After heavy rain in Sydney saw the postponement of all junior representative games in Round 7, Wests Tigers junior teams returned to centre stage in Round 8 with a number of strong wins.
Balmain Tigers were the standout side over the weekend — bagging wins in both the Harold Matthews and SG Ball competitions — while Western Suburbs U/17's side also continued their good season with a win over Cronulla.
Wests Tigers Tarsha Gale went down in a close contest to the Sharks that leaves them sitting in third position heading into the final scheduled round of the year.
The girls will face off against second-placed Illawarra next weekend, with a 76-point differential likely to ensure the Steelers will remain in second regardless of the result, while a loss could see Wests Tigers end up as low as fifth.
Wade Zreika's hat-trick helped Balmain's Harold Matthews side home in a hard-fought win over North Sydney at Waminda Oval, before the senior side turned on the points in a 64-4 drubbing over the Bears. Braydon Guyan bagged three tries while Livai Saukuru added 24 points of his own as the Tigers ran out comfortable winners — keeping their finals hopes alive heading into next week's must-win game.
For the Magpies, Solomone Saukuru's double continued his — and the team's — good season as the Harold Matthews side moved into sixth with a 36-6 win over the Sharks, before Cronulla returned the favour with a 54-18 victory in SG Ball.
Round 9 will see Balmain face South Sydney in both grades on Good Friday afternoon while Wests travel to Wollongong to face Illawarra on Saturday.