A serious injury to young hooker Vince Ripepi marred a hard fought victory for the high flying East Campbelltown Eagles on Saturday.
Ripepi suffered the injury early in the away round 13 match against Blacktown Workers and required surgery.
Eagles president Daniel Draper said the surgery “went extremely well and Vince Ripepi will be back on the paddock very soon’’.
The Eagles managed to win 34-14 mainly off the back of a three try blitz in the last 10 minutes of the game.
The two premiership points keeps them in equal first place with St Marys.
Moorebank Rams, who walloped Hills 70-0 on the weekend are two points behind them and loom as the dark horse of this year’s premiership.
Centre Jack Gibbons scored the first try to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead against Workers, who hit back within three minutes for a 6-4 scoreline.
Craig Moustakas was next to score, and when Grant Lahey crossed, the Eagles went into the break with a solid 18-8 lead.
The first 20 minutes of the second half became a game of defence as both teams struggled to crack the line.
Things looked a lit grim when Blacktown crashed over to come within four points at 18-14.
But tries to Jarryd Eggleton, Sean Connor and Daniel Muir in the last 10 minutes helped the visitors from Campbelltown run out winners 34-14.
Sean Connor kicked four from six in very windy conditions, while Grant Lahey, Jarryd Eggleton and Kobe Chamblain stood out for the Eagles.
East Campbelltown Eagles will join in annual NAIDOC Week celebrations by playing in a special Indigenous jersey when they host Belrose Eagles at Waminda Oval this Sunday.
First grade kick off is 2.30pm.
Under 20: East Campbelltown 38 defeated Asquith Magpies 6
Women’s Opens: East Campbelltown 26 defeated Marrickville 16
Reserve Grade: All Saints Toongabbie 12 defeated East Campbelltown 8