Wests Tigers NSW Cup squad have extended their winning streak with a superb 52-16 victory over Wentworthville Magpies at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Despite Wentworthville coming into the game ranked first in the competition, it was the hosts who led from start to finish with a supremely impressive win, as their left-edge reaped havoc throughout the entire afternoon.
It was the visitors who had the best attacking chance early following several repeat sets on Wests Tigers’ line, but could not make their field position count.
Mitchell Moses soon could, though, and after the Magpies failed to deal with a grubber from the wiry five-eighth, he raced through to plan the ball down and give the hosts the first points of the day. He then converted his own try from next to the left upright for a 6-0 lead after 14 minutes.
A sharp left-edge move involving Moses and fullback Jy Hitchcox saw Marika Koroibete race away in the 26th minute and plant the ball down in the corner for his eighth try in his past four NSW Cup appearances.
Moses kicked the conversion from the sideline for a 12-0 lead after 27 minutes.
Dropping back from a stint in the NRL, it was Sitaleki Akauola who posted the next points for Wests Tigers after bursting through four tackles in the 31st minute. Moses — once again — added the extras from next to the posts.
Moses was in the thick of it again just moments later, when a short side raid down the left saw the 19-year-old release Koroibete down the wing. The Fijian international then linked back up with Moses, who raced away to score under the posts to push the lead to 24-0 after 34 minutes of play.
Moses then completed his first-half hat-trick by finishing off a spectacular passage of play in the 35th minute. A strong offload from Akauola found Curtis Sironen, who showed great speed to race down the left touchline, before kicking back on the inside, where Moses re-gathered the ball for his third try of the half.
He then added the extras for a 30-0 lead at the main break.
NSW Cup Head Coach Paul Fletcher urged his side to continue their energy in the second half and soon saw his reward when Corey Brown crossed in the right corner just two minutes after the half-time interval.
Moses slotted the sideline conversion once more to push the lead to 36-0.
Wenty would finally get on the board in the 48th minute when a long ball from Luke Kelly found Bureta Faraimo in the right corner.
The halfback added the extras to reduce the margin to 36-6.
An opportunistic ball back on the inside from Fabian Goodall somehow landed in the hands of Ryan Matterson for Wenty’s second try of the half soon after, with the five-eighth running around to improve the angle under the posts.
Kelly duly added the extras for a 36-12 scoreline after 56 minutes.
The halfback was in the action shortly after when he raced 70m to score in the left corner following some sloppy defence down the short side. He couldn’t add the extras, though — leaving the score at 36-16 with just over 20 minutes to go.
An injury to Wests Tigers halfback Michael Stevens saw Sironen partner Moses in the halves for the remaining 20 minutes of the match.
Wenty’s ascendency didn’t last long, though, with a sharp run from Hitchcox finding Koroibete in space down the left touchline. The visitors gave him the sideline as they attempted to cover him in defence, but Koroibete’s speed simply proved too much as he raced away to score in the corner.
Moses continued his perfect day with the boot to push the lead back to 26 points, with the score reading 42-16 after 66 minutes of play.
Michael Bullock crossed for his first try of the year in the 75th minute after a sharp inside ball from Moses, but the five-eighth couldn’t keep his perfect kicking day going and left the scoreline at 46-16 with just a handful of minutes to play.
Koroibete crossed for a try right on the siren to push the hosts' score out to 50 points, with Moses' conversion from the sideline leaving the score at 52-16.
That capped off a perfect afternoon for the hosts, who not only welcomed several players back from injury, but also posted a big win over the 2014 competition leaders and consolidate their position inside the top four.
Final: Wests Tigers 52 def. Wentworthville Magpies 16