campbelltown City
- Macarthur Sports Radio will be covering the Thirlmere v Campbelltown City match on Sunday, with coverage staring from 2pm at www.macarthursportsradio.com.